From Stella Rosa McDonald…
My Trip profiles the work of three Australian photographers for whom travel was a defining personal and artistic experience. This exhibition of 45 photographs by John Rhodes, Max Pam and Mickey Allen charts their interpretations of difference encountered on their travels in the 1970s and 1980s in Australia and overseas. Photography can be a bit of a one-way street, with the camera acting as a mechanism of defence between them and us. It carries with it an uncomfortable sense that the subjects are not privy to the magnetism of their own image. Pam and Rhodes’ images carry a sense of duty, a feeling that it is their job to be there as time marches on. There is, at times, something anthropological at play.
The nature of travel is movement and it is perhaps Mickey Allen’s photographs that best intuit this experience. In 1975 Allen undertook a road trip through rural Victoria, photographing people she encountered along the way and inviting them to take a photograph as well. Printed in black and white the images are accompanied by textual records of the conversations between the artist and those she comes into contact with. This concept driven, important work is defined by its limitations rather than the boundless curiosity of the roving eye. It is the subject drives Allen’s evocative photographs, rather than the narrative of otherness.
Until December 7
The Art Gallery of New South Wales, The Domain
Pic: Max Pam, Silk merchant’s daughter, South India 1990, gelatin silver photograph, 35.2 x 35.6 cm, Art Gallery of New South Wales.