Lee Grant – Photography Blog

Posts Tagged ‘suburbia

CM09 Artist Watch

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OK, so the quiet on this front is not because I have ceased writing this blog but because I get nearer to D-Day everyday and I still have the proverbial shitload of work to do…. but I couldn’t resist posting  my pick of the Critical Mass 09 entrants – all 575 of them whose entries (including yours truly) arrived neatly packaged on a CD all the way from the USandA. Don’t worry I definitely won’t be posting all 575! Just 15 of my faves… and yes, I went through all 575 of them!! And despite the overall caliber being pretty good (some of it a little repetitive and honestly, some of it pretty bad) my favourites belonged to the following photographers and really appealed to my aesthetic sensibilities….

One interesting observation is the number of works that explore ideas of belonging and connection to place (similar themes to my work in Belco). Maybe this is a reflection of my Generation (X) and the fact that we are all nearing the big 40….? Mortality inevitably looms and we start to think about how we fit in the big jigsaw that is our crazy, beautiful world…. and what better place to start than where we grew up? Odes to origins…. yeah….

Anyway, take a look for yourself:

Benine_S-02Shannon Benine

Hamon_D-05Deborah Hamon

Lueck_S-06Simone Lueck

Stebbins_C1-05Catharine Stebbins

Girner_S-06Sarah Girner

Hillen_S-07Sean Hillen

Malakoff_S-10Sarah Malakoff

Feldsztein_V-01Vanina Felsztein

Deiss_D-06Dorothee Deiss

Button_E-10Ernie Button

Pike_A-08Alexis Pike

Sims_C-05Christopher Sims

Bush_R-03Ryan Bush

Ingram_J-03Jessica Ingram

And other than fellow photographer and e-buddy Rebecca Dagnall, I think I was the only Aussie! The submissions were mostly from Americans but it was peppered with some interesting work from Canada, Europe and South America. It’ll be interesting to see who makes the final Top 50….

Burning the Midnight Oil

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Well, it’s been a little quiet on this front I’m afraid as thesis deadlines loom and the pressure kicks in. Not to mention beginning a full-time job at the NGA (eek, I’m officially a ‘pube’! That’s shorthand for Public Servant btw). Good for the likes of being an upstanding and responsible citizen/mother/bill-payer, but crap if you are trying to continue an art practice. Really, it has to be said that full-time work is a crime against humanity and an even worse one against artists! How do you people do it!? Sure, I have a little more money than before but really, I don’t even have time to spend it! And being around other people’s art at work, only serves to deepen the anxiety of wanting (needing) to make more work but not being able to find the time…. If anyone has any advice about how to juggle this dilemma, I’d love to hear it!

Suffice to say, that this blog may continue to lie low for a little while longer. Have managed however to (just) maintain some sense of creative output. Here is my latest offering from a series about Sudanese migrant families living in suburbia.

_MG_9942Nyakoor outside her home with sons, Aleer, Chut and Duot

_MG_9938Sunday best… P. Diddy, eat your heart out!

Films are yet to be processed but I shot a few on the dig to show the kids. Amazing how ingrained the idea of instant imaging has become. Even when I was shooting on the medium format the urge was to see the result straight away. Took a little bit to explain the virtues of analogue photography! Anyway, it’s been great fun making these images and to offer each family a portrait sitting. Everyone gets quite dressed up and usually I feel like a mega-dag. The boys especially rocked in their suits!? I wonder if my son would wear one???

Anyway, see youse for now….

Written by Lee Grant

August 3, 2009 at 8:33 pm


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Well, probably the first thing I should do is to apologise to any of you who may have taken a look at my ‘new’ website this last week. I’m afraid it’s been one of those things where everything that could possibly go wrong, kinda did…….. at least in terms of my website renovation. Seems my drop-down menu didn’t work in Internet Explorer (don’t ask me why cos I have no freaking idea and I checked it in about 3 other bloody browsers which were all good!). Anyway, I figure that most people still use PCs, so I quickly patched it up only to decide that to deal with it again in the near future would do my head in and I really couldn’t face such a bad idea……… What this means then, is that I’ve gone with a fancy pants website developer in San Fran called LiveBooks. Lucky for me they love students, are cheap and completely idiot-friendly.

So if you can be arsed, check it out…….. HERE.

Other than faffing about on the website and avoiding writing my dissertation, my suburban photo-life has been quite productive…. I goddamn love suburbia! At least my studio practice is coming along! 😉

from the series “Belco Pride”

Written by Lee Grant

August 22, 2008 at 10:02 pm

Every dog has its day…. and sometimes even, night.

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Well, no surprise about the outcome of Henson’s work and I was glad to hear that the law prevailed appropriately (for a change, cos it has been known to be ridiculous in recent times). I know one thing for sure, Henson is now a household name in Australia and despite what emotions he may conjure up in people, the whole incident will make punters curious enough to want to either see the work or stay the hell away. I’ll certainly try to get up to Sydney to see the show which I understand is by appointment only now. It all adds a deliciously underground edge to it! Something I’m sure Hetty Johnston didn’t want. Perhaps she’ll choose more relevant cases to sling mud at in future.

Anyway, the suburbs have been keeping me plenty occupied. Whoever believes they are places of inane existence are sorely mistaken. And it seems that I’m not the only one who thinks they are wonderfully brilliant in their dullness. Murdoch University (yes, actually named after its principal benefactor, Rupert) has been researching how suburbia “could actually be hotbeds of creative activity”.

Well duh. But at least the academics are beginning to figure it out which might help to legitimise one’s interest in the seemingly boring (I can assure you that this makes a big difference when applying for funding!). I am however acutely aware of the grand tradition in which I work. Bill Owens, I bow down to you.

And speaking of academic here is a flyer for an up-coming conference being held at the ANU in early July:

Should be interesting, Geoffrey Batchen will be the keynote speaker and it coincides with the openings of two shows that I have work in (including the one that I’m curating – very interesting experience to say the least!). Naturally I’ll be crashing the event. The rest of you can register here. 😉