This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – Paul Blackmore’s exhibition opens next week in Melbourne, plus Paolo Pellegrin’s (Magnum) new work on Europe’s largest prison, Fleury-Mérogis.
Paul Blackmore – Australians
I’m thrilled to be opening this show next week on Friday at Fox Darkroom & Gallery. Paul Blackmore is one of Australia’s foremost photojournalists, who has carved an international reputation for his insightful work much of which is transferable between both documentary and fine art fields.
This exhibition features work from his first long term project, Australians: Responses to the Land, which was published as a book in 1999. Australians was the first project for Blackmore who in his mid-twenties packed his camera gear and drove north from Sydney on a journey of discovery. Over the next five years he returned to the far reaches of north and central Australia numerous times to develop the narrative which became a visual discourse on how the land animates culture.
Blackmore will also show images from his new series HEAT, an investigation into how Australians living on the coast respond to the heat of summer.
“The new work has similar themes to the Australians, with a focus on the way people who live on the coast use the water and the beach and how that influences their relationship with the landscape,” he says.
Having found his own visual language shooting above the water, in the last couple of months Blackmore has ventured into underwater photography, which he says has been exciting and challenging.
“For HEAT I’ve photographed people entering the water, or half submerged, so the natural next step was picturing what was going on below. Shooting underwater has been the icing on the cake.”
Opening night: Friday 22nd June 6pm (I promise I’ll keep my speech to a minimum!)
Artist talk: Saturday 23rd June
Fox Darkroom & Gallery, 10 Elizabeth Street, Kensington
Paolo Pellegrin – Fleury-Mérogis prison
When I was commissioned to interview Paolo Pellegrin back in 2008 it was a turning point in my career. I remember placing a call to Pellegrin who was in Jordan, at 5am my time. When he learned how early it was he told me he wasn’t worth getting up that early for. Wrong! Since then photojournalism and social documentary in particular has become a passionate pursuit that inspires both my journalistic work and my scholarly research. So when I saw this new work from my dear friend, I wanted to share it with Photojournalism Now readers.
Fleury-Mérogis is Europe’s largest prison situated on the outskirts of Paris. In March this year Pellegrin went inside where more than 4,000 are incarcerated. It is essentially a holding pen for those who are awaiting trial, and those who have short sentences or are in the final two years of their term.
This is vintage Pellegrin, intense, yet quiet black and white images that whisper.