Gallery Two

Isolation, May 2020

Melbourne tram museum 2016

In Camera: Photographs made while in ‘lockdown’. Making the most of a difficult time. Photograph above: Victoria Bilogan, Darebin Creek, Alphington.


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Image above by Murray White: "Solar Flight"
We have a Sheoak Reserve behind our house and one foggy morning I spotted this rather elegant redgum taking in the morning light. There was considerable flare shooting into the sun, but the casuarina behind blocked the worst of the glare, allowing the redgum to maintain some contrast. I especially liked the almost human shape of the tree, and its minor branch reaching out to the sun.

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Images above by Wendy Currie
I have decided to make some photograms of potato vines using different processes. The first is a straight cyanotype on watercoloour paper. I moved the vine during printing to register a more 3D effect. The second cyanotype is toned using tannic acid then sodium carbonate. The toning highlights the overlapping created by moving the vine, which I feel gives another depth to the image.

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Image above by Len Currie
I was disappointed to have to cancel a planned art deco dinner party, but then decided to continue as a dinner party for two. Meal was delayed a little as the exposure for my 6x12 pinhole was 4 hours.

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Image above by Ian Raabe
The Conservatory in the Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne is a drawcard for overseas visitors and locals alike. On any day it is packed with people viewing a wonderful display of indoor and seasonal tropical plants. Now it is closed and deserted, only some large palms and ferns can be seen through the glass doors, with scaffolding along the aisles. The now obligatory notice attached to the doors does not need to be read for obvious reasons. A brisk west wind swirls Autumn leaves which pile up against the steps, until another time and another season before these doors open again.

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Image above by Gary Sauer-Thompson
This location is on the Heysen Trail in Waitpinga, on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula. It is situated within a strip of bushland running north between two grazing properties and it is just after the trail leaves the southern coastline and turns north to wind its way towards Myponga and Mt Compass. It is a few minutes drive from our place at Encounter Bay and, as it is a location I often walk in with the poodles, I see the specific trees and bushes in a different lighting and weather conditions. The typical fauna of this bushland is pink gum (Eucalyptus fasciculosa) and grass tree (Xanthorrhoea australis). The photograph was made on 4x5 colour negative film in the early morning light a few minutes after sunrise.

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Image above by Mat Hughes: "Ester’s Orchid", 2019. 17 x 24 cm Van Dyke print
My friend gave me this beautiful Orchid last summer. We have a skylight in our kitchen that gives lovely light. So I made a quick counter top set-up with some old timber, a hardboard background and an old 1960’s mesh flyscreen that I was saving for some portraiture work. I left my digital camera on the tripod for several days, watching the scene unfolding and making an exposure whenever a balance of visual perfection presented itself. It takes me quite a long time to figure out how an image should be printed and presented so I tend to sit on work and wait for some type of epiphany. In this instance the enforced period of social isolation meant working with those chemicals and tools I had within my immediate reach. The epiphany for me was the Van Dyke Brown printing process itself which I found to be one that I could relate to in my own photographic practice. Had it not been for all this isolation stuff, I probably wouldn’t have had the time to arrive at this realization for some time yet…

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Image above by Aileen Santos
My images are of my expectant daughter, who will be having her first child in a couple of weeks, the images I believe are really true to the times we are living in with isolation. There has been no baby shower, loving hugs and belly rubs and no comments of "wow, you look amazing" from strangers, friends and family. So I decided to do a shoot in film and make something for her when I can get back into the darkroom. We make the most of Covid times and wonder what to expect having a child in this new world we are adapting to.

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Image above by Danielle Edwards: "Australian Beauties" – Hakea laurina (Pin-cushion Hakea) and Acacia boormanii (Snowy River Wattle)
Covid-19 has given us a time to reflect on what we value in our lives. As we are confined it gives us time to look around at our immediate environment and appreciate what we may not have seen before and value others even more than we did prior to lockdown. Australian Natives are endless in their unique beauty. The tiny flowers on the Hakea are fascinating and fleeting, as is the wattle, it blooms and is quickly gone. Lumen print created on Kodabrom fibre based black and white photographic paper. 2 hour exposure.

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Image above by Lloyd Shield: "Frank’s Hakea", 4 x 5 black & white negative
Frank migrated to Australia from Italy post World War II. He never went there again. A wiry, religious man, he had worked hard but recently he was tiring of life. We spoke to him each day as we walked between the hakea on his nature strip and him hand feeding the magpie as he sat on his porch. At the end of every conversation he reflected on the day’s predicament with a resiled “what can you do?”. Frank died a month ago. It is hard to pass the hakea without thinking of Frank.

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Image above by Tony Shearer
After having spent a couple of days making lumen prints I was scratching my head trying to come up with ideas for photographic experiments. I decided to set various things aflame in my garage. I tried several items including flowers, vegetables, and books. In hindsight I would have preferred to have been more brave. I could have used greater quantities of accelerant to create a bigger blaze. The flip-side to that of course is that I did not burn down my garage and I was still around to develop the negatives. 6x7 colour negative.

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Image above by Greg Soltys
I'd been working on and off a few months perfecting my carbon transfer print process. Once lockdown commenced I had lots of time to focus on it. I've finally gotten to the point where I can achieve fairly predictable and repeatable results. Here is a 4x5 contact print of a picture taken at Kurth Kiln Regional Park a week before lockdown. I love it and I'm not sure a silver gelatin print would have quite the same ethereal quality.

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Image above by Andrew Bradsworth
I’ve been experimenting with both conventional and wet cyanotypes lately throughout the lockdown period. The Kangaroo Paws we have around the house have been in flower throughout the late spring/summer season and are just starting to wilt now. I quite like the soft flowing individual shapes they produce. This work was left outside for 24 hours, then processed with a normal wash. Printed on 300gsm Arches Aquarelle watercolour paper.

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Image above by Victoria Bilogan
Time has stopped.
Or has it never moved ?
We pass the time,
measure it
by the events lived to the full....
Should I trust my eyes or the clock hand ?
Taking small steps
Towards the ultimate loss-
-loss
Of myself.