These photographs demonstrate one of the things that attracted me to photography-–namely its ability to see, and show, my world.
Aesthetically, I enjoy the camera’s capacity to record relationships and detail, which my subconscious may perceive, but I may not fully see.
My appreciation of aesthetics goes back to when I studied painting with John Olsen at the Bakery Art School, Sydney in 1967–68. Olsen made me aware of the power of the edge of the image to relate to what was not shown in the image. My formal education was further enhanced when I did a degree in fine arts at Sydney University 1969–71. There, Dr Anton Wilhelm taught me how to read an image. My understanding of the limits and potentials of two-dimensional imagery was expounded by Professor Bernard Smith.
Informally, my knowledge of photography and my practice was refined through formative conversations with a wide range of great photographers such as Andre Kertesz, Max Dupain, Ansel Adams and Bill Henson, Julie Millowick and Linda Connor.
Each of these relationships helped me to clarify my photographic position, which is based on a search for the essence of a subject. I think you can see this in my series Edge of the road, panoramas of that ‘no man’s land’ which has a rarely noticed life of its own. I used the panoramic qualities of the Widelux camera, with its 180-degree view, in portrait orientation (the camera is intended to record landscapes horizontally) to exploit its lack of control and to allow ‘chance’ to enter into the process.
The results are serendipitous: the cigarette butts, the spider’s home, the intruding foot, the fecund compost under snow-laden ferns. All of these elements combine to tell stories of survival and change.
Whilst the images are not pre-visualised, they rely on both practice and chance. I am a camera. The images that emerge with the flow of time are images that live at the edge of consciousness.