School of Communication and Creative Arts PhD Candidate Ailsa Brackley du Bois is curating a month long photographic exhibition as part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.
I am pleased to be presenting a joint exhibition, containing my own work in combination with that of my husband, as part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale and Fringe Festival, from Saturday, 19 August until Sunday, 17 September 2017.
Our artistic photography exhibition showcases the contemporary natural environment from two different perspectives: the big picture, titled ‘Keeping your distance’ and the intimate point of view, titled ‘Up close and personal’. Sometimes the boundaries blur.
The gaze for this exhibition extends proudly across the Central Highlands and Western Victoria. For us, a large part of the appeal of moving deeper into the country, was based on our appreciation of the expansive sky out here, the stunning light, the panoramic vistas of ancient volcanic landscapes and the prolific birdlife that prospers around our nearby lake, originally a native watering hole.
I acknowledge that some would argue that our surrounding agrarian environment North West of Ballarat is artificial, imposed by pastoralists and settler colonialism, thus a significant modification of the indigenous Australian landscape. This is true. None-the-less, authentic natural elements invariably remain integrated throughout, and it is this combination of factors that offers its own set of strengths in terms of visual delight.
Overall, I seek balance and symmetry in what I’m viewing, and I am also interested in composition and the sculptural aspects of what I see. My husband, Laurie, enjoys finding unique angles on, and insights into, texture and repetition, using natural light and traditional, unmodified methods. Much of our work for this exhibition involves landscapes, trees, foliage, plants and birds.
Photography has been part of my professional service offer with The Editorial Suite these past five years. I tend to think of myself as self-trained, but truth be told I learned the basics of photography through night courses at WEA in Adelaide and the art of documentary film-making at Metro Screen in Sydney. I also hold a Master’s degree in multi-media Journalism from UTS. When you combine all of that, I guess it equates to ‘formal training’.
I am also the daughter of a professional portrait photographer and the grand-daughter of an avid social photographer and market gardener. I grew up in Adelaide’s multicultural inner West, pre-gentrification, with a brush-house, a fernery and a glass-house packed full of plants in my back yard. There was a sizeable commercial plum orchard and jam-making factory in my side street, which I passed every afternoon on the way home from primary school. It’s only now that I realise what a great impact all these early child-hood influences had on me.
We hope you will consider visiting the beautiful glass Conservatory at the historic Ballarat Botanical Gardens to view our combined work. It costs nothing to look, but all works are for sale, in limited editions, should you really like them. To us, it seems a lovely opportunity to place a spotlight on what we perceive as the incredible beauty of our local environment, however ‘Teletubby-esque’ some of it may appear.
Keeping Your Distance – Up Close and Personal
Artistic Photography Exhibition
Laurie Brackley and Ailsa Brackley du Bois
Robert Clark Conservatory
Ballarat Botanical Gardens
Lake Wendouree Victoria
Sat 19 August – Sun 17 September 2017
Open 9am – 4.30pm Seven days per week
Launch: 4.30pm Wednesday, 23 August 2017
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