Saturday, March 09, 2013

Photos and more...

It intrigues me, when you see police procedural movies or series on TV, how often they use large photographs as part of their investigations, the sort of large photographs that you hardly see anywhere else these days, especially since the advent of digital cameras and the ability to be able to view photos on your computer or mobile or iPad.

Once upon a time it took days to get prints back from your negatives, and then we got to a stage of overnight prints, and then it was down to half an hour, and so on. Now, of course, we can have a photo we've shot on the iPad or computer within seconds.  Okay, it's not hard copy, but for the most part we don't need hard copies of photographs.  Think of all the thousands of printed photos that are stored away in cupboards and on shelves and in attics.  Of interest to archivists maybe, but not very much to those who are moving on with their lives. 

Occasionally we'll have a big sort-out of photos, and in one recent purge, we gave photos away to our adult children.  In most cases there was some sort of sentimental value attached to the photo.  But many photos taken in the past have little sentimental value: they're just a shot of something or other (sometimes not even identifiable) or someone (often someone whose name we've forgotten). 

Endemic's Roxburgh studio
Going beyond the family photos and coming back to the big photos, my wife and I went to see an exhibition yesterday put on by a couple who call themselves collectively Endemic, and who singly are a painter, Rebecca Gilmore, and a photographer, Greg Slui.  They live in Roxburgh, and had brought down a wide range of their prints (and some originals) to a display at the Hotel St Clair.   It was well worth paying a visit, even though the prices were out of our current (pensioner) range.  There were certainly some photos and paintings we would have liked a copy of if we'd had some cash: some of Slui's photos are wonderfully evocative, occasionally simple to the point of abstract, but in general very pleasing.  There was a marvellous shot of a bunch of boulders at Moeraki that particularly appealed to me. 

Gilmore paints in great detail, often with birds as a focus.  Some of these paintings were a delight, but the one that caught our eye consisted of nothing but beach or river stones in all their amazing variety.  Beautifully done.

The Chart Room at the Hotel St Clair is a good spot for an artist: plenty of foot traffic, the sea rolling in just across the road, the far horizon, an overcast sky (yesterday, when we went, but it had been bright earlier on), and an evocative atmosphere. 

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