A selection of my images from the series Tattooed City is featuring in this year's Ballarat International Foto Biennale from August 19 - September 17, 2017.
Tattooed City explores the role of the architect in city-making. The architect is depicted throughout in a shadow-play of graceful dancer or dark force projected onto their creations. ‘Tattooed’ into the fabric of their work, these architects strike poses, athletic and balletic, celebrating or escaping their creations. They are consummate performers with a haunting presence and connection to their work. While their buildings are solid, the architects are enigmatic as shadow, spectre and silhouette. Tattoo City reveals the ‘dance’ of design, variously sublime and sometimes deeply flawed.
Follow the work on my gallery or better still, visit the biennale and view my work at Yellow Espresso in the heart of Ballarat at 13 Sturt St.
In preparing some words for my participation in The Other Art Fair later this month i wanted to provide a short statement about what mattered to me as a visual artist.
This is as good a place as any to run with my approach and ends the film short now on this site hosted by Vimeo and also on this site under 'Film':
What do I want my art to do?
I want it to speak of curiosity
to speak beyond wallpaper
to imagine and wonder
and see the world in other ways.
Rarely is there genius in art
beyond the rhyme of
Michaelangelo, Leonardo and Picasso
Genius is too often artfully disguised
while the rest of us must labour
to make art
that helps make us.
-Peter Hyatt, 2016
We were searching for a title to the new film short we have directed and produced on 8Chifley in Sydney. In the end the not entirely original, but entirely appropriate, 'Transformer' came to us. Here is a tower with a much smaller than usual footprint - one that doesn't seem to swallow a whole city block. There's plenty to like about a tower that doesn't hog its site or repel the passer-by with a blank anonymity where small shops once stood. Designed by Sydney's Lippmann Partnership in association with Rogers Stirk Harbour of London and ARUP (Sydney), this is the kind of tower that is wonderfully site and climate specific. Hopefully it's a game-changer and rewards the team behind it with similar opportunities.
Why don't we see more towers of this spirit? Basically the fund and superannuation managers demand more of the same. They're risk averse and don't especially like genuine difference. 8Chifley should reassure them of what's possible with a series of wonderful voids and platforms that open and engage with the place like few of the neighbours. And guess what? The anchor tenant loves it.
We have become accustomed to the big sealed box as branding statement and yet 8Chifley indicates a fresh new direction. Yes, it's big enough, but only 30 storeys and inventive on so many levels. Ground floor for a start is open and transparent with plenty of scope for passers-by to relax in the sunshine or take shelter. And it's a strategy continued throughout with tenant decks and open, connected work areas.
In all it's a mighty achievement and a delight to document on film. You can check out a building of wonderful difference at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haZcmMbshmM&feature=youtube_gdata
Architectural photography and critique have been a large part of our work for around three decades. It began when I created the industry magazine Steel Profile way back in 1981. Since then I have captured many of Australia’s very best buildings for a wide range of local and international publications. Steel Profile continues to hold a special place as I remain one its contributing writer/photographers.
The latest issue – August 2013 – has just arrived on my desk and features John Wardle’s Bruny Island Shearer’s Quarters. Here is a truly striking and memorable structure delicately folded into the landscape. Jenny and I stayed as guests and experienced the full beauty and majesty of this extraordinary island around one hour’s south of Hobart.
Wardle has the knack of making a grand statement from supreme understatement. It’s capital ‘A’ Architecture with none of the conceits that shape plenty of the profession’s work.
Bruny Island is a beautiful stage for architecture and photography to intersect. When the two elements of the natural and man-made combine in such a wonderful way it’s hard for the photographer to put a foot wrong. It occurs to me that of the photographers who have been there, all leave with distinctly different images.
And that’s the way it should be. No-one has the final word with any image as best, or most beautiful. It is simply another piece in the mosaic that interprets a place in time. In a sport such as athletics, the stopwatch decides who is fastest; who is best. Such linear measurements are absurd in photography. We can only hope to run our best race against the speed of light and leave it for others to judge.