“Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards.”
- Theodore Zeldin
Inspired by Vanity Fair’s bitingly satirical 1930s series Impossible Interviews, this project brought together nine Brisbane residents to imagine a conversation they would like to have with a chosen figure from Italian history.
An amazing mix of Italian historical figures were selected for conversations for this QPAC International Series collaboration, presented in association with the 2018 visit of Milan’s La Scala Ballet to Brisbane.
Individually each of these figures led extraordinary lives. We brought them together for the first time, woven with the lives and imaginations of nine Brisbane residents to create a sweeping overview of the richness and impact of Italian culture across centuries.
These images were presented in the QPAC Tunnel in October and November 2018, alongside artworks by Sam Cranstoun and written conversations by Mary-Rose MacColl.
Moments of Grace | 2014
Deep darkness interspersed with light and the 'Caravaggesque' tradition of chiaroscuro, plays a key influence in my photographic art practice, as I explore my own response to the profundity of emotions wrought by deep spiritual connection.
I understand grace as the unmerited peace of God given to the restless, often best understood in the midst of suffering and brokenness, when the struggle overpowers and need is greatest. This series was inspired by times of deep personal challenge and the sensation of being in the arms of God... cradled in freefall ...
Italian Portrait | 2014
An exploration of stories from members of Brisbane’s Italian community, from families who settled in Australia during the 20th cenutry. The images explore the impact their heritage and the immigrant experience of their extended family has had on their personal and vocational lives. In association with Italian Week 2014, the images and full stories can also be found at www.italianweek.com.au.
Rural Bangladesh | 2017
Travelling in Northern Bangladesh these images were collected as we moved through the community on foot, through the car window and from a boat as we travelled along the Jamuna River.
Beyond the Ruins | Krakow, Poland 2013
Krakow was home to 68,482 Polish Jews in 1939. In 2014 the exact numbers are not known. Those that survived the liquidation of Podgórze emerged for a time, but mass migration of the remaining Jews due to Soviet expulsion in the years that followed World War II, saw the community slip to near invisibility.
With the end of Communist rule in 1989, those with Jewish roots began to slowly emerge from the shadows, laying tentative claim to their history and heritage in an environment only gradually warming to the reminder of their presence.
Twenty-five years after the fall of Communism, behind the recently restored Tempel Synagogue in Kazimierz, another type of restoration is occurring. The Jewish Community Centre (JCC) in Miodowa Street Krakow opened in 2008. Beyond the synagogue, it is a place where a new community of 300 Jews and non-Jews meet and socialise together regularly, the young gleaning from the old, a new future emerging from an ancient past still passing breath beyond the ruins.
These images were taken at the JCC in Krakow following travel throughout the Czech Republic and Poland, researching through visits to museums and other sites of remembrance, recent news articles, and finally arriving at the Jewish Community Centre of Krakow. What struck me during my research was the lack of tangible material to include in museums because, along with lives, so many belongings had been pilaged and destroyed. Young Jews exploring their heritage in 2014 have new opportunities at the JCC to find ways of exploring and understanding their Jewish history, connecting with community elders beyond the rituals of the synagogue. I sought in these images to represent the gradual re-emergence of Jewish culture in Poland as individuals seek to re-connect with lost generations and traditions to create a new and positive future.
Chanukah, Kazimierz, Krakow | 2013
In 2013, while researching the re-emergence of the Polish Jewish Community I discovered the Jewish Community Centre in Kazimierz in the centre of Krakow. I joined them for the the final candle being lit for Chanukah (Hanukkah) which was done by holocaust survivor Sophie while everyone stood around her singing. Afterwards the younger members of the centre hosted a lively trivia competition. For many here, discovering - or at least acknowledging - their Jewish heritage is a new thing. The young and the old gather together, beyond the synagogue to learn what it means to be Jewish. My final project which was exhibited as part of a group exhibition during the 2014 Queensland Festival of Photography, can be found here Beyond the Ruins.
Intermission at the Ballet - Prague 2013
Hanging out with young Indie Band ‘The Rarest’ at dawn in 2016 as they explored the idea producing their own EP. Based in Wynnum, Brisbane, Australia the four members have since gone on to pursue seperate musical interests.
The series ‘Internet Traffic’ aims to explore the link between a contemporary culture increasingly accepting of the common person’s ability and moral decision to access online pornography, and the connection that pornography has to the rapid increase in global trafficking of women, men, and children, for sexual exploitation.
Dolls shot using the light of a smart phone creates an unsettling aide memoire of innocence lost, while the use of broken screens from a variety of internet capable devices reminds us of the ephemeral nature of the capricious devices that propagate the existence of images that may never be erased, never forgotten. In so doing, the longevity of both device versus image is questioned and the impact on the lives impacted by the inerasable imprint.
7 Deadly Sins - Vanitas - #whoareallthesepeople
Online visual imagery has given rise to a number of phenomena, not the least of which is the proliferation of the #selfie - self-portraits most often taken with a smart phone and posted prolifically across social media sites.
With a global society increasingly focused on developing a personal brand via social media forums, Jennifer Allen (in Heffernen, 2013) states that ‘narcissism appears as a necessity in our society of the spectacle’.
“Your Instagram feed – revealing, intimate, immediate – shows everyone what you think you are, and everything that you're not,” Eva Wiseman from The Guardian recently wrote.
Olympia Nelson in an article for Fairfax newspapers questioned the desire for attention, “This isn't just an interest in vanity but vainglory, being high up on a scale of 'likes''.
For this work, unguarded images have been taken directly from open sources from around the world wide web, freely available via a simple Google search, raising the question of privacy, and social needs in the expression of contemporary identity and character.
Derrik Price (in Wells, 1996) refers to the contemporary subject’s sense of the world being mediated by complex technologies “that are themselves a major constitute of our reality.”
Placed behind broken, dismantled smart phone screens, the ephemeral nature of the visual representation’s of self are set against the capricious devices that propagate their existence. In so doing, the longevity of both device verses image is questioned.
This work was inspired by initial research on how the traditional seven deadly sins may be reflected in contemporary culture, and is the beginning of a proposed series exploring vices connected to developments in online media.