Photo of the Week 88

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Greg Neville, TV hairstyles, 2015

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Greg Wayn at Amcor

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Greg Wayn, Amcor Factory – Last Phase (August) 2015

The demolition of the Amcor paper factory in Alphington is looking like a war zone. The destruction of this site is making way for a housing development but in the meantime it’s making some great subject matter for photographers.

Greg Wayn has been photographing there periodically and his panoramas capture the epic scale of this site. You can see more work posted on his Photoworks blog.

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Greg Wayn, Amcor Factory – July Panorama, 2015

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Greg Wayn, Amcor Factory – Last Phase (August) 2015

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Duane Michals at 83

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Duane Michals, Nora Barnacle, 2011

Some people just never give up. At age 83, the esteemed photographer Duane Michals has recently produced a new portfolio.

“Using 19th-century collodion prints on brown or black lacquered iron as his surface, Michals enriches the original images with oil paint, altering but not entirely obscuring the sitters’ features. Each 19th-century image is playfully rejuvenated by the addition of vibrant color and the artist’s witty allusions to visionaries such as Picasso and Picabia.”

You can see the complete folio on the DC Moore gallery website.

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Duane Michals, James Joyce, 2012

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Duane Michals, Molly Bloom, 2012

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Michals at work in his tiny workspace.

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Cazneaux and BHP

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Harold Cazneaux, Untitled (Structure B.H.P.) 1934

This handsome picture was made by the great Australian photographer Harold Cazneaux. It’s a finely balanced play of abstract shapes and it came out of a plum job.

In the early 1930s, Cazneaux was given the best commission one could imagine: shoot all of BHP’s industrial and mining installations throughout Australia in your own way. He was given a year or more to do it and the results were to be published in prestige jubilee publication in 1934. The resulting book, which I once bought for just one dollar, was full of his images in beautiful duotone printing on textured paper.

By the 1930s, Cazneaux was our most eminent photographer. He had won international attention for his Pictorialist photographs, was the first to hold a solo exhibition of photographs, had established an art photography movement, and was well known as a society portraitist and landscape artist. The BHP assignment rounded out his CV with industrial photographs of great beauty.

One of the marks of this work is the way it applies Pictorialist aesthetics to a subject normally associated with the hard modern look of the Bauhaus style. Where Cazneaux emphasized smoke and haze as a way of screening the harsh realities of industry, the German photographers emphasized the brutal steel and concrete as forming a new machine art. To illustrate this, just compare these relatively soft images with the later industrial work of Wolfgang Sievers who was trained in a Bauhaus-style photography school in Berlin.

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Blast Furnace, Newcastle, 1934

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Rolling Steel Plates, Newcastle, 1934

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Steam and Sunshine, 1934

 

After Words is coming

Greg Neville After Words DL copy

This is the invitation card for my new exhibition, opening next Wednesday, August 12. After Words is a group exhibition, the fourth annual show with five of my former students. Each year during meetings we pitch titles to the group until we all agree, then that becomes the theme for the next show.

After Words is a good title as it’s broad enough and narrow enough to allow for individual interpretation. My work is a series of close ups of a decayed prayer book found decades ago in a tip. The words in the text are broken up making a sort of landscape of paper and word fragments.

I’ve used a 10×8 camera, the largest film format, and made scans of the details within the negatives. Greg Wayn has given me technical assistance, notably in capturing the colour toning used by photographer Olivia Parker in her Signs of Life project.

After Words is opening at Tacit Contemporary Art on August 12 at 6.30pm, 312 Johnston St, Abbotsford.

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