The Busy

My head is still spinning @_@ my Northern Hemisphere Summer with the MFA Photo program at Parsons has been intense. It’s not my preference to make work at such an accelerated pace – I’m slow even by normal standards – but it was a superlative opportunity and I’m more than a bit sad that it’s over 🙁 I NY, I love Parsons, and I love the current MFA Photo students – it’s been a thrill to be surrounded by sensationally talented photographers.

I used the residency to experiment with something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’m often being encouraged (by people I really should listen to) to make video or animations. I find that suggestion a bit overwhelming as I will need a whole new skill set, new equipment, and a clue about where to start. As a warm up to working with longer narratives I’ve made a new photocomic.

The space I was given to work with had some quirks that I used to start the story narrative. I’d been working on this little puppet for such a long time – but I really didn’t know what he was going to get up to. The pipes and the little hole in the wooden floor gave me my staring point, from there the story just …grew? (the pun princess strikes again!) It was a very fun project, especially working with multiple anamorphic shapes in one spot. It got a bit complex there for a few days, see:

I do have some ideas about we the story goes next, and some more characters to introduce. That will have to wait until we are back home in Australia.

After I’d finished shooting for the little project above I discovered that I really wanted to use the space for another image for the Honest Magic series. Lucky for me Orlando was keen to be involved again.

The Parsons Summer Open Studios also gave me an opportunity to try out something I’m very interested in: incorporating an anamorphic installation and viewpoint as part of an exhibition. I transformed an old enlarger lens (found at a flea market on West 59th street) into a peep-hole device for the void illusion in my studio. It was great! :duck: It’s given me some fantastic ideas for my Project Space show at CACSA in November 😀

Zo babe sure liked it.

Hello New York! Let’s get busy.

It’s hard to know how to begin with this entry. It might be a good idea to follow the Mad Hatter’s advice and “begin at the beginning, and when you get to the end – stop!”

Storm clouds over the Highline

This story begins in China, at the PIP Festival. Amongst the many highlights of that trip was getting to meet the current graduating MFA Photography students and their professors from Parsons, New School University in New York City. The PIP Festival organisers had arranged accommodation for all of the visiting foreign students in one of two historic “courier stations” reinvented as bed & breakfast type establishments inside the ancient city of Pingyao. Because of this proximity the little clutch of South Australian students I was travelling with were included in several impromptu student demonstrations and mini symposia where all the international students were able to present their work. On one occasion we were given 5 minutes (timed) to present our research with no time to prepare notes. It was an excellent test. Anyway, anyway I’m babbling here, but, the upshot of all of this was that I had a forum to show my research to some international academics, smile and shake their hand and swap business cards. This whole social networking thing is an absolute mystery to me, and I have to work pretty hard at it as it doesn’t come naturally. I had an excellent role model in Sundari Carmody, who is not only an incredibly talented young photographer, but also an absolutely natural networker. She’s an outstanding travelling companion, too.

Who let him drive?

On my return to Adelaide I contacted the professors from Parsons, and applied to do a residency as a Visiting Scholar over their summer program. It was a long waiting game to find out if I was going to be accepted, but I kept busy by preparing for the possibility of a summer in New York City by applying for professional development grants through ArtsSA. Lucky for me, my applications were successful so when I did finally get the green light everything was (mostly) in place.

And so here I am!

Upper West Side Ground Score

For the moment I’m flying solo, the boys will arrive in early July and I can’t wait to see their sweet faces. However, this city is more everything than I could have ever imagined & I’ve kept myself very busy. So far it’s friendly, comfortable, kooky and exciting. This week was my first week of study and I’ve managed to meet almost all of the MFA Photo students across all years of the degree, many of whom are international students from around the globe. There has been much geek talk 🙂 I’m ready to throw myself into an intensive period of making, although first I need to find out where in the city they hide all the broken optical instruments for me to scavenge. I also need to find a generous designer who will let me raid their scraps, and a sewing machine will speed things up too. Let’s see how lucky I can get.