‘Heat’ documents Sydney’s city beaches during three consecutive heat waves. It examines the beach as one of Australia’s true public spaces- where a dynamic, continually changing culture is laid bare under an ever hotter sun.
The series captures the kinetic energy and confident chaos of summer coastal rituals. It embraces the sensual; the feeling of tribal belonging and physical freedom. A type of secular baptism, the series celebrates the mass appeal of beaches like Bondi, Clovelly, Coogee and Bronte where the rich diversity of Sydney is on display as people en mass escape the city and its suburbs.
Lithe bodies jumping off rocks into the surf, sunseekers crammed onto baking concrete, or a solitary swimmer seeking underwater relief from the all-pervading heat.
Water serves as the fundamental core of this work. My photographs are created from the perspective of water. Capturing people entering the ocean, under it or bathing in it as storms approach. The work is a study relevant to our contemporary world; the juxtaposition of the pursuit of individual freedom in crowded spaces, the vast quiet privacy of being underwater in noisy, populated cosmopolitan areas, and the physical power the ocean has over the individuals of a dominant coastal dwelling species. While the photos seek beauty, they are vibrant and, at times, haunting reminders of our cultural and spiritual reliance on our beaches.
When: 1pm Sunday 5 May
Where: Festival Hub, Paddington Town Hall
Paul Blackmore is an acclaimed Sydney based photojournalist. Blackmore’s many photo essays and stories, published in such international media as Time, L’Express, Le Monde and Geo, have established him as a much sought-after collectable photographer. He has gained prominence through his exhibitions at Camera One New York, Stills Gallery Sydney, Perpignan France and the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne. In 2010 a series of photos from At Water’s Edge were exhibited at the esteemed Biennale D’Limage France and in 2012, at the Leonardo Museum Salt Lake City. In his highly anticipated new book, Heat,(2019) Blackmore’s scope returns to his home country and exposes a culture laid bare under an ever hotter sun.
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