A Small World exhibition

Avril Thomas is hosting  A Small World--A postcard exhibition  at  the Magpie Springs  gallery. It is the exhibition  after  the Weltraum  exhibition  in the 2016 Shimmer Photographic Biennale finishes.  The postcards consist of works on paper, they  are 6x4 inches and its international  in scope. 

The 100 or so works will be auctioned through an online auction site  with the proceeds going to help raise money for a cancer charity.

This is one of the pictures  that I am thinking of  entering into the exhibition:

The picture of clouds on the cliffs near  Kings Beach on the Fleurieu Peninsula,  is made with a rangefinder  35mm Leica  film camera,  so the aspect ratio of the negative is 3:2, which  if  uncropped,   will enlarge to print 4x6 inches. 

scoping for 5x4 black and white

On the last couple of coastal poodle walks I've started scoping subject matter  for the 5x4 Sinar F2 and black and white film.  I haven't been using this monorail much since I decided to use it for black and white photography.  

I took the Sinar  with me on the  recent photo trip  to the Mallee Highway,  and  I did find some suitable subject matter. However,  the weather was too bright and sunny on the last day for the planned  photoshoot at Torrita. 

This is one possibility along the coast that I  did come across:  

This location is fairly easy to access with a monorail--it's a short walk along the coastal path to the rocks.  I just need an overcast day for the photoshoot with no rain.   

bleak times for arts and culture

These are depressing days for the  arts and cultural sector in Australia, despite the commitment to greater access, participation   and diversity in the political party's  manifestos.  

The current federal  Coalition government's  strategy  is to officially reduce the deficit and this is being pursued primarily through reductions in public expenditure.  It is strangling Australia's  creative industries with  'austerity'  style spending cuts, without having any clear funding strategy for the sector's  long term future. There is a marked failure  to think long term and a failure to invest in our public spaces and cultural education. Instead there is a  hostile political environment that expresses a deep contempt for the knowledge industries (including the sciences). 

The Australia Council, our principal  arts funding body,  has just defunded about 65 art organisations across the nation.  The reason is that it was  not given enough money in the Coalition's Federal Budget 2016  for the Australia Council to properly achieve its mission of enabling a culturally ambitious nation and a richer and more meaningful life for Australians.  The decline in the number of organisations funded is a result of the  loss of $300 million in public investment in  the arts sector  since 2013.  

So the National Association for the Visual Arts, the Centre for Contemporary Photography (Melbourne), the Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney), the Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (CACSA) and the Australian Experimental Art Foundation (AEAF), which is based  in Adelaide, have all been defunded. Now there was a restructuring designed to bring new blood into the funding system --eg., 17 organisations working in Indigenous arts have emerged with new, long-term support---and this meant that  the status quo  was  rejected apart from protecting the small coterie of large performing arts companies. 

However, the Coalition cuts funding to  thriving small to medium  arts organisations and  to individual artists-and projects  (a reduction in funding to both in the order of 70%)  to create a space for new art organisations.  That is a savage decline in  the funding  to  individual writers and visual artists  who mostly work alone   by the Coalition  is a hacking into the  grassroots provision (seed-beds of start-ups necessary for the generation of “innovation” ),  which leads to the discovery and nurturing of talent and expressive ability.   This hacking into those who make the art and write the books is more than  the belt-tightening or "efficiency dividends"  of austerity politics. 

An indication of this 'more than'  is that though the economic impact of the creative industries (around   $50 billion per annum for an investment $7 billion), there   is the deep reluctance by the political elite (Labor and Liberal)  to  provide more reasonable  support arts and culture. There Coaltiion's  slashing the funding to the small to medium sector and individual artists runs counter to its  political rhetoric  about an  innovative, clever nation, an 'ideas boom', or their vision of Australia's ‘future built on innovation’, ‘agility’, and ‘excitement’. 

The implication is that our political elite do not accept that the arts and culture are the great engines of creative thinking, nor can they help to transition and invigorate our economy after the collapse of the mining boom. 

bark study, Waitpinga

I haven't been doing much large format photography lately. The weather hasn't really  been suitable  for the large format photography  photoshoots that I had planned. 

However, I did scope  this trunk study on the Heysen Trail  though:

The tree  was where I'd parked the car to walk along  the Heysen Trail of the evening poodle walk.  I noticed it in the subdued light as I was driving away at the end of  the poodle walk and took a couple of snaps.  

trunk abstract

The digital suite  of Encounter Studio is now up and running and I'm starting to pick up the photography from where I left off before spending the  week at American River in Kangaroo Island.

Although I had this area in mind I've started simple:--abstracts of the river gums in the reserve cross from the studio. We have an 8 week old  silver standard poodle pup that requires constant attention when he is not asleep.

 

cloud studies

An electrical storm swept through Victor Harbor on Monday night and the studio lost all internet and mobile connection. I suspect the electrical storm took out the modern. 

I was lost without the connection---after several days it still hadn't been restored. So I spent my time scanning  negatives from the archive.  

I managed to take some cloud photos  before the rain, thunderstorm  happened. The lightening was happening along the cliffs in the distance.  

There were  lots of people standing on the cliffs looking at the atmospherics,  taking photos of the approaching storm, and watching the pod of  dophins hunt for fish along the coastline.