Article by Becky Hunter - http://beckyhunter.co.uk/
The professional development opportunity I seek to undertake would be to meander through some of the worlds great cities, photographing the monumental and iconic symbols each presents as its public face and to discover the lesser known spaces where a city breathes; the intersections between the natural world and urban culture. My current work explores that edge as I have experienced it, the interplay that exists between local commerce, urban evolution and the destruction of natural spaces. I am aware that this subject matter has wider universal implications of addressing commercialism and the environmental impact of human culture. This project would give me the opportunity to travel outside my ‘known’ and remote city and experience this duality in a global context. Locations that I am drawn to are New York City, London and Dubai. Each city is a significant international symbol of pandemic commerciality; each offers unlimited opportunity to explore a diverse and unique contemporary urban construction that signifies today’s extremes in environment and economy.
Naturally while visiting these hubs I would seek to engage with local art networks, attend exhibitions, museums, cultural institutions and research the potential for future creative exchanges such as exhibiting opportunities and residencies.
From the images collected, the experience of the travel and the influence of the ‘other’ culture I intend to create a new suite of digital montage with a working title Generic Metropolis. My recent work Awesome Atrocity was the result of significant conceptual and technical evolution within my work. Melding photographic imagery has always been a starting point for my work, it informs the way I build perspective, arrange composition and include detail and subject matter. I have previously worked the photographic surface with paints and inks, layering pictures with painterly techniques and drawing out random forms and shapes that appear within the grain of a photograph. I have also worked extensively with collage, photomontage and bricolage. Currently I am replacing found and recycled detritus, scissors, glue and paint with Photoshop’s digital cut and paste options to create monumental Giclee prints on cotton rag. Generic Metropolis will be a digital project that extends this transformation in my work.
Essential to this digital evolution has been my participation in the digital image-making workshops run by internationally renowned artist Les Walkling at the Centre of Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. I have attended three of the ten weekend workshops on offer and have found them invaluable regarding technical information that result in print quality and integrity as well as fostering strong networks with other workshop participants. I would also use this offer of encouragement to enroll in further courses run by Lez Walkling.
I've just turned 40 and came to the Territory in search of a far away and exotic coastal edge, 16 years ago. The sojourn was conceived after graduating from what seemed a lifetime of perpetual art school and a commitment to produce photographs for an exhibition back in Melbourne. A beached boat in the mangroves became my home, mud and sandflies a daily reality, and along with views of Darwin's metropolis, the framework of an intoxicating migration spawned. That was the beginning of my tropical love affair with Darwin and her harbour. Needless to say I returned after my show in Melbourne, fell in love, bought a house, had a baby and declared never to leave! Now I'm back studying Honours in a Bachelor of Visual Art at Charles Darwin University and am the grateful recipient of the 2009 Edgar Dunis Arts Scholarship and Deans Bursary award. I am also deadly serious about the business of making art. Fusing photography and painting together, I've created a sublime jungle environment where development rises from mangroves. Broadly speaking the evolving cityscape and morphing harbour could be seen as a metaphor for global condition and human optimism, which provides me with never-ending enchantment, amazement and humility. Influenced by the Northern Territory's unique mix of cultures, styles and history, I often wonder who the people living in the urban apartments are, when will the wave pool open and what happened to that tram on Stokes Hill Wharf?
Exhibition of inkjet prints and acrylic- collaged on canvas and board
Charles Darwin University. Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
6-14 November 2008
Not so long ago, free spirits, artists, bohemians, hippies and long-grassers freely inhabited Darwin’s open spaces. Under the immense skies we slept on beaches and lived in makeshift humpies and tree houses. Under tarps we battened down during the wet and revelled in the glorious dry season.
When the headlines ‘Government begins crackdown on rural-area shed-dwellers' recently appeared in local media it signified a climax to the change in our midst. Constructions rising up from the landfill are the monuments to progressive and modern skylines. Developing daily are large symmetrical concrete forms on Darwin's horizon. The once accepting and open spaces now mimic the cities we have left behind and feared.
A Big City Up There refers to the time we lived so close to Darwin's CBD and yet we were so far away intellectually. Barefoot and shabby, we lived in a yester-world of mosquito coils and candles, without power, without water. Suburbs replace the once densely forested mangrove mudflats and wastelands are now apartment valleys. In these images I pay homage to this experience of our past lifestyle. The immeasurable skies that once evoked a sense of adventure are juxtaposed with the buildings and heavy earth moving machinery of today's Darwin