Things They Said

Things They Said – multicultural youth dance performance in Ballarat.
Choreographer Shermaine Heng and dancers. Continue reading

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I SEE YOU

I was standing on a mountain with a bunch of old friends the other day. We were at a mate’s property, before a huge bonfire, celebrating 2 friends’ 40th birthdays – all camping out together for the night.

In my brief conversation with one of the boys, we quickly came to be talking about spirituality. “I think that’s one of the things that all of us here have in common, our sense of spirituality is all about feeling connected…. TO THE LAND!” I chimed in. Most definitely, or in Matty’s case, more the OCEAN.

I make no claim to the kind of spirituality Aboriginal culture speaks of. As far as I am aware I have no heritage to link me there. And the fullness and complexity of traditional knowledge goes far and deep beyond my imaginings.

However, I do feel that rich and powerful connection to the land where I was born and I feel that divine appreciation for a natural landscape – in my own homeland and elsewhere on this planet.

This is why photography is somewhat like my bible. It helps me to stop and study my spirituality. I open my shutter and stop to breathe in the miraculous, the divine. It helps me to focus, calm myself, feel and capture my appreciation. The image becomes a thank you, an “I SEE you”.

This might sound a tad hippy, but once I climbed a tree in the dry Todd River bed of Alice Springs, hung my arms and legs around a huge branch and whispered “I promise to show the world, or remind the world how beautiful you are”.

Perhaps I was also whispering that to myself, as I seek to remind myself and everyone of our deserving of self-love and healthy worshipfulness. For is not my body a natural wonder?

The more I learn about it, the more I admire it, want to learn to respect it and see it as miraculous.

 

My macro work brings me in close, to see what is otherwise invisible or over-looked. And that is a whole new world of discovery. David Attenborough himself couldn’t be more excited by the layers and beauty that it reveals. Again, my anatomy study is a similar act with familiar outcomes. The inner workings of my body is also complex and inspiring, with multitudes of daily miraculous events occurring.

So photographing the earth, sky, sea, the natural world, including the human body is like entering a temple and bowing in prayer.

It is where I find peace, meet my maker and meet my humanity and my soul, even.

I wish more world leaders could feel this in their hearts and souls too. They might then be able to act as our Christ and save us, rather than our Judas. For what we do to the earth, we do to ourselves.

It’s impossible to live and breathe and adore this earthly place, without facing my own body within it, as part of it, my vessel to take me through this version of a life experience. Why then the epic struggle to truly love and cherish my own mountains, deep valleys, volcanic eruptions, hailstorms, deserts, lush rainforests and spinifex within?

It is a constant journey, but I intend to celebrate that journey. I trip up a lot, but I am still moving on it. Which brings me to my next body of work, an idea that has been brewing for a number of years. It’s fruition is overdue.

A combination of the body of the earth and the body of us. I’m looking for signs of life to photograph: scars, stretch marks, unusual markings, lines, blemishes, etc.

Please put yourself forward if you have any of these. You won’t be identified, your markings will be abstracted.

Please contact me through my facebook page if you wish to take part.

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“Dance, dance otherwise we are lost!”

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2012 has been so much about dance for me…thankfully!

I made the following clip in honour of the wonderful people that I dance with at Body Electric and the prolific amount of work that teacher Jade Duffy does in bringing people back to dance, or perhaps TO dance for the first time in their lives – and makes it accessible.

It’s something special.

Dance, dance otherwise we are lost.

Don’t forget to move your bodies people. Be free. Be adventurous. Be alive!

Your body was made to move, give yourself the gift of moving as freely as you can this new year! Your body will thank you!

Happy New Year all. xo

‘Whatever You Do, Don’t panic!’

You may remember a dancer I photographed in an earlier blog, Rain Francis.

She has her own dance company Rain and Lucky Dance Theatre. They recently performed at the Short and Sweet Festival in Melbourne.

I was delighted to be asked to take some photos at one of their rehearsals and see the work come together in it’s final stages.

Rain’s dancers, Erynne, Jessica and Hanna worked hard  – and some of these stills capture the incredible work that happens in SECONDS,  in a dance piece.

All the talent and hard yakka that went into this piece, is evident in it’s powerful result. It was inspiring to be present for this convergence of experience with expression.

And the audience must have agreed, as Rain and Lucky Dance Theatre won the People’s Choice Award. Congratulations!!

Here’s a glimpse into a choreographer’s work of art, with the help of 3 dancers.

And if you missed it, you still have a chance to see it at the Variety Gala on Dec 9th! Book now!

Breakdance 110% Abc Open

In collaboration with Michelle Dunn Photography, I have now completed this short doco on Ballarat breakdancer, Jami Blomeley.

This was made for Abc Open’s project called 110%.

If anyone is 110%, Jami is. He lives, breathes, dances, teaches and competes Hip Hop.

He owns and runs Ballarat’s first Hip Hop specialty school, Existdance encouraging all ages to celebrate and enjoy the skills of Hip Hop, Break and other street styles.

Although his own skills are impressive, he also has the patience and passion to nurture beginners.

Jami got into the Top 100 in Australia’s first season of So You Think You Can Dance, but it’s not just about his own career.

He creates events, competitions and battles to give all his students experience and expertise to drive them forward.

See if he doesn’t inspire you!

Thanks to Marc Eiden at Abc Open, for his guidance and patience on this project.

Body Electric Megapixels live!

Body Electric put on another great show in April 2012 at The Palace Theatre, Melbourne.

Ever wondered what goes on backstage at one of these epic performances?

Well see the video below for a glimpse into the preparation of one group…. The Megapixels.

It was  a night of vibrancy. Characters, colour and charisma.

What else would you expect from the Body Electric crew?!

And check out the super cute song on the clip ‘Girl looks like a robot’,  by jjj unearthed group, Tricksters

Dancing forward

You could say that I am back to where I started.

If you have been with me from my first post, you may remember some images of a fabulous dancer/choreographer and teacher, Helena Yuk.

I have just finished hanging a series of artwork featuring Helena, at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Dance is often described as a series of snapshots that you are asked to create. Going beyond that, it is also the transition between those snapshot moments that really creates the story and draws us in as an audience.

In this series I wanted to show a sense of the transitions as well as the arrived at places.

I feel as though that’s where half the magic is.

To see the rest of the series, you’d have to swing by the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Victoria!

Desert skin

 

 

A little less on the leaping side of life…..   this series is an ode to the less joyous mysteries of life.

For when your body feels alien to you, when pain sends you into another reality and even your own skin feels stained and repulsive.

For when you feel old, dry and lifeless.

May you find hydration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Leaping for life

It’s a new series about LEAPING FOR LIFE!

It’s about the joy, the hard work, the play and the fun of being a dancer.

And who better to give you a taste test, than dancer/performer Danica Lani.

She can outlast a room full of bouncing children leaping off tables and dancing the night away. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.

She’s a life coach too, so she can guide you in how to get more out of YOU!

So step forward into this lively world with me, it will become an exhibition of shots you have not seen yet!!

Love life.

Rain and Shine

Recently I attended a Choreographic workshop at Chunky Move studios.

There I met a dancer by the name of Rain Francis.

I had an idea for a portrait and after seeing Rain perform in Melenie Crowe’s ‘Duality’, it seemed that she might be just the right person for the shoot.

So as dark as they are, it was Rain’s shine that inspired these images.