Page 1

BOWNESS Photography Prize


Robert ASHTON Daniel BOETKER-SMITH Kirsten BOWERS Jane BROWN Chris BUDGEON Elaine CAMPANER Rowan CONROY Jagath DHEERASEKARA Stephen DUPONT Cherine FAHD Jacqueline FELSTEAD Siri HAYES Christopher HOLT Tim JOHNSON Francis KEOGH Bronek KOZKA Gerard O’CONNOR and Marc WASIAK Jesse MARLOW Joseph McGLENNON Georgia METAXAS Michael MILLER

Phuong NGO Simon OBARZANEK Polixeni PAPAPETROU Izabela PLUTA Clare RAE Hannah RAISIN Lynne ROBERTS-GOODWIN Tobias ROWLES Julie RRAP Rodney SCHAFFER Lani SELIGMAN Martin SMITH Valerie SPARKS David STEPHENSON Darren SYLVESTER Claudia TERSTAPPEN Christian THOMPSON Stephanie VALENTIN Justine VARGA Daniel VON STURMER William 2012YANG William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


BOWNESS Photography Prize 4 October–18 November 2012

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


The William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize was initiated by the Monash Gallery of Art Foundation in 2005. Established to promote excellence in photography, the Bowness Photography Prize and exhibition provide an opportunity to view and to engage with some of the best of contemporary Australian photography. In 2012 the non-acquisitive first prize is $25 000. The $1 000 Crumpler People’s Choice Award will be awarded to the most popular photograph as judged by visitors to the exhibition. Voters will be in the running to win two Crumpler 4 Million Dollar Home camera bags and two Crumpler 5 Million Dollar Home camera bags. Proudly supported by Adobe, the Honourable Mention winners will each receive an Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 software package.

Previous winners: 2011: Jacky Redgate 2010: Lee Grant 2009: Paul Knight 2008: Concettina Inserra and Nat Thomas 2007: Ray Cook 2006: Kathy Mackey


FINALISTS 2012


Robert ASHTON Artist statement: I go walking in the bush With the camera I try to catch the confusion, the complications, the anarchy. The beautiful mess These are interior landscapes. They are about being inside the chaos of the covered landscape I see the images as a metaphor for the intricate tangles within all of us. I also see an order in the chaos The order that we also hold within ourselves. I use the triptych form to place the images within a traditional spiritual framework. Matter, spirit, divinity. Not one, not three. There is quiet and stillness in the noise Everything in its place.

Robert ASHTON Interior 4 2012 from the series Interiors pigment ink-jet print 110.0 x 150.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Daniel BOETKER-SMITH Artist statement: The Murray River project tackles the divisive subject of the Murray River and its past, present and future. The federal management of the river is an impossible balancing act of controlled flows into the river and its intricate system of floodplains and wetlands. Large algal blooms, saline levels, and degraded farming land have jeopardised the whole environmental system and the livelihood of millions. The response, the Basin Plan, has been the most contentious attempt at environmental regulation ever seen in Australia. The work’s other subject is the nature of storytelling, and the way complex narratives, like the river, can sometimes flow, sometimes dry up, and sometimes hit a snag. In this series the Murray’s digressive qualities create a framework for a telling twenty-first-century story of an ancient river.

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Kirsten BOWERS Artist statement: I am a former Cinema Studies post graduate, former martial artist, now a pet carer and photographer: the primary subject of my photography explores the relationship of domestic animals to their various environments, and with people. The images often speak to the light and dark of my own life.

Kirsten BOWERS Prey drive 2012 from the series The darker side pigment ink-jet print 35.0 x 35.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Jane BROWN Artist statement: This image is one of a series of photographs of rural Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory which take their cue from gothic imaginings of colonial Australia – the bush Christmas, unforgiving landscapes and neglected hotels. Rendering visible the themes of the melancholic and the uncanny, these images manifest themselves in rural isolation – where the homely becomes unhomely (or unheimlich) and where nature is out of kilter. These images are populated with the traces people leave behind. Preferring to print by hand, I am concerned with the materiality of the photograph and maintaining continuity with the history of photography through darkroom technique. By using monochrome, I aim to transcend the constraints of time, memory and death.

Jane BROWN Bush Christmas, Victoria 2012 from the series Australian gothic selenium toned gelatin silver print 19.5 x 24.5 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Chris BUDGEON Artist statement: Last summer continues my observational interest in childhood development, particularly in the context of how young relationships are evolving in the current environment of internet access and social media.

Chris BUDGEON Untitled 2 2012 from the series Last summer pigment ink-jet print 78.0 X 100.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Elaine CAMPANER Artist statement: I work by using arrangements of found objects to create environmental, psychological or political spaces. I am interested in how objects and found illustrations on objects can be made to interact in the process of constructing an image with its own narrative intent and visual coherence. In my recent work I have been particularly interested in the effect of emotions or psychological expression on objects; and in the possibility of creating an illusion of intersubjectivity between two manufactured objects in a photograph. Taking the phrase ‘of Middle Eastern appearance’ as a starting point I have been thinking about how the Middle East is romanticised and demonised in politics and popular culture, and how previously neutral objects take on new meanings in the context of the current political narrative.

Elaine CAMPANER Landscape with camels 2011 from the series Of Middle Eastern appearance (the visual guide) pigment ink-jet print 93.0 x 140.0 cm courtesy of the artist and and Damien Minton Gallery, Sydney

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Rowan CONROY Artist statement: My work focuses on the use of photography to document ancient and modern, rural and urban material culture as a means to reflect upon the archaeology of the present. My doctoral thesis Archaeologies of the present: Rephotographing the William John Woodhouse Photographic Archive examined the idea of contemporary rephotography as a form of archaeology. This involved visiting actual sites originally photographed by Sydney University Professor William John Woodhouse from 1889–1936 and the rephotography in Greece of images from Woodhouse’s glass-plate archive held by the Nicholson Museum. The rephotographed images construct a poetic dialogue between landscape, histories of conservation and tourism and the present conditions of the sites, informed by contemporary photographic theories.

Rowan CONROY Central Athens looking north east from the Acropolis (rephotography of WJ Woodhouse photo no. 55.7) 2011 from the series The Woodhouse rephotography project two pigment ink-jet prints on cotton paper 100.0 x 180.0 cm; 33.0 x 45.0 cm courtesy of the artist and the Nicholson Museum

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Jagath DHEERASEKARA Artist statement: The Airds Bradbury social housing estate which is one of the largest of its kind in Australa is situated not far from my house. There are 1 470 homes with about 3 000 people. The state government has an approach to deconcentrate public housing estates. This is perhaps in line with the changes with regard to social housing taking place across the country. In 15–20 years this estate is expected have over 2 000 homes, 30 percent of which would be social housing whilst the rest would be privately owned. Relocation of social housing tenants is slowly happening. Demolitions are paving way for land for property developers to build new houses. I have started to photograph the physical and social dimensions of this space that is certain to transform substantially or completely within the next two decades.

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Stephen DUPONT Artist statement: The series Piksa Nuigini or Picture New Guinea aims to capture the human spirit of the people of Papua New Guinea (PNG). In a sense the series is a window inside humanity in one of the world’s last truly wild and unique frontiers. It’s about tribal identity in 2011, and the annual Highland’s Sing-Sing festivals might be the last cultural showcase of tradition and custom left. My photographs aim to showcase not just the visual anthropology of a race and land, but to highlight the effects of rapid changes taking place on traditional values and cultural identity. In recent times PNG has gone through some of the most significant cultural shifts and change since the early days of colonisation. The work aims to document what I see as ‘detribalisation’, where PNG society is losing its culture due to the impact of globalisation.

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Cherine FAHD Artist statement: An action of throwing a block into the air is employed to interrupt the flow of domestic activity. I am Interested in performing actions and gestures that disclose and disrupt the routines and limitations of everyday life. In the series titled Schizm I have documented the precise moment when I inhabit a self-conscious art-making mode within ordinary home life. Everyday life with its routines and cycles is paused and the self-conscious role of artist takes over. In this case the performative gesture of throwing a block and thus art practice have the potential to operate as diversionary tools disrupting what is ordinarily the taken-for-granted and unnoticed in everyday life.

Cherine FAHD TV dinner 2012 from the series Schizm chromogenic print 80.0 x120.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Jacqueline FELSTEAD Artist statement: This portrait is of a resident of the notorious Gatwick Hotel, one of the last remaining privately owned rooming houses in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda. In this work the sitter poses with a blanket covering their face and upper body, contorting a position that photographers themselves used take when they stood under a black cloth to better see through the camera lens. Of the residents, the owner of the hotel states: ‘Most keep to themselves, stay in their room or go about their business without bothering anyone ... Most of the residents you wouldn’t know existed.’ The work takes place in a context where anonymity and retreat from social dialogue are connected to social inequality.

Jacqueline FELSTEAD F3 2012 from the series Retreat pigment ink-jet print 110.0 x 115.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Siri HAYES Artist statement: I created Four whilst travelling in Spain on an artist residency with my young family. There is a large Romantic looking landscape with four small notebooks in the foreground, one each for mother, father, son and daughter. I wanted to create a quiet family portrait that was less about proof that we had been in this place and more about our interaction with it. I like that the various coloured notebooks could be a palette or colour swatch used to pick-out particular colours in this epic landscape. I am constantly intrigued by how the framing of a photograph cues a particular reading of a scene that can impart art historical references. In Spain I continued this stratagem as well as my ongoing interest with investigating place. However, as a tourist, parent and artist I began to also examine and weave in the experience of place with a more personal lens.

Siri HAYES Four 2011 from the series All you knit is love chromogenic print 104.0 x 128.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Christopher HOLT Artist statement: The NSW government’s answer to the decriminalisation of prostitution, was to allow brothels to operate legally in non-residential areas classified as a ‘4a Industrial zone’. It is the notable juxtaposition of legalised brothels with factories and industry, that forms a quietly displaced narrative. The brothels are required by law to operate in these environments that were planned for a very different use. In their own way, the brothels are soft and approachable with their use of seductive, feminine colours and language, which is in contrast to the surrounding landscape. Yet there is a difficulty to them – we know the function of the building and what it represents. The project is presented here in the form of an artist’s book. It was perhaps the work of Ed Ruscha in the late 60s that exposed artist’s books as a viable medium to the art world. The book allows the artist to communicate without intermediaries, creating a democratic multiple. The idea presented is inseparable from the form of a book, realising itself as a work through it’s exploration of the conceptual and structural features of a book.

Christopher HOLT 4a Industrial zone brothels (detail) 2011 artist’s book 14.8 x 21.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Tim JOHNSON Artist statement: One of the most interesting photographs I have taken was at Papunya in 1981. It is a very unusual double exposure of two well-known Aboriginal artists that I was friends with. This year, in 2012, I made digital additions to the original image that include details from a photograph of a Buddhist painting called Illusory city that is in a cave at Dun Huang in China. The combination of new imagery and the adjustments I made says something about the extraordinary painting movement that began in the Australian desert and that continues to this day with an international context. The original photograph was unusual in that the forms that appeared in the image seem to reflect ideas about the subject’s own belief system.

Tim JOHNSON From a memory lost 1981–2012 ink-jet print 90.0 x 60.0 cm courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Francis KEOGH Artist statement: I have a background in pastel and acrylic media. Seven years ago, I bought my first digital camera and produced landscapes of the South Coast. I recently became aware of a technique called ‘light painting’ and undertook some training with Peter Solness. ‘Light painting’ entails the use of torches to selectively illuminate the subject, in a rather similar way to an artist using a brush. It is therefore interpretive, although little if any digital manipulation is employed, the idea being to produce a kind of enhanced naturalism. I have found this opens up a creative dimension which straddles the disciplines of photography and art, allowing me to bring together my experience of both mediums.

Francis KEOGH Rock assembly – Perisher 2012 pigment ink-jet print 36.0 x 99.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Bronek KOZKA Artist statement: While my earlier works connected viewers with more general or ‘collective’ memories, the pictures made more recently come from a more personal place. The specifics of events and one’s memory of those events is always very individual; however, through the sharing of memories, the telling of stories and in my case the ‘re-staging’, they (memories) enter the collective. Celica 1979 explores notions of freedom. The setting for the photograph is the car park of a local supermarket; the couple are locked in each other’s arms. The car is a kind of armour, they are protected from the outside and to a large extent oblivious to it.

Bronek KOZKA Celica 1979 2011 pigment ink-jet print 90.0 x 139.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Jesse MARLOW Artist statement: The photographs in the series Don’t just tell them, show them are a visual reaction to encounters in my daily travels. For me, it’s about searching for the unusual in the ordinary – an ambiguity that lies just below the surface. In many of the photographs, suburban backdrops set the scene, with indistinct compositions deliberately challenging the viewer to ask ‘Am I seeing things?’ I want these pictures to raise more questions than answers. Contrived photographic shoots and intricately designed set-ups have never interested me. Rather it is the uncertainty of street photography that continues to stimulate. The idea that I can leave the house one morning and come home at the end of the day with a photograph that will be with me forever constantly drives and excites me.

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Joseph McGLENNON Artist statement: The NSW Mounted Police is the oldest continuous operational mounted unit in the world. My objective in photographing the NSW Mounted Police was to convey a vision of them as heroic troopers, like missionaries spreading justice as they headed into uncharted territories making things safe for a new nation. The resulting images blend romantic and religious iconographies and are glimpses both into the past and of the present. They aim to please aesthetically while asking the viewer to look more deeply into this fascinating, but often neglected, part of Australian history.

Joseph McGLENNON Australian trooper 1 2012 from the series Trooper ink-jet print 100.0 x 100.0 cm courtesy of the artist and Michael Reid at Elizabeth Bay

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Georgia METAXAS Artist statement: The mourners is a series of portraits documenting the ritual of wearing black as a signifier of perpetual mourning. In remembrance of those they have lost, each of the sitters, albeit from various backgrounds and faiths, wears black every day for the rest of their lives. The controlled environment of a travelling studio replaces existing backdrops of nursing home corridors, living rooms and church halls. Stripped back to the point where only the faintest trace of the sitter’s surroundings remains, the portrait brings the viewer to the periphery of an ultimately private space. Deflecting the unflinching eye of the camera with an averted gaze, the women are absorbed by the void that is a black, living memento – a vessel for mourning, fixed by a photograph, which in turn alludes to a double death.

Georgia METAXAS Untitled #27 2011 from the series The mourners pigment ink-jet print 50.8 x 41.2 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Michael MILLER Artist statement: For me it is the remoteness that gives the north its allure. The arctic landscape seems expansive and overwhelming at times and it is often difficult to find a sense of scale amongst the endless plateaus and distressed rocky outcrops, which drop dramatically into open sea and intricate fjords. There is a feeling of inadequacy when trying to come to terms with this space – the brutal terror of bleak expanse is hard to reconcile, but the sublime and wrenching beauty forces an affection that is difficult to escape. Like all remote and isolated places, the high north instils a romantic notion of wilderness that is far removed from the contrived, cultivated and sometimes genteel landscapes of more inhabited temperate regions. An arctic winter can be humbling. It creates a sense of a tenuous existence that seems to be a constant condition of living in the north. The images that I created for the series The High North are a response to this, and document the impact of a difficult climate on people and their built environment, through the evidence of habitation and adaptation in the arctic landscape.

Michael MILLER Prestøya, Kirkenes 2011 from the series The High North chromogenic print 100.0 x 125.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Phuong NGO Artist statement: Pulau Bidong was commissioned in 1979 by the United Nations as a refugee camp to cope with the exodus of boat people following the Vietnam War. In its 12 years of operation Pulau Bidong processed 250 000 refugees. Included in this number were my father, mother and brother. In 1981 my father sailed his final boat into the bay of Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. From there he, my mother and brother were transferred to Pulau Bidong where they waited to be accepted into Australia. This work is a desire to understand and retell their stories by journeying to Pulau Bidong and exploring the point of their freedom – the freedom into which I was born.

Phuong NGO Pulau Bidong 2012/1981 #1 2012 from the series My dad the people smuggler ink-jet print 25.0 x 110.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Simon OBARZANEK Artist statement: Untitled movement no. 3 documents the strained gestures of the human figure – buffeted, pushed and pulled – struggling to find equilibrium.

Simon OBARZANEK #1 2011 from the series Untitled movement no. 3 pigment ink-jet print 30.0 x 21.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Gerard O’CONNOR and Marc WASIAK Artist statement: We set up large-scale narrative tableaux involving many performers and technicians, costuming, make-up and lighting. The resulting images have a raucous, irreverent grandeur that recalls the diverse Western traditions of William Hogarth’s eighteenth-century moral satires, nineteenth-century history painting and twentieth-century cinema. The layering of plot transforms each tableau into a grand melodrama with all the twists and turns, tears and laughter of a classic bodice-ripper. Whether it is a day at the beach or the din of battle, a wedding or a funeral, it is all coming unstuck in a deliciously alarming way. We try to make these images immediately engaging, full of detail and humour that repays careful scrutiny. But beneath the comedy lies a darker intimation of social, cultural and moral chaos. Drawing on different periods of Western history we satirise but also seek to critique Western mores and morals: the hypocrisy of the powerful; the violence boiling below the veneer of civilisation; the calamities that befall the most rational plans. We would like to acknowledge and thank Lou McLaren (make-up), Melissa Wood (production), Matthew Ryan (post visual production) and Alastair Foster (curator) for their contribution.

Gerard O’CONNOR and Marc WASIAK Reformatory 2011 from the series Decline and fall chromogenic print 120.0 x 215.0 cm courtesy of the artists

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Polixeni PAPAPETROU Artist statement: Inside this ominous statue is my thirteen-year-old son. He wears a ghillie, a camouflage outfit for hunting and the military. The Ghillies is about the surrendering of childhood or boyhood to the adult world foreshadowing prowess, as young boys, separate from great maternal intimacy and are absorbed into various kinds of institutional camouflage. Adolescent boys fit into social archetypes with a certain prowess, where fantasies reconcile an inner world with outer social demands. The concept was inspired by my son’s enthusiasm for videogames, which involve camouflage. Wearing the suit, he wanted to be photographed unseen. But I couldn’t suppress his presence and found light and contrast to redeem his framed form being engulfed by the disguise.

Polixeni PAPAPETROU Magma man 2012 from the series The Ghillies pigment ink-jet print 120.0 x 120.0 cm courtesy of the artist, Stills Gallery, Sydney and Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Izabela PLUTA Artist statement: My work examines the various ways that place is manifested or experienced. The relevance of these ideas to my creative interests stems from my personal history and dual nationality (Polish– Australian) as well as the notion of absence and presence in the concept ‘home’. My photographic work investigates both a physical place of belonging, existing within a cultural framework, and space, which has its abstract quality in the language we use to describe an area or a distance between these physical places. My works have often comprised of photographs, found ephemera and photomurals to explore my interests in serendipitous encounters, the effects of time and how the photographic image operates as a vehicle for witnessing various states of ruin. The diptychs presented in the series Study for a sham ruin depict and conceal the subject through a layer of white acrylic, while collectively exploring temporal depth, illusion, artifice and spatial distance through the mediated experience offered by these portals into the past.

Izabela PLUTA Study for a sham ruin #7 & #8 2012 from the series Study for a sham ruin two pigment ink-jet prints with acrylic 50.0 x 50.0 cm (each) courtesy of the artist, Dianne Tanzer Gallery + Projects, Melbourne and Galerie Pompom, Sydney

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Clare RAE Artist statement: Light weight (2011) extends my interest in the intersections between photography and performance. The work deals with representation, using the artist’s body as a site for performance. By photographing myself at the apex of a jump I am offering an alternate view of subjectivity – one that is precarious. Photographically these works harness the tension between the stasis of the presented image, and the movement of its origin, suspending any form of obvious narrative to highlight bodily gestures.

Clare RAE Untitled #5 2011 from the series Light weight duratran print 150.0 x 100.0 x 18.5 cm courtesy of the artist and Beam Contemporary, Melbourne

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Hannah RAISIN Artist statement: Bodily actions and how they relate to objects and the surrounding environment are key components of my practice. These interactions become a point at which to examine and sometimes interrupt certain cultural ideals. My concerns relate to the forms and functions of the body as a way to explore and subvert these entrenched and sometimes restrictive social codes. I am particularly interested in actions of trans-species appropriation, where one figure can take on or desire the characteristics and behaviours of another. This program of fantastic projections of the unusual and unconditioned desires of the individual comes to occupy a space between the distinct conceptions of the wild and the domestic.

Hannah RAISIN Foxy chicks 2011 from the series Seperation anxiety pigment ink-jet print 50.0 x 70.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Lynne ROBERTS-GOODWIN Artist statement: Cloud #9 from the recent series Swarm, speculates on the paradoxical, yet distinctive recasting of the animal body as a form of mirrored reflection of self and identity. My work seeks to critique the genre of portraiture and the cultural voracity of the body and place within geopolitical and anthropological image-making, attempting to expose an aesthetic and agency counter to the scientific and documentary aims that legitimate them.

Lynne ROBERTS-GOODWIN Cloud #9 2012 from the series Swarm ink-jet print 162.0 x 162.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Tobias ROWLES Artist statement: This work is part of an on-going project titled I believe. The project charts a cross-section of Australians, largely from the suburbs of Sydney, who are unified by their belief and devotion to their rugby league team, the St George Illawarra Dragons. Offering an intimate insight into their private lives, fans are captured in places that have meaning for each of them. Collectively the series celebrates the colour and beauty of everyday life in suburban Sydney, touching on the universal themes of passion, tribalism and the incredible power of team sport to bring people of different backgrounds together.

Tobias ROWLES Mitch Tapa and Amy Beaumont, St Clair, NSW 2012 from the series I believe pigment ink-jet print 70.0 x 70.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Julie RRAP Artist statement: Loaded comprises 36 photographic images which together form a cosmological key to my processes and the worlds that unfold within that space. Narratives build but have no conclusion, actions happen but have nowhere to go, and paintings exist, but constantly change. Like a Beckett play I perform a series of actions on the surface of a canvas; frozen ink shoes become painting instruments, fruit and flowers become a chaotic still life, balloons hold my breath, broken plates and green pebbles fracture the surface, black clothes reveal and conceal, my body becomes a bleached negative, a white dog enters the picture ... It is as though the image has taken over its own direction and the artist is simply an actor in this process.

Julie RRAP White #4 2012 from the series Loaded chromogenic print 126.0 x 126.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Rodney SCHAFFER Artist statement: The series Luna is an attempt to demonstrate that the environment in which we live and in which history (natural and artificial) unfolds is a strange and foreign place. In attempting to isolate carefully chosen subject matter against a backdrop of darkness it is hoped the viewer can also experience the beauty and ultimately exotic nature of this encounter. This ancient three metre grass tree resides in a Gippsland forest.

Rodney SCHAFFER Xanthorrhoea Australis (Grass tree) 2011 from the series Luna pigment ink-jet print 65.0 x 50.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Lani SELIGMAN Artist statement: The disembodied bird with its matchstick legs is caught and cradled by a luminous net. The photograph contains a sense of embodiment and displacement. The work sits within a broader practice that examines how the lived body renders our experiences and stores memory.

Lani SELIGMAN Cradle 2011 from the series Body blow duratran print 130.0 x 102.5 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Martin SMITH Artist statement: Photography has an inherent symbiotic relationship to language both written and spoken. My art practice is concerned with the language and imagery of the ‘photographic experience’. This refers to creating environments that speak of memory, identity, time and place. The methodology for the creation and reading of the works is contextualised around the photographic. The combination of textual narratives that mirror photographic experience with imagery that is oblique, nonrepresentational and unconnected to a specific time or place seeks to represent the conflicting thoughts, conversations and experiences that define, haunt and excite us.

Martin SMITH Revelation #3 2011 from the series The perfect price for Donny pigment ink-jet print 75.0 x 110.0 cm courtesy of the artist, Sophie Gannon Gallery, Melbourne and Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Valerie SPARKS Artist statement: Birds and plants from distant locations are photographed, brought together and recontextualised to create an exotic, strangely lit environment. In each frame a bird has arrived, transposed digitally from its current habitat – the collection of a natural history museum. Dating from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these birds have made many journeys before arriving in the museums that currently house them. Collecting processes create concentrations of diverse specimens in unnatural locations, whilst at the same time dispersing individual species globally beyond traditional migration routes. Reanimated through the skill of the taxidermist, captured photographically and digitally embedded in a distant forest, these are unnatural migrations. Birds were photographed whilst on Arts Victoria funded residencies at the La Rochelle and Vienna Natural History Museums.

Valerie SPARKS Unnatural migration #1 2012 pigment ink-jet print 60.0 x 183.0 cm courtesy of the artist

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


David STEPHENSON Artist statement: Cities across the globe burn with the visual spectacle of electric light from sundown through to the early hours, revealing energy leakage into the atmosphere as light pollution, and symbolising our culture of consumption. Glowing ‘light cities’ for me are a chilling metaphor of so much that is both good and bad in our industrialised culture: extraordinary examples of the monumental technological sublime of globalised urbanisation, where awe, beauty, and human aspiration are tinged with the horror of potential environmental catastrophe, our engine of modernity burning itself up.

David STEPHENSON ICC Tower and West Kowloon from Macau ferry terminal, Hong Kong 2012 from the series Light cities pigment ink-jet print 101.6 x 127.0 cm courtesy of the artist and John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Darren SYLVESTER Artist statement: The original idea for this work came from b-grade science fiction films that illustrate a telepathic effect. This idea we can direct thoughts for influence over others is something inherent in all of us, to be deeply understood without saying a word, free from language. Your heart never lied is a title that oscillates between two meanings. Is she speaking from her heart to yours on what you know is true? Or does she speak to an object of her affection – calling for them to return? An oscillation that moves to a rippled visual that is choreographed beforehand for the design of perspex rings, and so no computer post-production is used. Only smoke, mirrors and a camera’s depth-of-field fabricates something that is only a dream to begin with. Giving form to the formless.

Darren SYLVESTER Your heart never lied 2012 chromogenic print 160.0 x 120.0 cm courtesy of the artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Claudia TERSTAPPEN Artist statement: Through my photographs I show insights into diverse cultural expressions of worship, faith and memory. Different religious beliefs and forms of worship are part of our daily experience in both our local and globaI environment. I am interested in what people believe in and how their places of worship appear. In particular I look at ‘religious iconography’ in secular settings and investigate how belief is expressed through objects, images and rituals. Some altars can appear lavishly decorated and spectacular whilst others look quite ordinary and therefore are much more difficult to identify; these are often the spiritual and sacred sites of indigenous people and include mountains, trees, rocks and landscapes.

Claudia TERSTAPPEN Hidden powers II 2012 from the series Unspectacular landscapes pigment ink-jet print 100.0 x 150.0 cm courtesy of the artist, Place Gallery, Melburne and Conny Dietzchold Gallery, Sydney

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Christian THOMPSON Artist statement: I conceived the We bury our own series in 2010 after curator Christopher Morton from the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford University and Jane Lydon from Monash University, invited me to develop a body of work that would be inspired by and in dialogue with the Pitt Rivers Australian photographic collection. As an inaugural Charlie Perkins Scholar and one of the first Aboriginal Australians to be accepted into Oxford University, these images have permeated my work over the last year. They have remained at the forefront of every artistic experiment and they have pushed me into new territory. The simplicity of a monochrome and sepia palette, the frayed delicate edges and the cracks on the surface like a dry desert floor that reminded me of the salt plains of my own traditional lands. They have emerged and spoken to me with vivid clarity. I wanted to generate an aura around this series, a meditative space that was focused on freeing one’s self of hurt, employing crystals and other votive objects that emit frequencies that can heal, ward off negative energies, psychic attack, geopathic stress and electro-magnetic fields and importantly transmit ideas.

Christian THOMPSON Danger will come 2012 from the series We bury our own chromogenic print 102.0 x 102.0 cm courtesy of the artist and Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Stephanie VALENTIN Artist statement: In the series unseasonal, I consider the unsettling of our relationship to weather and its influence, and how changes in the balance of natural systems and climate permeate our perception and enter our experiences. Many of the images have been created along the Murray River, its wetlands and nearby semi-arid Mallee region in South Australia – often in locations that reveal signs of environmental transition. Through staging small interventions within these landscapes, the work introduces an overlapping of fiction and reality, where the interior spaces of the domestic, personal or imaginary merge into the exterior realm of land, weather and elements. My interest centres on the space between ourselves and natural forces, which has become increasingly ambiguous in both a material and a perceived sense.

Stephanie VALENTIN Still water 1 2011 from the series unseasonal pigment ink-jet print 67.0 x 100.0 cm courtesy of the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Justine VARGA Artist statement: Still life # 1 was created in my home. At the time I was reading about the still life tradition, particularly the work of Chardin, the eighteenth century French painter. Looking at these works I began thinking about my practice and my use of objects somewhere in between still life and installation and thought I would explore traditional composition and motif of the still life genre. I remember scouring the kitchen cupboards and fridge looking for the right balance within the photograph knowing that I was not particularly interested in making a work that was ‘now’, but rather I was looking back in order to bring something forward. Like time stretched to the point of standing still this work is suspended both in time and its materiality.

Justine VARGA Still life #1 2011 from the series Film object gelatin silver print 40.6 x 30.5 cm courtesy of the artist and Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


Daniel VON STURMER Artist statement: My work involves various media to explore the nature of perception, particularly how context and framing shape the meaning and experience of an artwork. Developed from studio-based experiments, the work reframes common materials and objects as unlikely props from which philosophical questions arise. The images involve humour and slapstick, often driven by the characteristics of an object as it falls in space or is caught by friction, to behave in some unexpected way. The frame of the lens becomes an analogue for the frame of perception and points to the limits of the visual language we rely upon to understand and define the world. Artistic tropes borrowed from Modernism and Minimalism, Abstraction and Still Life are referenced and replayed in the work as markers of this language in action.

Daniel VON STURMER Production still, the cinema complex (sequence 1) 3 2011 pigment ink-jet print 83.0 x 52.5 cm courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


William YANG Artist statement: My photographic work stems from the documentary tradition. I’ve been doing performance with images in the theatre for over twenty years and a personal narrative has developed. It appears as text in some of my prints. When taking a portrait there is always an interaction between the photographer and the subject and I like to tell this story. The text places the image in a context and can give an idea of process. I reference Caravaggio, but a more conscious reference was Manet’s Olympia and Titian’s Venus of Urbino – both reclining, female nudes, meeting the gaze of the viewer. In that sense this work is queer, as it embraces both the masculine and the feminine.

William YANG Imagining Caravaggio 2012 pigment ink-jet print 60.0 x 90.0 cm courtesy of the artist, Stills Gallery, Sydney, Ausin Tung Gallery, Melbourne and Andrew Baker Gallery, Brisbane

2012 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize


© MONASH GALLERY OF ART FOUNDATION AND ARTISTS September 2012 ISBN 1 876764 03 1

Bowness Photography Prize catalogue 2012  

Bowness Photography Prize catalogue 2012

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you