rock abstract

The Bowden Archives section of the photographic  archive has been sorted and edited into a book, which is  to  be published in 2018.  It consists of  50 images and two essays. I will now concentrate on other images from the archives:

In a previous post I mentioned that I would go to Victor Harbor occasionally.  Suzanne, my partner’s mother lived at Victor Harbor and we started to go and stay there on the odd weekend. Whilst staying there  I would walk around the rocky foreshore west ofd Petrel Cove photographing the rock formations:

rock abstract, Petrel Cove

I used an old Linhof Technika 70 camera for these rock abstractions.

Bowden textures

During the 1980s when  I was working on the Bowden project  in Adelaide The Developed Image, the South Australian Photographic Workshop  and the South Australian Workshop (SAW) came into existence.  There were number of  art photographers gathered around each. The Developed Image was the first photographic gallery in Adelaide, the South Australian Photographic Workshop was a collective of artists practicing in the field of  photography  who were associated with The Developed Image gallery;  whilst  the South Australian Workshop (SAW)   was a collectively run artist studio space.

This early history of art photography in Adelaide  has been ignored in the national timelines of photography in Australia,  even  though this was the period when the graduates of the  South Australian  School  of Art  were developing their pr0jects,  forming groups, working on projects  and having exhibitions. I  was on the periphery of these groups,  working in isolation and only  going to the various exhibitions at The Developed Image.    I wasn’t really aware of the overall photographic work that was being done in Adelaide during this period, nor did I have any sense of  the grant funded projects that these art photographers were then working on.  I had no connection to the independent publishers in Adelaide,  the little art magazines such as Words and Visions,   or any sense of a regional style in South Australian  still photography–if there was one.

Even though photography had developed an active presence in the art institutions my sense of this period  in Adelaide there was an absence of any major photographic publications,  art orientated photographers were working in relative isolation and their work was largely invisible to one another, there was a lack of critical writing on South Australian photography,  and there was little to no information  about  photography in Adelaide prior to the 198os. There was little sense of establishing a tradition of photography.

Bowden textures
Bowden textures

Adelaide was much quieter and more low key than Melbourne in the late 70s and early 80s.  There was no institutions such as  as Joyce Evans’ Church Street Gallery–an ambitious full-scale commercial gallery bookshop  that exhibited Australian work, vintage exhibitions  and overseas work–which  existed between 1975- 1982; or the Ewing and George  Paton Galleries at the Melbourne University Student Union.   I wasn’t sure to what extent the Art Gallery of South Australia supported the work of the local art photographers after Alison Carroll was appointed Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs in 1977,  or  to what extent the state gallery  encouraged the acquisition of contemporary Australian artists and photographers.  Continue reading