the art market

In this post, the Canberra based  art historian  Sasha Grishin outlines the changes  in the art world. Restricting himself to the primary art market Grishin  says that  this market  was a traditional part of the traditional infrastructure for selling art, but now it is  failing to do this. 

Grishin  says that: 

"The traditional structure for selling art in Australia is through a commercial art gallery that picks up fresh talent, and then through the auspices of a newspaper art critic who promotes it to an art buying audience...[However]... In the 21st century, this 19th-century system of marketing and promoting contemporary art is seriously breaking down and the number of commercial art galleries in Australia has roughly halved over the past couple of decades."

He adds that patron visitation rates are poor and, outside exhibition openings many galleries report minimal visitors a day. People complain that they are time-poor and are more likely to visit a gallery online, than participate in the dying ritual of the weekly art gallery crawl. Online sales have not been seriously explored. 

5x7 on location in Melbourne

This  photo is of my  old Cambo 5x7, and it was taken by Stuart Murdoch.   We were on location in North Melbourne in the late afternoon in May 2018.  I had briefly wandered over to the other side of the railway bridge  to scope the old  bridge and the city  with my digital camera from a different angle.  

We were in the process of making photos for the forthcoming  exhibition  at the Atkins Photo Lab for the 2018  SALA  festival and  I was using up the last  of my 5x7 sheets of Kodak Portra 160 ASA, which  I had purchased from B+H  several years ago.  

I  had started to  use the Cambo 5x7 monorail with colour sheet film again as I had finally stumbled on a way to buy 5x7  Kodak Portra film.    I'd  had discovered that  5x7 Kodak Portra 160 ASA is no long being sold as a consumer product,  even in stores such as B+H in New York, which is where I usually buy my film.   

As a result I  was facing an unplayable option: either  switching  to black and white film (I was already using black and white for 5x4 and 8x10),   or giving up 5x7 altogether.  Neither option appealed to me. So I  had stopped using the 5x7 monorail.  

Then I discovered that Kodak's 5x7 Portra sheet films are  available through  a special  order.  Canham Cameras offered such a service. So I ordered a box of 50 sheets and it will arrive towards the end of July. 

 Now to address the problem of scanning th5x7 colour sheet film,.. The only realistic option to avoid Newton Rings,  washed out coloured green hues,  is to have some 5x7 film holders custom made for the Epson V700 scanner. 

Southern Cross

I'm on the road to Melbourne this week. I  am staying  here for a couple of days  to work on editing the images  of the Bowden Archives book with Stuart Murdoch.  He has kindly volunteered  to help me. I am  just too close to the work.

I was able to do a bit of photography  yesterday around the Southern Cross Station

 I was waiting to meet some friends in Richmond  and I had a hour or so to take some photos around Docklands.




Richmond, Melbourne

When I was in Melbourne recently, I continued my  photographic exploration of  the Southern Cross Railway Station and the inner suburb of Richmond.  I hung around  in the former and I continued with my walking the latter. 

I had  briefly visited Victoria Street, Richmond,   with Stuart Murdoch after  our  Kodak shoot for a quick meal at the no frills Thy Thy restaurant. Whilst walking to the restaurant  I noticed that the Victoria Street  part of Richmond had radically changed from the one that I knew when when I lived in Melbourne in the late 1970s. I was working as a conductor on the trams and studying at Photographic Studies College. 

There were no Vietnamese restaurants anywhere in Victoria Street, Richmond.  The notable ethnicities  were Turks and Greeks.  Then Richmond was  identified as Struggletown. It was a working class suburb with cottages, pubs and factories. Richmond, by all accounts,   had started to become a little Saigon in the 1980s.

 Richmond  today is in the process of gentrification,  as a result of the exodus of manufacturing to the outer suburbs thereby making the inner city a much more pleasant place to live. Victoria  St is still  a gritty street,  and it has a vibrancy that Adelaide lacks,  and  what inner city Adelaideans long for and Sydneysiders now miss.   The Gouger Street precinct near the Adelaide Central Market doesn't really cut it. 

I  only had time for a couple of quick, hand held  snaps at dusk with the digital camera before the evening meal.  When walking back to the car after the meal I decided to return to Richmond  the next day  and  walk  Victoria St. I wanted to see if it was a food strip or more akin to an urban village. 

trip to Melbourne

We  leave Adelaide for Melbourne tomorrow morning.  We are staying  at Safety Beach  on the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne with my sister Karen.  Jyl, my other sister,  will  be driving down  from Canberra. It's a family reunion of sorts---my birthday.   Ari, our 14 year standard poodle, will travel with us. We will be away from Adelaide for around 11 days. 

It's a holiday and a photo trip. Whilst Suzanne stays with friends in Geelong  for  several days  I will be photographing in the city  of Melbourne, picking up from where I left off when I was exploring Richmond in 2015: 
With a bit of luck  I'll may even  be able to do  some  large format photography in a topographical style  with Stuart Murdoch,  after he finishes teaching for the day at the Northern College of the Arts and Technology.   Weather permitting,  of course. 

We return to Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road and then the Coorong National Park. We have  planned to spend a  couple of days in the Ottway's so that I can explore the bush around Wye River  and Separation Creek, where the recent Victorian bush fires occurred. Then we have a couple of days  in the Coorong on the way back to Adelaide so that I can attempt to photograph the landscape.