Jamie Wdziekonski’s photographs of the underground music scenes in Melbourne and beyond capture the essence of their DIY spirit. He doesn’t overthink his shots. Instead, he’s observant. He waits, finger half-pressed on the shutter and ready, as he describes it, “Take photos of the singer, yes, but also the drummer, the bass player, the bloody tuba player, the crowd, the security interaction. The venue. All of it!”
What sets his work apart is his close connection to his subjects. He’s spent ten years attending small gigs, getting a spot up the front, meeting bands and building trust. Working under the name Sublation (inspired by the title of a Brian Jonestown album, Aufheben – and meaning to abolish something as well as to preserve and transcend it), he documents artists working outside of the industry machine – starting their own labels and self-releasing music. Jamie’s photos capture that magic thing about music that attracted the artists and audiences to it in the first place – an energy and transcendence that’s hard to put into words.
Largely self-taught, Jamie Wdziekonski – the “luckiest fly on the wall” – has spent years photographing the DIY and alternative scenes in which he’s immersed. Through his distinctive black & white imagery, he’s documented the rise of now-iconic artists such as Amyl & The Sniffers, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard over many years, forming long-lasting and genuine relationships with musicians. From originally self-funding his work, Jamie regularly tours the world with these bands. He’s practised what he photographs. A visual chronicler of our times, Jamie shares with utmost clarity what it means to be free, whether it’s playing music or taking it to the streets.
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