We attended the opening of a triple header at The Photography Room, March 24, 2017.
In the Old Bus Depot, located in Kingston in Canberra: the long dark spaces where busses once rested their tired wheels, three photographers exhibited their images of The Makers in the thriving arts community of Canberra, soldiers in Afghanistan, and the built environment.
The director of The Photography Room, Sean Davey who gave the opening speech said that it was the largest audience that had ever attended an opening. There were hundreds there along with the A.C.T. Arts Minister Gordon Ramsay and Dr. Brendon Nelson.
Half Tone by Scott Newman
Scott Newman’s exhibition, Half Tone, navigates the concrete spaces of urban environments. He has an eye for sharp angles and capturing the dramatic diagonals of structural design. His photos artistically pick out the emotions in form that can be found by a keen observer. His photos of stormwater drains, railings and glass facades own a unique perspective, and as he says about these constructions, “While they appear permanent and immovable are in fact fleeting and fragile”.
The Makers, by Rohan Thomson
The Makers, is the intimate exhibition of Rohan Thomson’s photography. It documents the craft of 25 artistically driven people who live in Canberra. Thomson used a 1950s Polaroid Land Camera. So, they are small images, but high-quality intimate portraits of these makers and them at work at their craft. Thomson is an artist himself, and as he says, “I see these people not only as subjects, but also as my creative peers and collaborators.”
Afghanistan, by Gary Ramage
Shot in black and white, these photos mirror the contrast between the land and the soldiers placed in that land. Comprehending the real horror of war through any image is hard. And, perhaps it’s best we never see photos of the “real war”. We don’t see any of those in this exhibition, but what we do see is the focus of the images on the soldiers. The people sent to this war who live through a life-changing experience, and how their comradeship holds them together.
Dr Brendon Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial opened the exhibition. Nelson gave us an emotional and insightful experience into what it’s like working so closely with people affected by war.