Photography | Brian Rope
Various Artists | The
Photo Access | 17 September to 10 October 2020
The Journey Through is a group exhibition featuring works created during Concept to Exhibition, an eight-month long PhotoAccess workshop led by Canberra photographer and artist Grace Costa. It features brand new work from Astrid Breuer, Alan Charlton, Michelle Crosbie, Shan Crosbie, Leanne Harrison, Tracy Hebden, Tessa Ivison, Ina Jalil, Thea McGrath, Linda Roche, and Michael Taylor.
Photo Access Director, Dr. Kirsten Wehner, says "Each artist is simultaneously exploring, confronting and also sharing their voice through photographic expression."
Alan Charlton, much of whose photography I am familiar with, has produced an outstanding new set of work going beyond what I have previously seen. Traveling the familiar highway between Canberra and Goulburn, he has explored scenes that we may or may not have noticed. Fourteen inkjet prints surround a substantial long concertina book, filling one of the longest walls of the gallery.
By contrast, another participant with whose imagery I am familiar is exhibiting just one work. It is substantial - a 76cm by 76cm print. This powerful portrait of Michael Taylor is on the small end wall of the gallery confronting visitors as they explore the space.
Self, 2020, 76cm x 76cm ©Michael Taylor
Jalil also has contributed a self-portrait, but she is displaying three
versions of herself exploring the different identities to which she feels
expected to conform - cultural expectations, corporate persona, and
photographer. This is another strong work.
This Is Me, 2020, 170cm x 85mm © Ina Jalil
McGrath’s contribution is a wonderful series of cyanotypes with hand stitching
using silk thread, sharing some intimate detail of her broken maternal lines as
she seeks to heal old wounds. Each work is displayed in delightful hung frames
and the overall display of her eight works is another gem in this fine
Astrid Breuer offers an “immersive audio-visual experience”, wanting visitors to feel the rejuvenating powers of the Jerrabomberra Wetlands and leave feeling calm. She has achieved her aim with a short video comprising still and moving images of beautiful Jerrabomberra Wetlands.
Still from audio-visual © Astrid Breuer
Crosbie offers a contribution that is at once whimsical, delightful, and
educational. Images of 55 eggs laid by six hens in July have been transferred
onto handmade paper - from egg cartons. They are displayed in one group, alongside
seven separate chicken images with titles such as Allosaurus and Bambiraptor.
Harrison contributes six large inkjet prints featuring juxtaposed blurred
images with more recognisable forms; unified they draw us in through a strong
sense of movement.
Hebden focusses on her personal embracing of what she describes as the
connection between the Sacred Feminine and Self. These works are a
response to the current movement of women leading by reclaiming feminine traits
for their strength and power.
Ivison explores the unspoken side of grief, having taken shots that she felt
reflected how she was feeling as she walked along familiar paths whilst dealing
with the death of her partner.
© Tessa Iverson
Roche is displaying four dazzling coloured images – astrophotography and light
painting. They immediately command attention and then keep you looking at their
© Linda Roche
Crosbie’s prints explore textured surfaces highlighted within shadows. Along
with all the other works in this excellent exhibition, they demand your
exploration of them.
Costa has done a fine job of mentoring these eleven photographers of varying skill
levels on their journeys through eight long months. They have each produced a
new body of work building on a creative concept outside their usual
photographic comfort zone. Each body of work tells an excellent personal story,
as they have used their photographic voices to confront and share.