1. In the Time of ‘Self-Isolation’: At the Drive-In – Adelaide Hills, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic I was unable to hold my annual photographic exhibition for this years South Australian Living Artists Festival (SALA). Subsequently I will present my exhibition via my WordPress website as well as other social media; all 18 photographs in this collection are available for sale via my Bluethumb.com site.
The overall theme for this exhibition is Australian Romanticism. The collection includes ‘Landscapes’, ‘Seascapes’, ‘Sunsets’, ‘Night’, and ‘Abstracts’, as well as photographs from on-going series, namely ‘Adelaide Noir’, ‘Through a Window’, ‘Pareidolia’, and ‘In the Time of Self-Isolation’. This later series, exemplified by the above photograph, is an attempt to express the surreal nature of these current times in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sources for inspiration behind this collection are numerous. They include the natural extraordinary beauty of the Australian countryside, as well as influences of major artists; this includes early colonial artists John Glover, German ‘romantic’ artist Caspar David Friedrich, and American ‘abstract’ artist Mark Rothko.
As the above photograph also exemplifies there is often a romantic ‘theatrical’ aspect to my work. Behind all my work is my motto and attempt ‘to make the ordinary “Extraordinary”!’ Hope you enjoy this collection.
2. Through a Window: Ruined House, Silverton, New South Wales (Sony ILCE-7)
The old mining town of Silverton is about 25kms north of Broken Hill in the north-western corner of New South Wales. It has often been used as a location for Australian films, including George Miller’s Mad Max series. This photograph is part of the on-going series ‘Through a Window; gazing through a window one can see and imagine numerous possibilities.
3. ‘The Sugarloaf’ – Hallet Cove Conservation Park, Hallet Cove, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
‘The Sugarloaf’ is one of the most distinctive features of the Hallet Cove Conservation Park, about 21kms south of Adelaide on the Gulf St. Vincent. This extraordinary formation is part of the remnants of an old pre-historic glacier; white sand replaced the ice as the glacier slowly melted 15,000 years ago. Early colonial settlers called it ‘The Sugarloaf’ due to its resemblance to a ‘loaf’ of hardened white sugar.
4. Autumn 2020 – Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens, Mt. Lofty, Adelaide Hills, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
Autumn in the Adelaide Hills is simply spectacular! The Mt. Lofty Botanic Gardens is a terrific place were one can see this colourful spectacle. Unfortunately, the gardens were closed for most of this Autumn due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, it re-opened for the final week of Autumn 2020 and I drove up immediately and found this tree that seemed ablaze with Autumn colour.
5. Penny’s Hill Vineyard – McLaren Vale, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
Penny’s Hill Vineyard is one of the most charming and picturesque established vineyards in the McLaren Vale, approximately 35kms south of Adelaide on the Fleurieu Peninsular. There is a strong sense of old England at Penny Hill’s Vineyard, with its sandstone Georgian two-storey main house, as well as these Suffolk ‘black-faced’ sheep.
6. Maslin Beach, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
Maslin Beach is one of the ‘best beaches’ in Australia. It was also the first nudist beach in Australia, which is at the southern end of the beach. You can just see the small sign on the left of this photograph that states that this is the ‘Unclad’ section of the beach. I took this photograph one cold and stormy Winter’s day. I waited for a break in the cloud, a ‘decisive moment’, when the sun burst through the clouds and lit up the cliff face. Extraordinary.
7. In the Time of ‘Self-Isolation’: The Walker – Port Willunga, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
This photograph was taken one early Winter morning at Port Willunga, about 35kms south of Adelaide on the the Gulf St. Vincent. It is part of the on-going series ‘In the Time of “Self-Isolation”‘, and can be seen metaphorically as a reflection of these current times. The cliff face can be representative of the almost overwhelming nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the female walker standing tall but alone against this formidable force.
8. The Conference of the Birds – Port Noarlunga, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
This photograph was taken from the Port Noarlunga jetty on a cold early Winter’s day. It looked like this flock of seagulls were debating certain issues; such as, in the case of the Covid-19 pandemic – ‘Where have all the humans gone? Where are out chips?’. Subsequently, in order to find food they would need to brave the cold sea and debating, ‘Well – who’s going in first?’
‘Pareidolia’ is that unique aspect of the human imagination that sees faces in natural and man-made objects. The following photograph is part of my on-going series devoted to this wonderful human phenomena, which is something that unites rather than divides us. Nonetheless, the faces and creatures that one may see in these photographs is up to you.
9. Pareidolia: ‘What Lies Beneath?’ – Port Noarlunga, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
‘What Lies Beneath?’ – some see a serpent, some see a crocodile, some see a turtle, and some see a ram with a golden fleece – what do you see?
10. ‘Brave New World’ – Austinmer, New South Wales (Sony ILCE-7)
This photograph was taken in January 2020 during the height of the Australian Summer Bushfires. Whilst it may seem that this photograph has been ‘doctored’ in some way in actual fact I did very little re post-production. The unique and relatively disturbing colours were due to the continual haze that hung over Austinmer, a beach town on the South Coast of New South Wales, for days and days and days.
11. Ripples – Christies Beach, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
This was taken one Winter morning on Christies Beach, which is about 20kms south of Adelaide. The ripples across the sad reminded me of the work of German illustrator H. R. Giger who created the ‘Alien’ for Ridley Scott.
12. Sunset #1 – Port Willunga, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
This photograph and the two following were all taken at respective sunsets at Port Willunga. They are all very different in their own ways, inspired by different artists. The one above is influenced, particularly in terms of colour and tone, by the early Australian colonial artist John Glover.
13. Sunset #2 – Port Willunga, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
This photograph was taken on Autumn 2020 sunset. This photograph and the one following were influenced by the American ‘abstract’ artist Mark Rothko. They are specifically designed and crafted to encourage and support meditation and reflection, particularly during these challenging times.
14. The Bather – Port Willunga, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
This photograph was also taken one Autumn 2020 sunset. The young woman in the photograph swims every day and in every season the considerable distance from the ruined jetty at the southern end of the Port Willunga beach to the northern headland. As with the previous photograph this is specifically created and designed for meditation and reflection.
15. Bowral ‘Bushfires’ Sunset – Bowral, New South Wales (Sony ILCE-7)
This photograph was taken one January 2020 sunset at a friend’s place in Bowral, in the Southern Highlands in New South Wales. Whilst all may seem relatively calm and peaceful, nonetheless, this was taken during the height of the catastrophic bushfires that dominated the Australian Summer. The orange glow in the distance is not from the setting sun but from a relatively nearby fire. As my friend and I gazed out over this landscape water helicopters continually flew by and over us.
16. The Beacon – Dolphin Sanctuary, Port Adelaide, South Australia (Sony ILCE-7)
This photograph was taken at Port Adelaide at the end of Summer 2020. It can be seen as a metaphorical expression of ‘Hope’, referencing the old Australian Labor Party and Christian motto of ‘the beacon the hill’ being a light of hope in the surrounding darkness.
NIGHT – TOWN & COUNTRY
The following two photographs may be taken as continuing the ‘noir’ theme from the above section. However, these two photographs are from two radically different locations – one in a modern Australian city and one in a remote Australian country town.
17. Sydney War Memorial – Hyde Park, Sydney, New South Wales (Sony ILCE-7)
The was taken one still and balmy Summer’s night in late December 2019 in Sydney. Whilst the city was surrounded by Bushfires there was a relatively strange peace and quiet in this place of memorial and reflection.
18. ‘Municipal Chambers’ (in a Dust Storm) – Silverton, New South Wales (Sony ILCE-7)
This was taken one night in early December 2019, in Silverton, in the far north-west of New South Wales – during a furious dust storm. The taking of this photograph was a ‘decisive moment’ and more. I was driving very, very slowly through this dust storm when I noticed the way the ‘Municipal Chambers’ appeared under the respective lights from the moon and nearby lamp, both affected by the haze of the dust storm. With the wind, dust, and rocks whirling around me I positioned my car up against a wall on the opposite side of the street, and with my back against a wall to keep me steady and using the open car door for some protection I took this one shot – which in the end came out rather well – like a Russell Drysdale painting.
If you have read and gazed at all the above I hope you have enjoyed it. I feel I have grown considerably in my development and evolution as an artistic photographer. The future? Who knows – but I am more certain about my artistic eye and aesthetics, which is, unashamedly, ‘Romantic’.
Tony Knight – August 2020.