Friday, July 5, 2013

Rescuing images for the archives

Its really rather mind-blowing how easy it is to document images now if one has access to a digital camera and computer... compared to not all that long ago.

In 1989 I'd settled in Melbourne after 2 years in London and travelling. I'd taken loads of photos whilst overseas and was so disenchanted with the quality of the images on the whole, and the feeling that one could not really collapse precious memories into film that I'd pulled back from bothering with cameras. 

Hence I have some years with very patchy photographic records. I did however take a camera on a 1989 trip to Central Australia and took some surprisingly memorable shots which I seem to remember pinning to my studio wall in the house I lived in in Kew, in north-east Melbourne.

I drew and painted extensively once home from these photographs as well as pinned up work I had completed during the travels.

Below are the drawings I'd put up on the wall and photographed later that same year. Recently I rephotographed the photo of the work on the wall on my iPhoto so I would have a digital version ... and despite it being a very dubious way to get a good image its satisfying enough for me to have this record online of what was a particularly affecting trip.

It was winter ... I'd been back in Australia about a year and felt the need to visit the Centre as I'd not been there before. If I could travel other continents then at least I should see more of the one I'd grown up on I determined.

These are views of Uluru from various viewpoints whilst walking the grounds and of Katajuta where I spent a whole day walking and drawing with black ink and a twig on large sheets of white paper.

These drawings are very fragile now and I hope to get a decent print of one of 4 drawings I did  at Katajuta in black ink. It immediately takes me back to a remarkable time spent there... of being dropped off in the morning by bus and then waiting for the last bus in the afternoon to get back to camp. Time just seemed to drop out that day... as if I went into some other dimension.

These images of those drawings leave much to be desired... but the feeling is there when I recall walking alone around these ancient rocks and pausing to draw and ponder.

I am thinking that I possibly visited areas that are now off limits to outsiders. I never walked up Uluru and chose instead to wander around the circumference ...but I did hear some years later that places I passed had become closed off in recognition of their being important sacred sites.

Thankfully I did get images form time to time in the Melbourne years so there is a record of some of the work from the period when I was tentatively finding my way into an art practice.

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Blogging for me is an extension of keeping a journal which I have done in various forms over the decades. The difference being this is not a closed book! I like that it offers an opportunity to explore that which concerns me as an artist and as an individual about living and participating in this vastly complex, unquestionably exciting yet unnerving time in human history. Through the blog I hope to increase the possibilties for cross-pollination which I believe can strengthen the sense of being part of something both personal and universal that is vital, expansive and refreshing.