The Salon 

Online Catalogue

Member's Exhibition

Lucille Martin, Connected Lands, 2020

The Salon

Essay by Virginia Rigney, 2020

As a city intentionally sited by an enforced proximity from existing major Australian capitals, Canberra might be a city as a place where social distancing comes naturally.  But that very distance that enforced isolation, gave rise to the exact opposite within those who actually came. The very absence of established networks of friends and family drew the fledgling community to look within itself to make things happen, and so a plethora of clubs and societies has flourished here from the outset. Amongst them generally, the rigid distinctions of your public service grade or trade profession was largely forgotten.  

PhotoAccess has always been a membership organisation. Founded in 1984 to facilitate access to facilities for developing and printing photographs, it has always much more than a place of drop in practicality.  Collectively members have a shared interest in photographic culture.  They want to challenge and extend their practice, learn new skills, get feedback, present their own work and at the regular busy openings they gather to celebrate the work of others.

The salon hang – instituted in the high-ceilinged drawing rooms and art academies of Europe to be an annual open gathering of the latest works made by their members – was traditionally the place to test response and their social attention rivalled sporting events. An exhibitor at these 19th century Salons would look anxiously to see where their work had been hung. At eye line was a sure sign of favoured status – too high or too low might consign the work to the fate of forgettability.  But for the impartial spectator, the pictures seemed to jostle next to each other in spirited companionship. To witness a crowd gathered around a work – debating its merits – would be a measure of its currency.

But of course, like so much of our current daily life, such gatherings are not possible, and PhotoAccess is adapting and presenting this salon hang from the intimacy of your own digital screen.

This unseen pandemic makes the thoughtful capture of these moments with photography even more prescient. Images are important for the way that they document a new set of social practices that within weeks have become the new normal, a front line that is silently everywhere but one which as Brian Rope observes will one day be open again. Photography is also liberating –as Amanda Pratts’ works shows, when one’s expanded horizon can only be the backyard hills hoist, its also possible to find a considered photographic image. 

But the pandemic is only the most recent of trials that members have experienced. In January the famously luminous wide skies around Canberra eerily began to fill with a haze of dense smoke from nearby fires. Normal behaviours were altered then too, and works by Andrea Byrant and Susie Edwards seek to bring a sense of quiet reflection to this oppressive situation.

 

Out of nowhere – a hailstorm of such ferocity cut a destructive swathe through the city, and photography was there too. Then fires through the National Park to the south at the fringes of the ACT began to spread. They  brought back memories of the 2003 fires and were a reminder of the dangers of this perilous proximity to nature that residents of the bush capital so dearly love that is woven through their suburban streets. But rather than the commonly seen style of dramatic imagery of news media, works by Jamie Hladky and Samantha Hawker, are quieter works reflecting honestly their own anxieties, and seeing the preciousness in small things.

 

Joe Slater comments "Times are dark, and this work reflects that, people are scrambling for things, to see things, to take things. Sometimes we can fall, as do things around us. Being aware of that and taking time to really see things can help you stay standing."

So, the act of picking up a camera, any camera, is reassuringly normal behaviour in these strange days and instantly a way to comprehend what is going on – even if you don’t quite understand it at the time. Bringing a thinking eye to the camera’s lens as a way of mediating and understanding the world is sometimes only revealed in the darkroom or home screen during selection and printing.

As we remain in lock down it is refreshing to be reminded that many members are inveterate travellers and for Helen McFadden, Andree Lawrey, Jennifer Forrest, Kleber Osorio and Eva Van Gorsel, the camera is a companion that help shapes purposeful seeing.

In works by John Brookes, Leeanne Mason and Andrea Byrant we see our own home of Canberra in new ways and are privileged when Jenny Dettrick and Judy Parker Katie Mouser let us into the private intimacy of their own worlds.

 

Virginia Rigney is a Senior Curator at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, and a PhotoAccess Board Member.

Artworks

  1. Jamie Hladky, Braddon ACT, 2019, inkjet print, 40 x 30cm, $125 

  2. Jamie Hladky, Braddon ACT, 2019, inkjet print, 40 x 30cm, $125 

  3. Brian MacAlister, Untitled (1), 2020, Inkjet Print, $200

  4. Brian MacAlister, 16-, 2020, Inkjet Print, $200

  5. Joe Slater, Mountains, Burning, 2020, NFS

  6. Jenny Dettrick, Elegance reflected, 2018, NFS

  7. David Chalker, Moon (Alexandria), 2020, Type C Print, NFS

  8. David Chalker, Sydney Apololypso, 2020, Type C Print, NFS

  9. Jane Bradbear, Looming, 2020, Inkjet print, 21.17 x 31.82cm, NFS

  10. Kleber Osorio, Plant Window, 2018, Type c Print, 29 x 42cm, NFS

  11. Fiona Bowring-Greer, Tokyo not now not again, 2020

  12. Alan Green, After the fires, the storm - Kiandra, 2020, Mixed media on canvas: photographic and handmade charcoal sourced ink with added vodka, 47 x 100cm, NFS

  13. Jennifer Forest, Maker 1911, 2020, NFS

  14. Leanne Harrison, Carmelite Shadows, 2018, Type C Print, 32x23cm, NFS

  15. Maddie Hepner, Who's Here #2, 2019, inkjet print, 40 x 40cm, NFS

  16. Robert Jack, Veil, 2020, Type C Print, NFS

  17. Andrea Bryant, Osage orange, Inkjet print, NFS

  18. Andrea Bryant, Bottle brush, Inkjet print, NFS

  19. Andrew Babington, Dreaming of The Murrumbidgee, I, 2020, inkjet print, 30 x 40cm, 1/50, $135

  20. Andrew Babington, Dreaming of The Murrumbidgee, II, 2020, inkjet print, 30 x 40cm, 1/50, $135

  21. Yvette Perine, Jerra, 2019, Inkjet print, NFS

  22. Judy Parker, Brocaded Lace, 2020, inkjet print, NFS

  23. Jane Bradbear, Apprehension, 2020, 22.23 x 29.42cm, NFS

  24. Samantha Hawker, Eucalyptus, Smoke Haze, 2020, inkjet print, 29.7 x 42.0cm, 1/10, $250

  25. Samantha Hawker, Eucalyptus, Currowan Fire, 2020, inkjet print, 29.7 x 42.0cm, 1/10, $250

  26. Eva Van Gorsel, Exploration, 2019, inkjet print, 25 x 44cm, $250

  27. Susan Henderson, Over the Dunes, 2020, NFS

  28. Jamie Hladky, Mount Ainslie, 2020, Video, NFS

  29. Suzie Edwards, Shadow Boy 1A, 2019, Type C Print, 46.4 x 22.1cm, $120

  30. Susan Henderson, Baldivas, 2020, NFS

  31. Brian Rope, Barriers at the Boundary, 2020, NFS

  32. Leeanne Mason, Morning Light, 2020, $150

  33. Yvette Perine, Kozzie, 2019, Inkjet print, NFS

  34. John Brookes, Sailplane, 2019, Inkjet Print, 29.7 x 21cm, $25

  35. Eva Van Gorsel, Nightfall, 2020, inkjet print, 25 x 44cm, $220

  36. Brian Rope, Dreaming of Better Times, 2020, NFS

  37. Katie Mouser, Wonder 1, 2019, Inkjet Print, 38 x 26cm, 1/1, $220

  38. Amanda Pratt, Candelo Blue Pegs, 2020, NFS

  39. Robert Jack, Echo o, 2020, Type C Print, NFS

  40. Judy Parker, Redibles, 2020, inkjet print, NFS

  41. Katie Mouser, Wonder 2, 2019, Inkjet Print, 20 x 30cm, 1/1, $220

  42. Jenny Dettrick, The Birthday Girl, 2019, NFS

  43. Amanda Pratt, Candelo Kitchenalia, 2020, 2020, NFS

  44. Kleber Osario, Shades of Tate, 2018, Inkjet Print, NFS

  45. Joe Slater, Stairs, Falling, 2020, NFS

  46. John Brookes, Next Stop on the Road to Somewhere Else, 2020, Type C Print, 42 x 29.7cm, $50

  47. Fiona Bowring-Greer, Alpha Girl and Zetas, 2020, NFS

  48. Suzie Edwards, After the Fires, 2020, Type C Print, 42 c 59.4cm, $120

  49. Maddie Hepner, Who's Here #3, 2019, inkjet print, 40 x 40cm

  50. Andrée Lawrey, Hokkaido Winter / Forest, 2019, inkjet print, 29.7 x 42cm, $160

  51. Lucille Martin, Connected Lands from Imagined Territories, iPhoneography, Photo-media, Found image on Alumalux Facemount , 1.40 cm x 55 ( Variable Shapes ) 

  52. Andrée Lawrey, Hokkaido Winter / Treeline, 2019, inkjet print, 29.7 x 42cm, $160

  53. Helen McFadden, Ndutu Lions, 2019, Type C print, NFS

  54. Leeanne Mason, Snowy Mountains Kangaroo, 2020, $150