Had the great pleasure to attend and be part of Darwin’s photojournalism festival premiere – “Proof: Photo Essays from the Top End” – on the weekend.
The brain child of curators Maurice O’Riordan, Crystal Thomas and my ‘fotostrada’ colleague Glenn Campbell, the exhibition – set to be a bi-annual event – was split between two venues on the ‘Darwin Waterfront’ and the ‘Northern Centre for Contemporary Art’. The work of thirteen photojournalists including yours truly made for an impressive show.
Legendary Northern Territory PJ’s Clive Hyde and Baz Ledwidge presented remarkable samples of their work from the 1970’s and 80’s … the era of Lindy Chamberlain, Bob Hawke and Cyclone Tracey … alongside current and much younger NT photographers Elise Derwin and Daniel Hartley Allen. Andrew Quilty showed his black and white panoramic prints made after Cyclone Yasi struck northern Queensland and Jakarta based Ed Wray his great ‘Monkey Town’ set on Indonesia’s performing monkeys. Glenn Campbell hung his work produced in the Solomon Islands of the Australian Defence Force.
The greatest pleasure, however, was catching up with fellow ‘interstate’ exhibitors Megan Lewis (now based in Sydney) and Martine Perret (now based in Margaret River WA). Megan exhibited some of her well known prints of the Martu people in the Great Sandy Desert – from the ‘Conversations with the Mob’ collection – and also took time to perform in her ambassadorial role with Fujifilm to present a slide show and talk on her work and the use of the new Fujifilm X-T1 camera. Martine presented samples of her work ‘Trans Dili’ on trans gender men in Timor-Leste. Some hours were spent with Martine, Megan and Glenn gabbing about the industry, past assignments, state of photojournalism and other meaningful ‘stuff’… including a stint on the obligatory Mindil Beach that lasted for several hours after sunset! (NB … Glenn missed the beach stint as he was stuck offshore ‘working’ on a boat – but was ably replaced by Fujifilms Kevin Cooper.)
My contribution to the exhibition was “The Aak Puul Ngantam Stockman” set … at the curators request … not mine.
The festival is a great initiative and I look forward to seeing it once again in Darwin in 2016.
Below are pics of the two venues … top is the ‘Darwin Waterfont’ exhibit featuring the work of Megan Lewis, Clive Hyde, Elise Derwin and Baz Ledwidge … below is a pic from the ‘Northern Centre for Contemporary Art’ which shows my exhibit. Also at the NCCA is the work of Martine Perret, Glenn Campbell, Andrew Quilty, Ed Wray, Daniel Hartley-Allen, Regis Martin, Frederic Mit and Made Nagi.
images © Brian Cassey