Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Lost and Found Project:  Family photos swept by the 3.11 East Japan tsunami will open at  CCP Melbourne  tomorrow May 31st at 6pm before coming to Wallflower Photomedia Gallery in Mildura.

This powerful exhibition displays damaged and orphaned family photographs retrieved during the clean up efforts following the devastating tsunami in March 2011. About 750,000 photos were collected from the rubble and volunteers for The Memory Salvage Project have cleaned, digitized, numbered and returned at least 20,000 family snapshots but some were too badly eroded to ever be identified.

In  New Yorker's Photobooth, photographer Munemasa Takahashi speaks of the exhibition and why the images are so moving:

After the disaster occurred, the first thing the people who lost their loved ones and houses came to look for was their photographs… Only humans take moments to look back at their pasts, and I believe photographs play a big part in that. This exhibit makes us think of what we have lost, and what we still have to remember about our past.

The Aperture exposures blog  also had an extract from Aperture magazine issue 206 , where photography critic Mariko Takeuchi writes:

In the cities, towns, and village affected by the disaster, a vast number of personal photographs were salvaged, pulled from underneath rubble and mud by all sorts of people. They were discolored by saltwater and covered with dirt; some were misshapen or even emitted foul odors. With very few exceptions, it was impossible to identify the people who had made the photographs, their subjects, or their owners—if indeed they were still alive.

This exhibition humanizes the troubling abstraction statistics and death tolls and generated world-wide interest and a Discovery channel special . Thousands of these abstracted images have been assembled into this powerful and visually stunning travelling exhibition.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Press | Sunraysia Daily | Heather Lee "Made In England"

Heather Lee’s current show was covered today, Wednesday 23rd May by the Sunraysia Daily, the exhibition is up until June 13.

Wallflower Photomedia Gallery | Open Monday - Friday 10: 00 - 5: 00 & Saturday 12: 00 - 4: 00
5022 9542, 41 Deakin Ave, Mildura, VIC 3502

Monday, 21 May 2012

Photo Set | Heather Lee and Threshold Projects

Friday, 18th May saw the opening of Heather Lee's "Made In England" in the main gallery and "Threshold Projects" curated by Siri Hayes and Michael Vale in the projection spaces .

Wallflower Photomedia Gallery would like to thank Heather Lee and the three visiting artists from Threshold Projects, Timothy Casten, Jacqueline Shelton and Eva McGowan for attending the opening and particularly thank Ms McGowan for her fantastic performance piece which we will be covering later in the week.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Conclusion | Tomoaki Makino & Tuomas A Laitinen

Many thanks from Team Wallflower go to Mr. Makino & Mr. Laitinen for making our inaugural exhibition a huge success.

Three images of "Odaiba" by Mr. Laitinen in the front window with our funky Wallflower sign spelling out what we are...

More information on current work by Tomoaki Makino and Tuomas A Laitinen can be found through their websites &

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

In Conversation | Heather Lee

This is the first in a series of interviews which we will be holding with the artists exhibiting at Wallflower. Heather Lee's solo show "Made In England" will be opening this Friday May 18 from 5-7pm. In anticipation of the exhibition, we asked Heather a series of questions about her past work, current research and its relation to the new show.
Heather Lee completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) in 2008 and is currently studying a Master of Arts in Interpretive Writing through Charles Sturt University. Since 2004, she has been involved in numerous group exhibitions including most recently, the 2010 Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award and the 2010 Swan Hill Print & Drawing Acquisitive Award. Solo exhibitions have included Ovah!, 2008 and Some of it was cricket, 2009. The conceptual basis of Heather’s art is strongly influenced by her research into sports' sociology and the way Australia's historical foundations have permeated through to the present time. She works across various media including printmaking, sculpture, and digital printmaking.

For your honours project through La Trobe uni you made a performative/site specific work on a cricket pitch. Can you tell us a little about it and does it relate to your newer work? 

The installation on the cricket pitch was comprised of 20 metres of silk fabric fixed at each end of the pitch but unattached between the creases on the pitch. On the day of the installation there was a slight breeze which picked up the silk, tossing it about as though the fabric were marking the flight of a cricket ball as it is bowled in a match.  For me the effect was surprising but pleasing as I wanted to highlight the constraints that cricket, with is associated rules and traditions, can impose particular social and cultural values on those who play it.  Although the flight of the ball may vary according to individual bowling actions, the start and end points are predetermined by the construction and marking-out of the pitch.

In addition to this, you made a sound work that was beamed out of the Historical society in Mildura for Palimpsest #8 "Collaborators & Saboteurs" can you elaborate on that piece? 

Being a sound installation, 'Mary's Oratorio' was a departure from my usual work and therefore was somewhat of an experiment.  The aim of the work was to recognise Mary Woorlong of the Kulkyne Tribe, her story and link it to my personal experience of living at the edge of the Woorlong Wetland (an extension of Kings Billabong).  The wetland is a remarkably rich ecosystem which, unlike Kings Billabong, has not been artificially regulated.  By installing the recorded sounds of Woorlong Wetland at the Mildura Historical Society who have a picture of Mary Woorlong in their collection, I hoped to conceptually bring past and present closer together.

You are known for your abstract scans and large scale prints, many of cricket balls. Can you hint at what you are up to for Wallflower and more specifically, how photomedia is incorporated? 

I can reveal that the work will be ball-less, but can't guarantee there won't be any cricket references.
A topic of ongoing debate between myself and a friend (you know who you are JB) is whether my work is classed as 'photography' or 'printmaking'.  I'm for the latter. My background is in printmaking and I see my use of scanning technology as a form of digital printmaking above all else.  As with the printmaking process, the result of my scans are only revealed to me when the image appears on the screen - the equivalent in traditional printmaking would be lifting the paper after putting a plate through the press.  Unlike photography, scanning does not allow you to see the final image prior to capturing it.

Hand Made Perfection I (detail), 2012

Your work seems to incorporate concepts that intersect local history, indigenous history and sport. Is that what you are looking at presently? 

The sociology of sport and the way the colonialism persists through the traditions, rules and intrenched values of cricket continues to intrigue me and inspire my art.  Through this central premise I find myself exploring numerous paths which, often obliquely, relate to my personal experiences and family history.  At this stage, I feel I've only just touched the surface of this investigation and as those who know me would say, I always seem to be able to relate everything back to cricket.  Scarily, I think I'm a bit cricket obsessed.

Can you expand on your role at Mildura Arts Centre and your curatorial studies?  

My role at Mildura Arts Centre (MAC) is that of Acting Gallery & Heritage Coordinator.  Despite the fact that the galleries are closed while the new theatre is being built, there has been huge amount of behind the scenes goings-on including everything from exhibition programming, digital documentation, archiving and conservation of artworks, as well as the ongoing task of liaising with heritage advisors and contractors regarding the conservation management plan for Rio Vista.  There's also the paperwork, paperwork, and more paperwork that somehow seems to multiply itself as soon as it hits my desk.

I'm full-time at MAC, but am also completing a Master of Arts in Interpretive Writing via distance education with Charles Sturt University Wagga Wgga.  Although this is a Masters by coursework and two of the three subjects are fairly prescriptive, students have the flexibility to propose their own research topic and complete a major piece of writing (10,000+ words) relating to art curation, exhibition, biography or publication.  My research is on early European responses and visual interpretations of the landscape of the Murray-Darling region of which Mildura is a part.

Heather Lee's exhibition "Made In England" will be at Wallflower Photomedia Gallery May 18 - June 13 | Opening Friday May 18 | 5-7 pm

Monday, 14 May 2012

Detail | Tomoaki Makino 

Tomoaki Makino "Soap Opera" #22

For the conclusion of Tomoaki Makino's show we have a special two part interview about his work and experiences creating his series "Soap Opera", a record of middle aged women in New York. 

Provided is the original Japanese statement and a translation.


It was the because of the influence of my mother, more familiar than anything, that I began to photograph ladies. When the hobbies and tastes of my mother surrounded me, of course those days felt very strange.
"Strange" When there was something to buy, when it was clothes or the interior design to choose or was seen from the young generation, there was a culture which could be considered. I called it the "lady culture."  A lady evolves a distinct sense of values when young that are original and specific to themselves. From this view-of-the-world, acquisitions are carried out.
She will buy cloth with a home-centre flower pattern, a collage will be carried out with it, and a wall will be decorated.
It is not the thing good, of course that it is bad.
It is life.

Tomoaki Makino "Soap Opera" #25

撮影となってしまえばあまりかわらない ということです。


I photographed middle-aged women in Japan (Tokyo and its circumference) and USA (outskirts of New York). Taking a photograph in Tokyo did not have a barrier of language, and although communication was smooth, since I also had to speak English in New York, the search for a model etc. suffered troubles very much. (I cannot speak much English)

When it is merely that a photograph is taken, I did not have this difficult thing. The direction of the place is carried out, a pause is demonstrated and shown, a lady laughs at a part of the scene, and it’s ‘Let's go!’ That is, it is the communication which is the collaboration of the interest over the lady's photograph, and my interest which exceeded language. 

Although culture is different and people's character also differs in the ladies of Japan and the United States, if it is that a photograph is taken, the situation will seldom actually change. 

Tomoaki Makino's publications are currently available through the gallery.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The slide show above features an image taken at Kororiot creek in 1976 by Robert Haggblom (Kristian's father) and other images from reconnaissance trips to the mouth at Altona and what is believed to be the source.

Below are the websites to the artists participating in __on this site, Kororoite Creek (Victoria) and information on previous Mildura Palimpsest events:

Mildura Palimpsest

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Event | Young Art Collectors: Photography

The Art Gallery of NSW will be holding a panel discussion this month giving "an insight into the world of collecting photography". This is part of AGNSW's series of Young Art Collectors Events which aims to encourage young art appreciators to step into the world of collecting and to inform those who are interested in the mechanics of building an art collection. If you're in Sydney this month and interested in the process of building an art collection it would be well worth booking yourself a seat for what will surely be an informative hour and a half.

Young art collectors: photography - Wednesday 23 May

An insight into the world of collecting photography.

In this panel discussion we bring together Gallery benefactor and prolific art collector, Andrew Cameron, Judy Annear, the Gallery’s head of photographs, and Kon Gouriotis, director, Australian Centre of Photography, to share with you their experience of collecting and appreciating photography. 
The discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.

Date: Wednesday 23 May 
Time: 6.00pm
Venue: Centenary Auditorium (Lower Level 1), AGNSW  
Cost: Members $35, Non-members $40

Bookings and enquiries: 
Phone: 9225 1878

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Website | is an online collection of 150 photographers and their work. It is an extensive database that provides a description of the artists’ work, 6 images and selected publications for each artist. The material for the website was collected during Anne Marsh’s extensive research project on contemporary Australian photography for which she received an Australian Research Council Grant in 2005.

It is particularly interesting in that it is a static resource which functions as a book, presented online.  As stated on the website:

This material, including photographs and texts, is drawn from a select period and thus attests to historical specificity and contexts within which this particular research project was undertaken. Much of the material about the artists’ works was collected from the artists and edited in 2006-2007 and acts as a form of historical snapshot of their creative practice at the time that the primary research was undertaken. To this end, no artist’s curriculum vitae are available through this website and nor are their current undertakings such as recent exhibitions. Where available, the artist’s URL should direct the visitor to this kind of current material.

The website is a simple and effective format for this type of online resource which is taking the print approach and is excellent for researchers, students and the public to access key material that was discovered during this research project. For the casual visitor, the home page presents a different artist each time on refresh, providing a random introduction to what may be unknown work but for the researcher or student a search box and browse by name option is provided. It is a great resource for international artists/curators to discover or gain deeper understanding to what happening in Australia.

Anne Marsh’s project produced the website and a large format book:  Look: Australian Contemporary Photography since 1980 was published by Macmillan Art Publishing and released in December 2010. It is a collection of over 400 photographs with a series of critical essays written by Anne analysing key themes and issues.