Exhibition Launch: Fragments Shored Against the Ruins
After an intensive installation period that saw many team members taking in hand a rare hammer and nails, we spent Friday night celebrating the launch of Bluethumb Photography, at our very own exhibition Fragments Shored Against the Ruins.
The show focusses on waste as an aesthetic phenomenon; a kind of void that points in turn towards the dwindling number of exhibition spaces for contemporary Australian photography – the very reason why Bluethumb Photography exists.
Bluethumb team members Freddy, Sheeraz, Laura and Ashley hard at work preparing the space. Photo: Megan George.
The Fragments exhibition is an exciting culmination of months of work by curator Ashley Lumb and the rest of the team, as well as a fantastic chance to see some pieces from Bluethumb Photography in the flesh.
Despite the weather warnings, the exhibition still welcomed a fantastic turnout of art lovers. Photo: Agatha Aurelia.
Eight photographers were invited to exhibit their work: Aaron Bradbrook, Bindi Cole Chocka, Emilio Cresciani, Merilyn Fairskye, Robin Friend, Mike Gray, Tim Handfield and Naomi White.
Mike Gray, Eden Caprice, and Newhaven Grande (2009). Photo: Agatha Aurelia.
Although all of the works on show related to a theme of waste, the photographs varied in their subject matter and aesthetics. Some pieces were planned, some were composed and some taken more spontaneously.
Photo: Agatha Aurelia.
“Creating an exhibition space in our warehouse office had its challenges,” says curator Ashely Lumb of the mammoth installation effort. “But it came together in the end. A lot of physical work and risk goes into an exhibition and it makes you appreciate the effort that galleries and museums make to put on beautiful exhibitions for the public.”
Naomi White, Shipwrecked 8 (2017)
“This exhibition marks the first in a series of exhibitions, both in Australia but also internationally,” says Ashley of the plans for future shows. “Having worked so much abroad I feel I have a responsibility to take Australian work overseas and help facilitate a global discussion about Australian art. I’m actively working to expand Bluethumb’s presence abroad and am working on a few potential exhibitions in Texas, as a start. I’m doing the same with my independent curatorial practice and will be bringing Australian duo James Tylor and Laura Wills’s work with me to London in January for an exhibition I’m co-curating at Photo50 / The London Art Fair, with my curatorial collective Hemera Collective. I’m looking forward to disseminating Australian photography as much as I can, and Bluethumb’s digital platform, supplemented with physical exhibitions, is a perfect place to start.”
Ashley chatting with an artist about some of the work on show. Photo: Agatha Aurelia.
We were thrilled to chat with Aaron Bradbrook, one of the exhibiting artists, when he stopped by to say hello.
“It is an extremely humbling experience to have my work included in Bluethumb’s inaugural photographic exhibition,” says Aaron. “Carefully considering each artist’s practice, Fragments Shored Against The Ruins threads together a superb calibre of Australian photographic artists working both domestically and internationally.”
Photo: Agatha Aurelia.
“Two artists in particular whose work stands out and has been of constant inspiration for my own practice over the years is that of Bindi Cole Chocka and Mike Gray,” Aaron continues. “Housed in the perfect location, a converted Collingwood warehouse, the exhibition twists and turns you through each artist’s work while maintaining a strong coherence with the artist that came before. The flow of the exhibition seems effortless, rendering a uninterrupted way to learn from and appreciate each picture.”
Co-founder and managing director Ed Hartley taking a turn behind the bar. Photo: Agatha Aurelia.
You can still catch the exhibition until the 10th of December! Come by 81 Sackville St in Collingwood during the rest of this week (by appointment) or anytime on the weekend from 10am to 5pm.
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