“The Portal” Concept

 

Had some fun with this image from Thomas & Carolines wedding! Shot this around 7pm after getting the newly married couple out of their reception! Their both avid fantasy gamers and chose a bit of a theme for the wedding. Had a blast shooting this and loads of fun playing around in photoshop afterwards. Bottom image is the before (obviously!)

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Landscape Series number 1 & 2 – Ballandean or Giza in a bushfire ?

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These were shot exactly one week apart, a major bushfire engulfed the national park bordering this scene in shot 2 and transforms the landscape. I’d been watching and waiting for this fire to approach my house and couldn’t sit around anymore. I had to get out and see what was happening around the area. I wasn’t really thinking straight and could only see the landscape that I’d shot the week previously for an destination to shoot. As I’m driving all I can see in the rear vision is the cloud of smoke getting closer to my place, I didnt stay long to get this shot – maybe thats a good thing?

Abbey Medieval Festival – Caboolture – Brisbane

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In memory of Thomas Spence (1952 – 2013)

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I have had the amazing pleasure of photographing/documenting Toms work over the last few years.   Tom was inspiring in many ways and I was very saddened to hear of his passing on the weekend.  Anyone who has met Tom will remember him as an amazing person with a zest for life that was truly infectious.  Not only have we  lost a great artist, we have lost a friend and inspiration.  May you paint blue wings on white angels!

Tom Spence: God, Grace, and Graphite

Written by Chris Desgrand

It’s not unusual to encounter people standing motionless before one of Thomas Spence’s works with tears in their eyes and a smile on their lips. Tom’s ability to explore the polarities and paradoxes of life has made him one of Australia’s premier artists and his recent retrospective exhibition “35 years of expressing the inexpressible” (‡) was well named.

The writings of the monk Thomas Merton (1915-1968) have influenced the artist’s life and Tom believes that drawing is a meditation, an act of worship, and that the numinous can be found in moments of grace. ‘Christmas Day 1914 (God’s Truce)’ was inspired by the story of the truce in the trenches of the Western Front.  Painted in 1997 it was awarded the Blake Prize for religious art the same year.  Many of his drawings speak powerfully of hope flowering in fields of despair, courage amidst chaos, the triumph of love over fear; and prayer is undoubtedly an overarching theme. It is not the bold demand of the zealot, however, but the hesitant appeal of the doubter and resonates with the mystic in all of us.

Tom would never use these words; he uses very few words and prefers to let his works speak.  Reserved, even shy, he sees himself as one on the outside looking in – a perspective shaped in part by the isolation of his early years on the land in central western Queensland.  Although now living in Stanthorpe, Tom grew up on the sheep stations ‘Branga Downs’ and ‘Culloden’ in the Muttaburra area and sees himself as a typical bushie with a deep love of the land.  Even here, though, he holds in tension his settler heritage and the dreaming of the Aboriginal tribes his forebears displaced.  Tom’s father found skulls on ’Culloden’ – evidence, perhaps, of a massacre but sure proof of the bitterness of the conflict – and Tom sensed the presence of wandering spirits.  His pastoral experiences became the inspiration for such works as ‘A prayer over the lamb’ (1995) and ‘A prayer for rain’ (2005).  Butchering a sheep each week to supply the station’s meat was one of Tom’s jobs and anyone who has spent time in the Australian bush knows the unease and desperation of a drought.

Cities, too, have become the subject of some compelling works. ‘The roofs of Oxford Street, Taylor Square’ (1993) was awarded the Dobell Prize for drawing by James Fairfax in 1994.  Drawn from the rooftop of a block of flats in Flinders Street, Sydney, it is an amazing perspective on the street below and, with others such as ‘Until the end of the world’ (1991), allows us to see the world and the lives of others from Tom’s idiosyncratic aerie and join him as ‘the outsider peering in’.

Stand before Tom’s artwork but be prepared; as Thomas Merton said, “Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. “

‘Claire + Gary’ – pre wedding shoot – Red Bridge – Stanthorpe

I’ve been using my own lightroom presets for the last few years and fancied something a bit different so invested in a dedicated replica film plugin for lightroom, ironic as I never thourght I’d be using “Portra” or TMAX again, the days of fumbling around with 120 film while saying “I’ll be right with you” I assumed were long gone!  Love the feel & subtlety to these shots and chuffed to bits with the results as this is the first shoot I’ve tried these on. Thank you Claire & Gary for being part of my experiment the weather suited this style perfectly and you were really relaxed to work with. Looking forward to the wedding in March!

My work is grainy again…YAH!

 

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