Into the 'Un/known' – 63 works by 20 photographers – Canberra CityNews

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“Kintsukuroi” by Beata Tworek.

Photography / “Un/known: Concept to Exhibition 2022” at Huw Davies Gallery until  October 8. Reviewed by CON BOEKEL.

THIS exhibition features more than 100 images/items resolved into 63 works by 20 photographers all mentored by well-known Canberra photographer Marzena Wasiklowska.

Beata Tworek presents an emotionally raw triptych of prints of her feet. Technically, Tworek’s images are straight forward except that the view point shows the feet as if they were photographed by someone other than Tworek. This gives the feet a detached, documentary “objectivity”. The feet are distorted in shape and scarred by operations. Tworek is finding increasing difficulty with walking.

There is neither pathos nor self-pity. The feet are what they are. Tworek has incorporated the consequences of disability into her life. She challenges us to do the same. Tworek’s gift to the viewer is a resolved pictorial truth about the personal and social dimensions of physical disability. This is expressed as the healing threads that blend with the scars in “Kintsukuroi”.

Adam Luckhurst presents six images of closed service stations. The repetitive power of the imagery here generates a cumulative sense of a fleet of marooned hulks.

“Tidal” 2022 by Lucy Found, detail.

Lucy Found’s “Tidal, 2022” images float Polaroid emulsions off the backing and rebase them on to a new surface. The obvious question is, “Why?” The answer may be that the resulting “imperfections” remind us that all photography is based on interventions. The quest for “perfection” may conceal the interventions. Which truth, then, do photographs document?

The focus of Found’s 36 images are the tides at Larrakia, Darwin. There are variations on several themes. These include the state of the tide and the sorts of colours you see and feel in Darwin on a tropical afternoon when the warm moist air softens the sun. Most of all, the images generate the sort of truth the viewer feels when the artist provides a hands-on set of tweaked, torn, bent and flattened sets of images. Floating emulsions cohere well with flowing tides.

“Capital Metamorphis Snapshots”, a collage of images of Canberra by Kristiane Herman, stirred the pictorial puzzle solver in me. There was an “Aha!” moment when I realised I was looking at the footings for a bridge over Sullivan’s Creek – the very same bridge I had used to drive to the exhibition. There is a distinct feel of “Is-Was” in both technical aspects of the pre-digital photography and of Canberra’s ever-ravenous built environment; Black Mountain with or without Black Mountain Tower?

Sarah Vandermark’s photo of a child bathing in “Vanuatu Bathing” is sensitive, beautiful and strong.

It is pleasing to see the continuing evolution of several artists including in Eunie Kim’s layered works, and in Annette Fisher’s bold creative leap to tree balls consisting of scrunched up prints.

There is acute creativity using advanced post processing in, for example, Louise Maurer’s “Premonition” and ‘Dream”. These blend visual strength with a strong narrative. There is wit. The Brahminy Kite reminds us that there is no inland sea for this marine raptor. On the other hand, the wedge-tailed eagle and Sturt’s Desert Pea are right at home.

The photographers are: Susan Bell, Emily Blenkin, Fiona Bowring, Andrea Bryant, Saini Copp, Sophia Coombs, Annette Fisher, Lucy Found, Saskia Haalebos, Kristiane Herman, Lia Kemmis, Eunie Kim, Kathryn Leo, Adam Luckhurst, Louise Maurer, Harry Merriman, Kleber Osorio, Margaret Stapper, Beata Tworek and Sarah Vandermark. 

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Ian Meikle, editor

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