Inside this issue
The Fall 2017-2018
Exhibition at The Fox Gallery, Kensington, Austrailia
David is a Melbourne-based photographer. His work has been featured by major domestic & international brands, and featured in prestigious publications and awards such as the Australian National Photographic Portrait Prize. Rosendale was the 2017 recipient of Falls Creek Artist in Residency Grant, and works created during The Fall were semi finalist in the Moran Contemporary Photography Prize.
In August 2015 with a lull in commercial work, and a growing sensibility of photography becoming a medium in rush: we had seen the onset of Instagram, and especially in a commercial sense, experienced the term “content” be attributed to photography, instead of craft, I set myself the challenge of beginning a new project, something that would take time, something that would slow the pace down, and something that would allow me to be patient & observe. In 2016 I travelled to the snow covered alpine regions of Australia, to document ski infrastructure and the landscape, which would eventually be exhibited in November of that year as “The Fall”, to great success and an invigorated passion & outlook for the craft.
I was eager to continue this momentum, to throw myself into this project, however in a Southern hemisphere context, would need to wait until the following year to continue in winter.
What happens before the snow arrives? What does this landscape look like when it melts? What is the overriding narrative in this complete cycle? In one of the inexplicable timings in life, I had become aware of an inaugural residency at Falls Creek being offered, to assist artists with conceptual development and those working in an Alpine context. After presenting the idea of returning monthly to Falls Creek for 1 year to document the region, I was extremely honoured to be an inaugural recipient of the grant. The overall ethos for The Fall was for an enduring body of work and commentary on the world inhabited, to utilise the photographic medium’s ability to tell a story. There would be no greater story than to document and immerse myself in a location for a year. The 2018 exhibition marks a 1 year timeline, beginning from the first period of residency at Falls Creek in March 2017 through to March 2018.
Falls Creek is undoubtedly a stunning part of Australia. From the project’s very inception, I knew imagery would be simply stunning, graphic and minimal, and in the 2016 expression in Snow covered winter conditions indeed it was. Evolving to the year study, I endeavoured to let go of any premeditated imagery in my mind, and simply immerse myself in the location, to let the location tell me the story. All I had to be was present as often as I could, have a willingness to observe, be prepared and open to whatever the conditions may throw at me.
Minimum monthly trips were undertaken to Falls Creek, and on occasion up to 3 times per month, to document the experience, from subtle changes in climate & quality of light to the more tumultuous, the inhospitable and stark transformations. I got out of my comfort zone, hiked, Skied, camped amongst the snow – all pursuits I had previously little or no experience, but like the changing of the seasons, adapted to the environment evolving around me. My work evolved with it.
Through each session at Falls Creek, the imposing mountains could almost appear to be breathing, sensitive, exhibiting a pulse, and a temper. Where most of the human condition is chaotic & without reason, there is a certainty & purpose in the changing of the seasons. A metronomic rhythm to which all processes of life keep time.
My process has always been very meticulous, technique driven and faithful to the subject, to avoid making imagery over manufactured. Though your process can change quite a lot over a year. In Feb 2018, with the project nearly complete & most of my work already captured, I happened to stumble across some of Arthur Streeton’s works on a visit to the NGA. The tonality, colour palette & richness of the landscape, just gave me the final piece of the puzzle, of how to edit, how to curate the final collection from the extensive body of work, and how to faithfully convey the experience of the moment the photographs were captured.
Work on The Fall has continued to present day, beyond the year I had set myself. Each trip I gather new ideas, new ways of seeing and no two days let alone hours are the same – an overriding mantra in this entire project. The snow does not last, neither does the seasons, or the light.
The exhibition is on display at The Fox Gallery, Kensington, Austrailia and runs from 11 August – 2 September 2018.