This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – it’s a busy week ahead for Melbourne photography lovers. On International Women’s Day 8 March the inaugural Loud & Luminous conference celebrating women photographers will be held in Melbourne. Today the Loud & Luminous exhibition opens in Brunswick and on Sunday CONCEPTA, the 8th annual exhibition dedicated to women photographers opens at Magnet Galleries. Plus photojournalist Michael Coyne’s new show at Magnet Docklands, the launch of Peter Milne’s book Fool’s Paradise and the winner of the 2017 Australian Photobook Award.
Event & Exhibition:
The inaugural Loud & Luminous Conference is designed to encourage positive and meaningful dialogue on equality and to inspire women to “chase their dreams”. The Conference provides an important forum in which to address issues that often get overlooked in the broader conversation around photography. It also delivers an exciting opportunity for women working across the photographic spectrum to come together and hear from a number of inspiring speakers.
I’ll be presenting on the topic: Can photography impact social change? and exploring this concept by discussing two important initiatives by women photographers: Renée C. Byer’s Positive Change Can Happen, and Stephanie Sinclair’s Too Young To Wed. Both these projects demonstrate the exciting opportunities the digital age presents for visual storytellers.
The Loud & Luminous Conference is free, but registration is essential https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/loud-and-luminous-conference-tickets-43049145152
Loud & Luminous – 9am-5pm Thursday 8 March
Cretan House 148-150 Nicholson Street Brunswick East
Loud & Luminous – the Exhibition
Opening at the Brunswick Street Gallery tonight is the Loud & Luminous exhibition featuring work from 56 diverse women photographers across Australia. To celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, these photographers have created imagery on the topic of women, to empower and inspire women globally. There will also be a book published.
Project co-curator and contributor Hilary Wardhaugh says “Photography changes the world. Equality is everyone’s business, we need an inclusive discussion and a collective voice to respond to make a better world for all. Loud & Luminous is a unique project and encourages women to tell their stories to contribute to our cultural identity, and acknowledges the importance of all stories”.
Brunswick Street Gallery, 322 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
On until 13 March
Exhibition: MAGNET Galleries Melbourne
CONCEPTA – 8th annual women’s show
Opening Sunday 4 March to celebrate International Women’s Day, CONCEPTA will raise funds for UN Women, the development branch of the United Nations that supports women in developing countries.
Eight years ago Gallery director Susanne Silver created this annual women-only exhibition as a way of bringing some equity to the exhibition space which tends to be dominated by male photographers.
“In any given group show we might have only one or two women. I found that some women were a lot more tentative about exhibiting their photographs, saying they weren’t good enough,” says Silver. ” You never got the men saying that – and I was out to prove that it simply wasn’t true – judging by the work I’d been seeing from the women!”
This year’s theme is “abstract” and CONCEPTA features a collection by 20 photographers. Silver says the exhibition “promises to be a visual feast of light, colour and form”.
CONCEPTA opens on Sunday 4 March at 4.30 to 6.30pm and will be launched by Laura Napolitano, the new Director of the Melbourne Italian Institute of Culture.
Until 7 April
2/640 Bourke Street, Melbourne CBD
Exhibition: Magnet Docklands
Michael Coyne – The Weather is Different a Few Miles Away
On assignment in China, Michael Coyne spent time in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, areas inhabited by the ethnic group known as Yi people. Coyne, a seasoned photojournalist, was fascinated with the villagers and keen to create a portrait series that captured their “old-worldliness”.
“When we got to a village we were introduced to the local official who quickly organised the villagers for the photographs. We needed a background and asked for a sheet, which was found and nailed up or hung somewhere suitable. Many of the villagers posed in their working clothes but some were dressed in their tribal finery for a local festival,” says Coyne.
Coyne eschewed his usual camera gear to use a Holga pinhole camera to create images that are reminiscent of those taken in the nascent years of photography. This aesthetic, says Coyne, “is so entirely appropriate for portraits of the Yi people who live both in the modern age and also in an ancient timelessness”.
Until 31 March
Level 1 (DAC1.1), Wharf Street, The District, Harbour Town, Docklands
Peter Milne – Fool’s Paradise: The Early Years of The Melbourne Comedy Festival
This new book from Australian photographer Peter Milne brings together an edited selection of candid backstage moments from the first 11 years of the Melbourne Comedy Festival (1987- 1998).
Comedians featured include Greg Fleet, Lynda Gibson, Meshel Laurie, Andrew Denton, Judith Lucy, Rich Hall, Magda Szubanski, Lenny Henry, Colin Lane, Frank Woodley, Mick Molloy and others, often captured in the very early years of their careers.
The book includes essays from Greg Hocking, Sue-Ann Post, Kevin Whyte and Judith Lucy who writes:
‘…I love the look of Peter’s photographs; there is so much depth to the images, so much going on in the background like a gesture or a portentous sign. But there’s something else too; the fact that they are black and white and make such use of shadows and darkness lends a kind of menace to the laughter and maybe that’s what comedy is: light and shade, horror and release.’
All works: Courtesy of Peter Milne and M.33 Melbourne
Published by: M33 Melbourne
To be launched by Denise Scott
Saturday March 3 2018, 3- 5pm
188 Collins Street Melbourne
Winner 2017 Australian Photobook of the Year
Variations for Troubled Hands (above) by Auckland photographer Steve Carr and independent Australian publisher Perimeter Editions is the winner of the 2017 Australian Photobook of the Year Awards.
Three works were commended finalists: Tokyo is Yours, a self published title by Meg Hewitt; The Pines by James Bugg, a student of PSC, Melbourne; and AREOGLYPHIC – Volume 1 by Chloe Ferres.
This year the Awards attracted 71 entries an increase on past years and indicative of the interest by photographers in creating books. It also demonstrates the perceived value of the prizes (the winner receives $1000 in cash plus $4000 in printing credit) which are sponsored by photobook production company, Momento Pro, who established the awards in 2011.
The Australian Photobook Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in photobook creation, and showcase the work of Australian photo artists to local and international audiences with winning entries exhibited nationally and internationally. Over 8 years Momento Pro has awarded $60,000 in prizes to photographers including Sam Harris and Stephen Dupont, who both went on to publish with renowned international publishers.