VISUAL ARTS – Ghoti 16 – Light Gallery

SMA Kryztoff banner May 13 100dpi37simonBy Peter Maddern

The Ghoti series of exhibitions are about the work of the students of the Centre for Creative Photography and comes around each six months. There was much to like in #15 last Christmas as we reported at Ghoti 15 Review

This sixteenth collection is perhaps not quite as alluring to the disinterested visitor but nonetheless well worth the visit.

Simon Gammon’s A Swan’s Reflection (left) is the image used to promote the exhibition and certainly a good place to start when examining the highlights. Rather than focus on the mirror image of a black swan, Gammon alludes to the real form by cropping at its feet and then letting the bird’s reflection bend and disperse in a delightful, almost sensuous manner down the frame.

All sorts of interpretations are available from Michelle Richards’ From Another Point of View. Here we look outward from a suburban bar through a row of ornate whiskey and other spirit bottles, keenly focused and contrasted, towards a large billboard on the wall on the street opposite that reads ‘Jesus Chris Superstar’. Are these the temptations we must resist in order find holy grace? It’s all a bit dingy but not without hope and recalls John Bracks’ The Bar with the heavenly bodies and drudgeries of men juxtaposed and of inanimate objects.

Phil Flower’s Reflections has its chocolate box elements to it yet his capture of the often shimmering, sometimes stark blue, green and yellows arising, melding and emerging from river red gums swamped in the flats of the Murray just happens to be delightful. The light is either from the dawn or dusk yet the structure of the image does not overplay that, rather it uses that to bring out the colours in combination and contrast rather than being just a play on shadows.

Finally and by no means least is Steamer by Li (Victor) Zhu, which for this reviewer was the stand out capture and by some distance. A steamer is heading away at sunset and its vapour and smoke trail expands out horizontally across the water, dividing the frame between a sea or lake that seems ill at ease if not angry against tranquil but somewhat mighty hills in the rear ground that slide into the water ahead of the vessel. The capture of the yellows of the steamer, hills and smoke is magical and the contrasting emotions of the land and the water makes the viewer take more notice of the scene.  Victor, why just $50 for this rocket, the cheapest in the exhibition? No wonder it has sold. It’s stunning!

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