A Thing Of Beauty And A Joy Forever
The first speakers were Mr. and Mrs. Bebb from Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is quite a large town, though not surprisingly the capitol of british Columbia - that honour is reserved for Victoria on Vancouver Island. Wags have suggested that the provincial government is located there as the fact that it is an island makes it harder for a lynch mob of taxpayers to get to the parliament across the straits.
In any event Vancouver is a large seaport with quite a trade in timber and mining products as well as container transfer for the rest of Canada. I believe both the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railroads have large terminals and marshalling yards there. Vancouver's climate is a mild seacoast one though it can be wet and overcast for a great deal of the time.
The second speaker of the morning is possibly the most delightful digital artist I have seen. Alexia Sinclair does Fine Art prints as well as commercial work and she does them HER way. And her way is to incorporate the classical ideas of lighting and theme, of colour palette and texture into large works that illustrate or illuminate. Her prints are visual stories just as the best paintings and sculptures of history were stories - sometimes someone is paying her to bend her art to their needs and sometimes she practices it for the sheer beauty of it. And beautiful they are.
Of course the limited edition prints that she does are intended for sale, and the prices that they command mean that the sale will be to purchasers with substantial purses. I think that the buyers will get very good value for money, however much money that may be - the prints are the most amazing art that you could ever see - well go see. Go Google and look, and then come back.
See? The regal series and the royal series are absolutely wonderful. See those blown up on a big screen in the lecture with a good projector and you cannot look away.
And how does she do it? With an old secondhand camera and a few good big soft boxes and her fiance and dead bees and plants she has dug up in the garden and fabric from Spotlight. And a few trips to the circus and the Louvre to get her background images. Really. She said so and showed pictures of herself doing it.
Could any of us emulate her? Well, first we would have to have her depth of knowledge and her breadth of vision. Then we'd need a supply of dead bees and fiances. Probably better to do as she said - let our own imaginations supply the fire for our work and when others see it we will be rewarded with the respect and affection that she enjoys.
PS: her fiance is King Charles II. Really.
Third cab off the rank was Conor Ashleigh who has derived his inspiration from the social justice and volunteering movements of the last few decades. He shoots for NGO's and universities but I think there are a number of self-assignments that have taken him throughout Asia and Africa as well as his native NSW. I gathered from one of the images posted on the screen that one of his clients is the Big Issue magazine.
He's game, I'll give you that. Apparently smuggled into Gaza through secret tunnels - I assume to take pictures for someone - he later used the experience to gain access to his local mosque here in Newcastle for a photo series based on the worshippers during the Ramadan period. It was interesting to see some of the images - we would probably not get that degree of information from someone who was less skilled or open in his communication.
Likewise, he has been able to get some very good shots of South Sudanese people here and in Africa in what must be difficult times for some of them. An empathetic man, Conor. I hope we see more of his reportage - as he is young there should be a good many stories that he tells in the future.
Now this next part is difficult. I listen to people as they speak and sometimes I write down what they say. Then I draw cartoons to make fun of myself and of photography in general using those quotes as captions. This four days has been so prolific of this sort of material that I am in danger of making more enemies than I can run away from. This would not be good for business. Therefore I have resolved to only print the mildest and least offensive here on the blog...reserving the rest for secret exhibition on the top of the Brocken in a thunderstorm. I know my audience.