Yesterday I wandered the halls of the Art Gallery in New South Wales in Sydney to view the current free photography exhibit "Photography and Place: Australian landscape photography 1970's until now". The exhibit shows the work of 18 photographers including works by Australian photo luminaries I have long admire including Bill Henson and Ricky Maynard. The photography is by art photographers, but their approach to photographing the Australian landscape is not what I expected to see. What I expected to see were lots of arty-type concept works. What I did see were often simple representative images of the landscape. The photographers approach in these works was to record the landscape as would a historian or documentary photographer. I better stop there or I'll start sounding like a critic and not like a photographer.
The prints are often very big, like the 100x148cm images of wind swept ice in the Antarctic (is that in Australia?) by David Stephenson. You'll find mix of Black and White and the color prints. None of the photography in color was the easy to digest over saturated bright color landscape photography that is popular today. What I enjoyed most in this exhibit were Lynn Silverman's Horizons series she did in 1979 and Paul Ogier's new work from the Emu Field Atomic Test Site. In the exhibit are a couple of Rosemary Laing prints from her Heysen series from 2005, I don't like those as much as her earlier work.However, A couple of floors below are some Laing prints that might be for a new installation-the room was blocked from entry. The Laing prints I could see include #2, of the burning car in the desert, are from her 2003 series titled "One dozen Unnatural Disasters in the Australian Landscape".
It was also nice to see some prints from the NSW Art Gallery collection that I have only see in books. Like the Perisher Valley prints by Ingeborg Tyssen.
If you have time you really should check out Photography and Place at the NSW Art Gallery.