Exhibition: 30 January - 23 February, 2013
© Trent Parke
This exhibition draws from a wide range of photomedia including traditional photographic practices and some rich examples of contemporary documentary in Sydney. All the participating artists have exhibited at Stills before.
The artists are Narelle Autio, Gilbert Bel-Bachir, Ian Dodd, Anne Noble, Polixeni Papapetrou, Trent Parke, Glenn Sloggett, Danielle Thompson, Garry Trinh and Justine Varga. The mood for the exhibition is ‘transcendent’ epitomized by the vibrant underwater worlds of Narelle Autio and the sublime magic realism of Ian Dodd’s black and white fairytale landscapes. Polixeni Papapetrou continues to employ surreal constructed tableau in the Australian landscape with whimsical and engaging animal characters. Danielle Thompson presents delicate lacy landscapes of leaves infused with the feeling of summer.
Justine Varga creates imagery that is minimal and sublime. In Empty Studios the emptiness of her work space is transformed with the addition of a few bits of string, a scrap of board or a shimmer of light into a somewhat magical and invested place.
Anne Noble’s Antarctic trucks At the End of the Earth are lolly-coloured and hilarious, infused with male fantasy in the form of graphic portrayals of female figures and names such as ‘Hot Lips’. Glenn Sloggett’s artworks embrace the unlovable, looking for a beauty in suburbia that many would see as repellant.
Two fine documentary photographers Garry Trinh and Gilbert Bel-Bachir* provide frontline series drawn from Sydney streets. Trinh has been documenting the artery that is Parramatta Road. His observations are startling in their simplicity, abstraction and humour. Bel-Bachir has constructed the series Looking Through Glass seen through the windows of a moving bus. It combines realism and abstraction equally.
Trent Parke’s Please step quietly everyone can hear you series was a commissioned series by Sydney Opera House to shoot behind the scenes of this Australian icon. Parke captures, with frankness and affection, a side of Sydney Opera House few of us have ever seen, his photographer’s eye drawn to the many details that may, ordinarily, be overlooked. Parke is the first Australian member of Magnum Photo Agency and will have two monographs released soon by Steidl publishers.
* Gilbert Bel-Bachir is represented by King Street Gallery