Photography | Brian Rope
The Pandy Shuffle | Eleven Artists
Huw Davies Gallery, Photo Access | Until 22 December 2021
Curated by Wouter Van de Voorde, The Pandy Shuffle shows works from eleven photo artists. The name? Well, it’s not the Melbourne shuffle - a rave dance from the ‘80s. And the artists didn’t learn how to shuffle and cut shapes in the usual dance sense. But they certainly had to shuffle their arrangements and plans, creating a Pandora’s Box of ideas as they coped with the pandemonium of pandemic times.
Van de Voorde mentored them through a Concept to Exhibition project at Photo Access in 2021. He wanted to connect people, have discussions about how images work and how they communicate when juxtaposed with each other. It became a shared endeavour, no-one expecting to be working together online through lockdowns.
As curator, Van de Voorde wanted there to be an overarching narrative binding the works together. He and his participants have executed a varying quality, but successful, coherent and collaborative show - celebrating their doggedness and creativity.
Each artist brought their distinctive style; an admirable consonance between them. All created work revealing their individual thought processes and confirming their endurance through this year.
Claire Manning’s excellent artworks feature diverse and interesting subjects, and include a magnificent large self-adhesive vinyl print A Place to Hide, 2021.
Edson’s wonderful contemporary work explores notions of home and connections
between family, friends and strangers, recording “experiences and feelings in a
strange year, that sometimes seemed a blur.” An image of a panda mask wearer along
the Queanbeyan River path reveals a delightful encounter.
Varendorff planned to document the ever-increasing number of dog toys that lie
around his house and yard. In the end his – also contemporary - photos weren't
as focused on the toys as he'd first thought.
Bryant’s works are all seductively lit and worthy of close examination. Still
Life 2 is not a traditional still life. It has much to consider in a
Winkler’s four exhibits of abandoned spaces adorned with the nowadays
inevitable “street art” additions are replete with detail. His use of sunlight
in two Walking on Sunshine works is wonderful.
Edmondson’s artist statement reveals that he is colour blind (mild
deuteranopia) and that his work attempts to visualise “happenings left in
places”. One impressive piece, Kambah Drains, reveals an amazing
collection of graffiti on various surfaces – the words cave, temple, grim and
aspire invite interpretation.
Burrows says, “works were created from a period of chaos to calm in an
ever-changing world, how busy and messy life can be, then clarity and balance
can be found.” Each work is full of stuff for our eyes to tour.
Carter found quiet suburban roads to show us, seemingly devoid of people, built
probably at great cost and barely used.
Donald’s images of pigeons - and their titles - made me smile. One of two others
featuring rhino birds stands out because of the bird’s juxtaposition with a
Lemerle is interested in capturing the ‘layers’ of inner city living,
suggesting her images “illustrate the silent fraught conversation between
middle-class affluence and the inner-city poverty of marginalised people”. They
do, although two prints titled Newtown Disconnect 1 and 2 have a clear
connection - dominant colours in each tying them together.
Leo took her photos while exploring the beauty around Canberra on a personal
recovery journey. She has compiled images and poetry into an artist book, some copies
for sale along with prints of Birds in the Pond. The works share her
discoveries and their healing wonder with us, her audience.