I also got a scholarship for the Masters program at ARA and put it on ice as Covid hit, and due to the mandates I opted out. Since graduation I’ve focussed on both my commercial work as well as personal art based projects, and it’s ticking along really well.
The full-time 4 years of study was brilliant but tiring as you can imagine. I could have not had a better finish though with the Beekeeping Project (and an exhibition) that spanned the final year- that really highlighted to me a solid process, and bringing it to the front of my mind. An understanding of a solid reproducible process for my future work was/ is priceless. It was worth the 4 years of commitment and cost 100%. It now looks like I’ll now pick up the Masters direction in 2023- part-time this time round.
Some personal projects from the past year or so include mostly Covid narrative driven work that includes ‘Sunshine .Long Walks. Thumping Electronica.‘ 2021, and ‘Safe & Effective.‘ 2021. There were many more, but as you are probably aware, most ideas begin and often don’t make it past the concept stage. Well for me that’s the case.
So here we are in September 2022 and I’ve just moved into my own wee studio in central Christchurch too, as part of the St. Asaph Street Collective, a warehouse style shared space on St Asaph Street (their website is yet to go love). The main driver in this pace is to translate my work and projects into hand made custom books, zines and prints. It’s also place to sit, listen to music, read books and get inspired. Having a space that I can can work on my various projects, and pin stuff to the wall and then percolate on the relationships of my work- is really key for me moving forward. I want to invest time into creating physical bodies of work offline. It’s important to me.
I remember seeing works by Richard Misrach back in about 2018 at Ilam Fine Arts, and being inspired with the simplicity of his desert series from 1975, where he shot a flash directly at cactus, rocks and other elements outdoors. I started to think more about using flash at that time more creatively, and even considered capturing structures in and around the city that had scaffolding – in an attempt to explore that aesthetic. I did not, but put that concept on ice, and picked it back up in 2021 while studying at ARA, and I developed a process to capture ‘high key’ organic elements on film with flash as part of an an assignment. ‘Godley After Dark’ was captured on a Holga toy camera, and a canon speedlite at Taylor’s Mistake here in Christchurch.
This ongoing body of work now explores scaling it up to larger subjects and experimenting with large studio off camera flashes that output a whopping 1200 watts vs the 75 watts on the previous Canon flash work. I’m liking the early results captured at Hagley Park, and progressing towards some more concepts, before putting a body of work together with the goal of printing and exhibiting/ selling the artworks. I have a great feeling about this series and its worth my investment of both time an energy.
Here are some images lately that offer some insights into the current projects, my process and the on-going experimentation of concept and equipment/ mediums. It’s actually quite interesting mixing the images from both projects below! Maybe they will merge.
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this wee update and I look forward to sharing more at what’s becoming my ‘digital workbook’. Meanwhile please check out my journal as I’m sure there will be more updates that I failed to share via social media or my newsletter.