The Bowness Prize 2016

bowness-2016-1     Greg Neville, Bowness Prize 2016

The Bowness Prize exhibition is the “grownups class” for photographers. It’s a place you go to see the highest level  of technical and pictorial accomplishment in illustrative photography.

Established in 2006 the Bowness has quickly become Australia’s most coveted photography prize. It’s based at the Monash Gallery of Art at Wheelers Hill in Melbourne, a distinguished venue for photography for three decades. Go there for the pictures, the bookshop, the café, the park and for the purpose-designed architecture by the great Harry Seidler.

The judging panel for 2016 included famed Australian film director Fred Schepisi AO, esteemed architectural photographer John Gollings AM and Monash Gallery of Art Director Kallie Blauhorn. You could trust that team.

Here are some favourites from the 2016 Bowness, with excerpts from the artists statements. Click on the images for a better view.

mike-gray    Mike Gray, Backyard Bag Study, 2016

“In between the camera and the backyard is a single element lens that projects the scene into a plastic bag that acts like the focussing screen of a large format camera. Essentially the materials act as a model for the human eye with the retina replaced by a disposable consumer item.”

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 darren-tanDarren Tan, Friday, 2016

“Through the composition of images I captured while documenting the morning routine of the average white-collar worker, Creatures of Habit explores the banality and pedestrianism inherent to the nine-to-five.”

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brett-canet-gibson     Brett Canet-Gibson, The Drowning Noun #3, 2015

“The drowning noun is a series of still-life images constructed from found objects.

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michael-williams-mothershipMichael Williams, Mothership, 2016

“My photographs are formal studies of urban and suburban environments. I am drawn to locations rich with combinations of unsettling colour motifs and disjointed spatial elements.”

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Greg Wayn at Flinders Island

Greg-Wayn-Flinders-Island-1                 Greg Wayn, Flinders Island, 2016

Greg Wayn’s recent trip to Flinders Island resulted in some fine black & white photographs. They are very much in the style of his earlier analogue photography, well known for its composition and tonal beauty.

Greg has posted a series of his new photographs which were made on digital cameras in colour and then converted into black & white …

I have been thinking lately of the shifts in thought processes and associated disciplines from my B&W film days to my current digital image processes. Somehow my brain was able to ‘see’ in B&W tonality when I was using my medium and large format cameras. Film was expensive and processing very time and energy intensive; the days of film were quite exhausting and demanding.

I still find it interesting to re-process my colour digital images into B&W versions as it brings back all that hard won knowledge and for this series I have even used the 4×5 (and 8×10) crop proportions that I used when using my large format 4×5 and 8×10 cameras. This is a significant discipline in its own right and you just had to accept the process and limitations and work with them.. Getting back into these thought process is still important for me and the careful framing of this proportion is quite a different experience compared to the typical 4:3 or 3:2 proportions of the digital sensor. As for square format, that is another thing entirely …

Greg’s photographs can be seen on his Photoworks blog

greg-wayn-flinders-island-3                 Greg Wayn, Flinders Island, 2016