A few weeks back I blogged about Oliver Rose shooting on location at a junkyard out by the airport. What I didn’t mention was that he was photographing his entry for LomoWorld, which opens at Elam’s projectspaceB431 Gallery on Wednesday night. Curated by fashion designer Francis Hooper, LomoWORLD is an exhibition featuring Lomo photos shot by a whole bunch of student artists. One of the artists exhibiting is a good friend of mine named Anna Starr. Taking inspiration quite literally from WORLD, she decided to make enormous colourful bow ties and hang them from trees. Francis Hooper liked the idea so much that he donated a whole bunch of new season WORLD fabrics, et voila – art was created. The photos are awesome – hazy, dreamlike and available for sale at the exhibition on Wednesday.
How did you make the artwork?
To produce the work Francis gave me the Mini Diana camera, a quirky unpredictable camera first launched in the 60s, supplied by Lomography. Though film is expensive these days, 35mm can be found quite cheap so I pushed through about 5 rolls to get these three amazing images. Having not used the camera before, I was quite surprised at the awesome low-fi aesthetic. For me making an image begins way before I take a photo. I go through a difficult process of sourcing materials and spending hours making things that I want to photograph, and it very rarely works the first time around, but that’s part of it. I always say ‘with risk comes reward’. If it’s not challenging then I’m not interested.
Where did the idea for the bows come from?
For the image I gave you, Vestige of Wonder #1, I went browsing in the WORLD Deluxe store and was inspired by the bow ties and sashes, the colours were fantastic! So I wanted to make some myself, but huge oversized ones, and experiment with them in parks around Auckland. I hand-sewed them and stuffed them with pillows so that they looked real.
What was it like working with Francis Hooper?
Francis has a great appreciation and passion for experimentation. He always mentioned to just take more and more images because the camera is so unpredictable, you never know how it’s going to turn out. WORLD’s identity is as a factory of ideas and experiments and this is how we approached the project.
I phoned Francis, hoping to source some off-cuts of the new season WORLD fabrics to make the bow ties. I wanted the most recent fabrics from the women’s line because the textures were so gorgeous. In support of this idea, Francis supplied me with a variety of fabrics from his 2010 Autumn/Winter collection, he was very generous. I was so excited at this point – I remember running home to start making them.
As an artist what are your thoughts on fashion as an artform – be honest!
As a photographer who loves working with fabric I am constantly sifting through fashion magazines for inspiration. Some of my best ideas have come to me in this way. I love fashion that has sculptural qualities.
I think there is a cross-over between fashion photography and fine art photography. I would love to work in this grey area, between fashion and art. I think that’s exciting. But yes, fashion is art in its own right, and it should be celebrated as art.
What’s next for the photos?
I want to take the Mini Diana out on a misty night and take long exposures in parks; hopefully capture an eerie soft glow. It’s exciting when you find a new love for a camera, it’s a great motivator. I want to work more with large format film too and get back to my underwater photography. Winter should bring some fantastic opportunities.
(projectspaceB431, Fine Arts)
27 May 2010 to 12 June 2010 11am – 4pm.
Opening 26 May 5:30pm – 8:00pm
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