Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Video | Alicja Dobrucker

How fantastic to again share Alicja Dobrucka’s interview with Crane.tv It's a great little piece as they caught up in her studio about the project 'I like you, I like you a lot'. You might recognise this from earlier in the year when we posted about the excellent series of exhibitions the year would bring and we are thrilled to be able to close with the same level of anticipation for the coming 2014 program. We hope you enjoy these final insights to the final show for 2013.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Photoset | I like you, I like you a lot

Images: Alicja Dobrucka

As we come to the end of our second year at Wallflower, we would like to invite you all to the final week of our current shows "I like you, I like you a lot" from London-based Polish artist Alicja Dobrucka and "Noise" from local artist Laura Frietag.
"I like you, I like you a lot" is a powerful and moving show, brought to Australia with assistance from the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Warszawa. Revolving around the harsh confrontation of the experience of death and mourning, the work is the story of the immediate aftermath of the death of the artist's 13 year old brother.  
In the projection space, "Noise" is a four channel video work investigating issue confronting youth on a global scale.  
These two shows are the final in our 2013 program and we are thrilled to be ending the year on such a strong note. Keep in touch with the gallery over the holiday break through our facebook, twitter, send us an email or just keep popping by here at our blog. 

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Photoset | I like you, I like you a lot

From the opening of Alicja Dobrucka's "I like you, I like you a lot" and Laura Frietag's "Noise", we have a few images celebrating the end of our 2013 program. Keep in touch with the gallery over our summer break through our twitter account @wallflowergalle or via our Facebook www.facebook.com/WallflowerGallery

Images - Fleur Ruddick

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Tonight! | Floor talk at MAC

Janina Green, Mrs Gowron 2009, type C photograph, 21.5 x 25 cm, edition of 3
Janina Green, Mrs Gowron, 2009, type C photograph, 21.5 x 25 cm, edition of 3

Eighth CCP Documentary Photography Award
Mildura Arts Centre 5:30pm, Thursday 17 October.

Kristian Häggblom, artist, Wallflower Photomedia Gallery curator and La Trobe University Mildura lecturer will discuss "neo-documentary" and how it relates to some of the projects involved in exhibition "The Eighth CCP Documentary Photography Award" from the Centre for Contemporary Photography Melbourne. This is a biennial showcase of contemporary Australian documentary photography which Häggblom won in 1998.

"The Eighth CCP Documentary Photography Award is a biennial showcase of contemporary Australian documentary photography. Since the inaugural exhibition in 1997, this event has grown in profile and significance. It represents a unique, national initiative in support of documentary photography, providing a rare opportunity to assess the themes, styles and ideas that characterise this fascinating genre."

"This year’s exhibition demonstrates the breadth of contemporary approaches to documentary practice from traditional black and white narratives through to vibrant colour recordings all of which have been achieved without digital manipulation. Themes range from the affects of war on US Marines through to dog shows, roller derby and the annual Miss South Sudan Australia pageant."
Mirko Martin | Tales from the West Side

German photographer Mirko Martin spent time in LA staking out film sets to secretly shoot for this and other projects. The resulting images seamlessly blur the line between fiction/fact choreography/documentary. Who is responsible for these realities; film directors, set builders, the populace of hyper LA or Martin himself? It really doesn't matter - this is an amazing publication. First published in 2008 for an exhibition at the Museum Goch.

Other projects can be seen at his website: http://www.mirkomartin.com 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

In Conversation | Nathanael Turner

As we come to the end of the fantastic exhibition At Water: Los Angeles, curator Haggblom caught Nathanael Turner to ask some questions in between his hectic schedule.

KH: In an interview with the online journal All this is Rocket Science you stated that you would like to photograph Obama on acid tubing down a river! Any updates on that vision?

NT: Haha.. The other day I photographed a man bathing in a river, I think thats close enough. More important than the content of one image, to me, is the narrative formed over time. The content of a group of images allows for a complexity that isn't possible in a single image. Each day that I photograph for a particular project, I am making images based on the previous experiences Iv'e with that project. When I first start working on something, there are usually a lot of open-ended paths and as I make more images and the project evolves, the physical and emotional qualities begin to take form.

While installing the Wallflower exhibition one of our employees from Arts Mildura, who is originally from NY, recognized your portrait of a girl named Elise as an old acquaintance. From NY to Mildura! You were also recently interviewed by Patricia Karallis from the London-based Paper Journal who is originally from Mildura! How strange, don’t you think? Beyond these uncanny coincidences, any thoughts on the positive and negative impacts of the rapid acceleration and expansion of photographic practice via the Internet? Where is this leading us?

There is nothing better than realizing the physical connections that exist around these transcontinental collaborations. The internet is a powerful tool, but it's also incredibly distracting. Within my own practice, the internet has a very little role in how I make work, but it does allow for opportunities like having a gallery show with you in Australia or publishing a book in London. It makes for an art world that is more accessible and fun, you just have to learn how to ignore all the internet noise.

Related to this subject, you recently launched At Water, LA at the NY Art Book Fair. What were your experiences of that event? How does one cope surrounded by so many cool publications? (And did you see Christian Patterson’s new book?)

I wish I could have made it to the book fair this year. It's a very special event and is an amazing opportunity to interact with lots of people we may usually only slightly interact with on the internet.

As with a couple previous Wallflowerian exhibitions, we asked you to choose a video work to screen alongside your pictures in our other projection spaces. Can you talk Michael Hernandez up a little? Images of the same people/places can be spotted in his video and your images. Do you guys often work together?

Yeah, we are good friends, so we often end up in the same places. As soon as you asked me for a video piece to go along with the show, I knew I wanted Michael's, which is made up of short cell phone clips. I thought conceptually, the two works could inform each other.

Speaking of similar places, I have also spent time in Helsinki (I am actually half Finish/Swedish) and it's a pretty crazy place. What did you think of Finland?

During that trip, I spent time in Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, and Finland was by far my favorite place. I felt a strong connection with the people and I think my quiet personality fit well there.

Collaboration interests us at Wallflower. You have also worked with Graham Walzer on a couple projects?

Graham and I went to school together in Rochester, NY. We met during an intensive summer photo program, since we were both transfer students. I think we were both really trying to challenge ourselves with the medium and found a connection through that passion. For a few years, we were collaborating on a blog, called Double Cuddle. There wasn't too much focus, but it was a great way for us to bounce ideas off each other, kind of creating a shared online sketchbook. After a while, it seemed to have served its purpose and both of us moved on to make more physical things, self publishing a few books and such.

In a sense this exhibition was a form of collaboration. With great trust, you sent us proofs and digital files to make the prints here in Australia. Did this make you nervous? I found it rather exciting to be frank. Would you work like this again in the future?

I found exciting too. I wasn't too nervous about your ability to bring the show together, but I was nervous that my attempt at constructing a show in my living room wouldn't translate to the gallery space. It was difficult to visualize how the work would feel thousands of miles away, but it seemed to have work out well. I really like this type of collaboration, because the work begins to take on a life of its own. If I had done this show in LA, I would have been more involved and in control of each detail. Especially with the book, I found the collaboration created something that I wouldn't have been able to do on my own. I sent Lewis and Alex a couple of hundred images to work from, and before really talking about a direction for the book, I let them begin the process of creating the first edit.

You call yourself a “collector” and have a large archive of negatives that you draw on when putting together bodies of work. Is this how you plan to continue making imagery? Any new projects you can tell us about?

I would say that my interest in photography stems from my collecting hobbies as a child and teen. That act of collecting has evolved into something more complex. The same way I would walk into the woods to find things for one of my various collections, I go out collect elements to a story.

I'm working on a new project thats just starting to take shape, so I'm not ready to speak about it just yet.

I have to ask, how was it photographing David Lynch?

Well, I arrived at his studio and was shown a very nice concrete wall that I was suppose to use as my background. He stepped into the room and introduced himself, touching my shoulder. A spiritual aura filled the room. I took 20 frames on my Mamyia 7, then he looked to his assistant and the shoot was over. haha.

As with most Wallflower interviews, we will conclude with a recommendation from you in regards to tunes. What would you recommend as a soundtrack to listen to for this show?

This was one of just a few albums that I listened to while editing this work.

Shlohmo - bad vibes


Monday, 23 September 2013

Galerie Pavlova | Contemporary Photography from Australia & New Zealand

Wallflower is pleased to promote a new player in the international photography scene. Showcasing contemporary photography from Australia and New Zealand in Berlin, Galerie Pavlova will act as a window to emerging photography from our region amongst the established gallery district of Linienstrasse in Berlin Mitte. They have created a crowd funded indiegogo campaign and are offering some lovely rewards.

Taking part in the European Month of Photography, hosted in Berlin every two years and applying to the Unseen Photofair in Amsterdam, which promotes not only emerging photography but also emerging collectors, Pavlova hopes to generate international support for their campaign. Proposing workshops and assistance for artists from Australia and New Zealand to make the trip over to Berlin, Pavlova also hopes to organise an exchange between photographers from Germany, Australia and New Zealand. The gallery has been established and is directed by Australian ex-pat Michael Dooney.

Show your support at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/galerie-pavlova-berlin-based-contemporary-photography-gallery/x/4800905

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Photoset | At Water

We are pleased to present images from the install and opening of Nathanael Turner and Michael Hernandez' work in the 17th exhibition at Wallflower. As ever, thanks must go to Arts MilduraMildura BreweryChalmers Wines AustraliaLa Trobe University, Mildura CampusVerdict: Bar and Tapas and many many more for their continued support.

We are amazed and grateful for the generosity and quality of Verdict's platters at openings, La Trobe Mildura's support particularly in the form of printing services, Mildura Brewery and Chalmers wines for their continued provisions  and the great team who work on installing, manning the gallery and all the other tasks that make an exhibition a success.

Photos by Fleur Gabrielle Ruddick and other members of the Wallflower team.
Lynn Cohen | Occupied Territory

A new entry for this exciting section of our blog: Books purchased by*, gifted to or lusted after by Wallflowerians.

"During the ’70s and ’80s, Cohen turned her view-camera toward classrooms, science laboratories, testing facilities, waiting rooms, and other interior spaces where function triumphs over aesthetics. In cool, functional offices, futuristic reception areas, lifeless party rooms, and escapist motel rooms, Cohen surveys a society of surface, contradiction, and social engineering..."

An early tour-de-force of topographic interior photography, the spaces documented by Cohen act like depressing sculptural experiments and the recent re-edition features new unseen works. 


Wednesday, 28 August 2013

In Conversation | Danielle Hobbs

Today we have the pleasure of presenting our latest 'In Conversation' between curator Kristian Haggblom and closing artist Danielle Hobbs. The exhibition Talisman Sourcebook for the Animal Wife has now concluded and we would like to thank all involved for a great show. Don't forget, our new exhibition At Water & Leaflet 1 from LA based photographers Nathanael Turner and Michael Hernandez opens this Friday, August 30 at 5pm.

KH: I’ll start with a confession. I really like the word trinket! I’m not entirely sure why, it could just be the sound. One of the images from my PMS series is a girl burning a trinket that most Japanese people attach to their phone. These are usually exchanged by lovers so the image has some “heated” meanings for those that understand the cultural dialogue at play. No doubt your pictures also hold some powerful and not too discernable meanings. What do the trinkets you have scanned for this exhibition ward off?

DH: It is a great word, nice to say like belly or pappadam! But I think of a trinket as a disposable object of not much value, like something you would get from a gum machine or a Christmas cracker. I refer to my objects as talismans, charms or amulets as its suggestive of a higher importance to its owner. Just to clarify, the odd trinket has transcended to talisman status in my collection and although they may be important to me I’m sure others view them as trinkets.

The process of investing mental and emotional energy into an object, action or idea is something we all do and each object I scanned have varying importance to me. The signet rings belonged to my maternal and paternal grandmothers and my mother and are a symbol of the strong women in my life. The ballerina is from my first music box and although the box is long gone, the dancer has travelled all over the world with me. She is a reminder to remained composed and graceful at all times but also to just whirl like a dervish every now and then because there is nothing quite so liberating and childlike as spinning until you fall down.

There is also a number of universal objects such as wishbones, coins, a shooting star, and an eyelash collection for the purposes of making wishes, the odd fairy tale reference with frogs for hope that a gorgeous princely husband will come along. I’ve also scanned objects that have made appearances in other works of mine – the mirror and scissors I photographed my grandmother with (reflection on and snipping the thread of life) the rabbit fur from the cloak that I made and photographed my daughter wearing (protection) the vintage porcelain teeth that I used in a sculptural work (fear of bad parenting) and the list goes on…

This series is an extension of your recently completed (congratulations) Masters by Research through RMIT. Can you briefly outline that project? I know it has a wonderful title as with this exhibition. Also, I worked with you on your Honours project so I wonder how much that influenced the more recent work?

This body of work has a direct lineage from my Honours project back in 2009 at LTU. It heralded a new way of working for me. Once upon a time I would pack my camera bag, head out in the morning and not return til after dark. This methodology became redundant when I had children and my process became house bound for a few years. I took up sewing again, a skill that my mum taught me when I was 7 or 8 looking to produce a stylish wardrobe for my Barbie! This change of life situation and art practise pushed my work in a sculptural/object direction which has continued into my Masters Research project. The Black Swan and Postnatal Depression: preventive talismans and transformative garments for ‘bad’ mothers developed out of a coping mechanism that I used when I was in the depths of depression after giving birth to our second child.

In the centuries-old fairy tale of the Swan Maiden, a man sees a white swan shed her feathered robe to bathe, revealing a beautiful maiden. He steals the enchanted garment preventing the Swan Maiden from flying away so she will marry him and bear his children. The children eventually give away the robe’s hiding place, enabling the Swan Maiden to transform again into her swan shape and flee, leaving her husband and children behind. In a personal re-imagining of the tale, the swan is black rather than white, and only the mother knows the location of the enchanted robe. Rather than escaping her marriage, my version of the Black Swan uses the charmed garment to remove herself from moments of maternal crisis, as a protective measure for both the children and herself. In this research project I explored ideologies of motherhood and the contradictions and complexities of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ motherhood. I will draw on my firsthand experience of Postnatal Depression and the inherent binaries of Animal Wife narratives - in particular the Black Swan motif - focusing on the fluid, transformative spaces between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ motherhood. The project was realised through the creation of garments that suggest escape through transformation, and talismans, amulets and charms that embody the dual purposes of watching over the child in the mother’s absence and shielding the child from the ‘bad’ mother’s presence. Gosh, it makes me sound horrible!

You work across several mediums but all with clarity for an end result. Can you elaborate on what these are and how they relate back to lens-based practice?

Well, it’s funny because I actually identify as a photographer, but I suppose I’d be perceived as something quite different. I found myself moving away from photography as a single medium for the purposes of convenience, as we have already discussed, but also because it failed to tell the whole story anymore. I don’t really think too much about what medium I’d like to use but what process or materials will best express my intent. I think black and white photography has given me a reduced colour palette, I tend toward medium format photography these days for the simple reason that I like the democracy of the square, and working in a darkroom and now with digital printing photography has given me a deep appreciation for finish, a skill that I regard as highly valuable.

You had ethical issues akin to Sally Mann and, although slightly different but within Australia, Bill Henson (let’s not go there), how do you feel about that now? Is it something we should discuss or just acknowledge the fact that we are an all-too-often backwards looking country? This is of course also the Philip Lorca-di Corcia case.

Yes, as part of my project I had planned to photograph my children in a similar vein to that of my Honours project. For a number of reasons (power relationship, age of consent, secondary focus of research) my application didn’t even make it to the sitting committee. I was livid at the time, then panicked, and I artistically froze for a couple of months before embarking on an ‘unblocking’ process of scanning and a drawing-a-day workshop.

I now understand, appreciate and embrace the University’s reasons for turning down my project. Academia has the responsibility to benchmark ethical research, be it art or science, which the rest of the community can look to for guidance.

Having said that, there are a number of off spins from the process such as being forced out of my comfort zone to produce works unlike anything I had made before and finishing at the University with half a project still to create. At this point I leave myself open to criticism from the public akin to Mann, Henson etc.

I first saw this work in publication form. You know us Wallflowerians are big on books. How do you feel about the work in print and exhibition form? How do they relate? And what is your most cherished publication (you can mention 3 only)?

I quite enjoyed the process of turning the scans into prints. As you know, I only ever planned to use this process as an ‘unblocker’ so I never envisaged them as anything other than a digital file. However I prefer them in book form because they are a source material, a catalogue or a witch’s recipe book of spells and charms if you like, so they still have greater potency in this format for me. And I love the grey felt cover!

Cherished publications. Well my most cherished is a book I first discovered at the Brunswick library when I was studying at Brighton Bay (now PIC Hawthorn). Robert Frank and moving to Melbourne went hand in hand for me and after having it on permanent loan for a year I saved up and bought my own copy of The Americans. Others might be Kiki Smith’s Prints and Things, and my Blindspot collection, hard to narrow down because there is also my copy of Cornelia Parker’s book that I bought on a visit to the Tate in London…

Slightly politically charged question being a post-exhibition interview but it makes sense considering you have lived in this region for most of your life and we both work at La Trobe University (who are now an official supporter of Wallflower). Firstly, how was your experience exhibiting at Wallflower? Being local is was a very big crowd at the opening, which we – of course – like. Secondly, what role do you think the gallery plays in a regional city? Do you have any advice for the motley Team Wallflower?   

Rushed but surprisingly stress free! Many thanks to Krystal Seigerman at LTU for her terribly professional assistance for getting the prints out and up in time, and the staff were very open and obliging to all my requests for access, hanging, painting plinths and miscellaneous. Being local is always an advantage when it comes to crowd numbers and local press interest, but I am always humbled by the people who make an effort to come to my openings. I see the gallery as having a twofold purpose here in Mildura. In my educators guise that they showcase international work in a small regional centre is of great value and importance not only to the artistic community but also to the students. They can see what a small contemporary gallery runs/looks like without having to leave home (but do leave home and go see other galleries in other cities please students!) and keep abreast of what’s happening in photomedia around the world. It’s also an advantage for local artists to be able to show in such a professional setting along side the likes of Thomas Breakwell and Georgia Metaxis. I also see the breaking down of a divide between the city and the country, that a number of artists who are coming to exhibit in Mildura either have or are forging connections with the region, often returning with or after a show.

Finally, as we always do – tunes, what do you suggest is good listening while taking in this collection of your collection?

I’ll confess I don’t listen to music very much and I certainly can’t work with it on. I had an epiphany recently after a trip to Melbourne. I think at heart I am an urban dweller but find the white noise of being in the city interferes with my ability to think straight (especially now that my head is filled with extra voices of children/husband) So I live in the country not for the landscape, not for the lifestyle but for the silence…

Having said that, I like to listen to music when I’m relaxing or running and have been going through my old collections recently - Archers of Loaf, Leonard Cohen, old Nick Cave. I have young children who are forever downloading horrible pop music on iTunes and have a shameful knowledge of what’s in the top 10. When I’m entertaining I like background music, and have been enjoying the jazz on Saturday evenings on Radio National. While taking in this work I think something instrumental so that there is no leading narrative, so it’s open to personal interpretation. 

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Closing | Talisman Sourcebook for the Animal Wife

Photos: Fleur Ruddick

It's been a fantastic few weeks with Danielle Hobbs' Talisman Sourcebook for the Animal Wife in the gallery and Thomas Breakwell's New Frontier in the projection spaces. If you didn't get a chance to see the show keep an eye out as we'll be posting an interview with the artist for the closing of the show.

We would also like to extend a big welcome to our new assistant Fleur Ruddick who will be documenting Wallflower's shows and opening celebrations. 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Andy Sewell | The Heath

A new section for our blog. Books purchased by*, gifted to or lusted after by Wallflowerians. 

As the subtle cover suggests, a random yet connected mapping of a London parkland. Beautiful cover and paper stock, poetic narrative from considered plates. Self-published in an edition of 800 in 2011.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Opening | The Talisman Sourcebook for the Animal Wife and New Frontier

Thomas Breakwell, New Frontier

Opening this Friday, August 9th at 5pm Danielle Hobb's The Talisman Source Book for the Animal Wife will be accompanied by Thomas Breakwell's New Frontier.
Hobbs outlines in her statement "The Talisman Source Book for the Animal Wife is a component of my Masters Research project, The Black Swan and Postnatal Depression: preventative talismans and transformative garments for ‘bad’ mothers. The project is an exploration of escapist/transformative garments and protective talismans as a strategy for neutralising moments of crisis, and the possibility of reconciliation between conflicting notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ motherhood."

In the projection spaces, New Frontier is "a video installation exploring ideas of ‘wilderness’ within the Australian landscape and the notion of a sublime experience in nature. By playing with the traditions and expectations of landscape art history, Breakwell attempts to create a new experience within the environment." (statement via Seventh Gallery website

Exhibition runs to August 24