From August 15 to 18 the Centre for Contemporary Photography will host its inaugural CCP Photo Fair – an opportunity to listen to photographers, see their work and even take a piece home.
The selection of artists was inspired by the foundation of CCP. Then the Victorian Centre for Photography, it aimed to show work from all areas of photography, including commercial and journalistic work. The nine artists in the inaugural fair include commercial photographers who spend their days documenting architecture, food and fashion for brands and magazines, and who then still pick up their cameras on their days off, driven by an artistic urge.
More than 70 artworks from nine of Australia’s leading photographers will be displayed, and visitors can hear artists speak at events, panel discussions and book launches.
Ahead of the event, we asked the CCP Photo Fair team to share their top picks from the collection.
Adam Harding, director at CCP
Skaramagas Human Camp, Greece. People fish and play along the water at sunset, 2017. Saskia Wilson
As the day's light becomes a band of orange on the mountains of a distant shore, silhouetted figures congregate on our shoreline. A fence that had blocked their access, now broken, allows entry to the liminal zone. Young people embrace this freedom and try their luck with rods in the sea. On bikes and expressing peace and congratulations, the once prohibited shoreline becomes a place to watch the light transition from yellow to the endless dark blue of night. What will tomorrow bring? It is the expression of freedom within the unknown that is one of the reasons that if this picture goes missing during the fair, it just might be at my place, at the other end of George Street.
Genevieve Brannigan, director at Communications Collective; CCP Board of Management
Cowboys at Sunset. Jo Duck
I was drawn to Jo Duck’s Cowboys at Sunset for its flamboyance and rich colours set against an otherwise arid environment. While the staging of the image could suggest a duel, the lack of weapons lends a soft playfulness to the work. It reminds me of the colourful excess the Italians famously experimented with in the spaghetti western genre of film, where there is an absence of a clear hero or villain. This image challenges the traditional cowboy genre and clichés of masculinity – the hard, the soft, the competitive and the playful. I love this duality in Jo’s work.
Nick Shelton, director and publisher at Broadsheet
BERG #2. James Geer
I've long admired James's work and have been fortunate enough to work with him a number of times over the years. His BERG series is terrific, but it’s BERG #2 that stands out to me.
It’s sculptural and textural, and the more you look at it the more you see in those different layers and textures. The palette is somehow restrained but also vivid. It’s a beautiful work.
Michael McCormack, managing director at Milieu; CCP Board of Management
Jan Juc Two (Foggy Seas). Anita Beaney
Tom Blachford and Kate Ballis are friends of mine and I have a number of their works already. I’ve also been fortunate to work with Tom Ross at Milieu and love his work. However, my top pick is Jan Juc Two (Foggy Seas) from Anita Beaney’s series – Looking Out, Looking In. My wife and I met and lived near the area Anita has shot in this series for many years before moving back to Melbourne. I’m a keen (albeit poor) surfer and used to love those early morning, mid-week times at the beach during winter. On foggy mornings you could be sitting on your board in the water beyond the breaking waves and not be sure which way was in and which way was out. This work reminds me of the calmness of those moments.
Eric Nash, general manager at CCP
Monstera. Isamu Sawa
It's hard not to be captivated by Isamu Sawa's Monstera – part of the photographer's extremely successful Without Water series. Arresting in scale, the work is also astonishing in detail. This is revealed through Issey's mastery of a technique known as focus stacking –meaning any one work is composed of up to 120 individual shots, which when combined produce a crisp and extremely intricate image. Monstera is also a work of great balance. Tonally its dark slates, deep blues and warm accents balance well against a clean ivory backdrop; and the subject, positioned centrally, cuts across the composition and creates an interplay of positive and negative space. Conceptually, I enjoy the artist's reference to something so close to home, being his wife Basia's floristry. There is a sophisticated beauty in Issey's permanent capture of the decaying tropical plant.
Luke Brown, design director at The Company You Keep
Glass of Water, Auckland. Tom Ross
Of all the images to choose from, this is the most unassuming. The least technical, the least flashy, but to me the most interesting. Errant in its removed perspective, there's a distance and disconnect between subject and observer. It’s both meditative – a nod to deep thought or self examination – and a comment on pseudo-architecture. There’s an echo of a lingering gesture, reflective and still but provocative and curious. A glimpse into the mundane. A somewhere city's sober apartment block or hotel and its commentary on our social history, our lived experience. It’s a confident meditation and paradoxically humble. I love it.
The CCP Photo Fair is at the Centre for Contemporary Photography from August 15 to 18.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with the Centre for Contemporary Photography.