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B Side of O’Dwyer

Simon O'Dwyer
This event has concluded
Dates:
Hours:
Entry Fee: Free
Exhibition Event:
Official Opening 30/05/2013 8:00 am

“Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

This exhibition is a collection of personal and many previously unpublished works from Simon O’Dwyer’s travels around the globe. These images sit outside the box of straight photoreportage; they frequently document the dispossessed and the war ravaged but do so beneath a veneer of paint; an artists’ visceral musings on intensely personal experiences between photographer and subject. 

For O’Dwyer, the camera acts as an ‘unseen roadmap’. It gives the bearer a certain responsibility to act with a storyteller’s intent; to give a subject the dignity and the warmth that is reciprocally exchanged between the frames of a photograph. “Photography is just part of my story” says O’Dwyer, “my personal work is black and white, my reflection is painted in colour.” This impressionistic approach is well suited to a photographer’s life on the road; moments are realized in short bursts of light; a passing cloud; a street scape in motion; it is ephemeral and subjective in its gaze.

Simon O’Dwyer is sponsored by Canon Australia.

 

“Travelling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

This exhibition is a collection of personal and many previously unpublished works from Simon O’Dwyer’s travels around the globe.  These personal images sit on the border of fine art and documentary photography.

“I often arrive in countries without a solid destiny, certainly with no familiarity and I walk the streets. In a sense, I feel lost, yet guided by an unseen roadmap I carry with me – my camera, my curiosity, my belief the world will open its doors.

While O’Dwyer has spent the last 20 years working nationally and internationally as a photojournalist for the Age Newspaper, it is his personal work which documents an artists’ need to step beyond the medium of the camera and into a more painterly expressionism of subject and place.

“Photography is just part of my story. My personal work is black and white.  My reflection is painted in colour. Bringing both of those together, gives me a more complete story of the men, women and children who start as strangers. Photography is a vehicle that allows access to a person’s world, their circumstances and experiences. It gives me a physical product at the end, but photography and painting is everything I feel in the middle.” 

“I’ve worked in a career where I have had access to the influential and the wealthy, to the beggars and the downtrodden, and the closer I am to the dirt, the more human I feel. From the jungles of PNG, to the rubbish tips of Cambodia, to the fisherman of the Philippines, to racing camels behind the pyramids, to the shadow people of China, and the lone soldiers of Afghanistan, I have walked through the light and the shadows of human experience.”

O’Dwyer prints the image on Canon inkjet museum rag paper (310gsm), and uses photographic paint and pastels for evocative effect.  These artworks are then scanned as high-resolution digital files, ready for final refinement and printing.

This event has concluded
Dates:
Hours:
Entry Fee: Free
Exhibition Event:
Official Opening 30/05/2013 8:00 am
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© Rob Johnston

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