Harry Nankin’s workshops

Of-Great-Western-Tears-2-diptych-2006                         Harry Nankin, The Rain/Quadrat 1, 2005

The esteemed Melbourne photo media artist Harry Nankin will be running photography workshops  from his studio and darkroom in Montmorency next year. They will cover introductory analogue (traditional) photography through to advanced sessions on the philosophy of environmental art. They will range from one to four day sessions.

 Harry has long experience as a photographer and environmental artist. He started in the 1980s as a realist photographer of the natural environment, inspired in part by Peter Dombrovskis who’s wilderness photography played such a part in saving Tasmania’s Franklin River. Harry’s pristine large format photography can be seen here on his website.
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Harry once told me that he moved on to his giant immersive photograms of forests and waves because he wanted to have pictures made by nature not of nature. These ambitious projects require planning and special funding plus  teams of assistants but they result in artworks of great beauty and strangeness. They have have been exhibited extensively both here and overseas.
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The workshops, which are explained here, will run from April to May 2016 on the following topics:
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The Camera and the Darkroom, introducing traditional gelatin silver camera and darkroom craft.
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The Plasticity of Silver, on the traditional art of development controls, toning, reduction and intensification of silver materials.
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The Remarkable View Camera, on large format ‘view camera’ craft.
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Art and Ecology, on thinking and making environmental art.
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Harry-teaching-Kinglake-1991small-700x964
Harry teaching at Kinglake

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Stormy Weather at the NGV

Harry Nankin, Great Western Tears, from the Rain series

The term “landscape photography” will often have the effect of glazing over my students’ eyes. It seems so middle-aged, so remote from our urban/suburban lives. The exhibition Stormy Weather at the NGV shows that the contemplation of nature through photography does not have to be just horizontal photos with horizons.

The exhibition presents Australian work that shows a complex and layered understanding of the Australian land, much of it with “an undercurrent of disruption and contradiction that suggests all is not as it may first appear.” (-NGV). For many artists, nature is the most compelling and pressing subject of the present time, a reasonable idea at a time of flooding in Queensland, bushfires in the West, and a historic drought changing places with unprecedented rains. 

The range of physical means employed by the artists is a feature of the show. For example Harry Nankin‘s photograms (see above), are made at night with large sheets of photographic paper out in the bush. They are not photographs made of nature, they are made by nature.

At the NGV until 20 March