Japan inspires Australian photographers: Caroline McLean-Foldes and Mim Stirling. An Ideal Destination, from June 8 to June 20, 2013. If you have the chance, don’t miss this great event at Sydney, Australia.
ArtHere and Head On Photo Festival 2013. OPENING Sat 08 June 3 – 5pm / ARTIST TALKS Sat 15 June @ 3pm
Two Australian Photographers present unique images of Japan from the perspective of their own cultural identity. Photographers and friends, Caroline McLean-Foldes and Mim Stirling share a wonderful curiosity, enchantment and love affair with Japan. This veritable enigma led them to explore Japanese culture from an outsider’s perspective. Sharing a common history in cinema studies, Caroline and Mim synthesise their contemporary digital perspectives into a duo- show that explores nostalgia, veneer and the appearance of the past. These bodies of work share a sense of awe and mystery, beauty and tension, colour and stillness.
Caroline and Mim also share a lifelong passion for photography. Their nostalgic fantasies about Japanese culture were explored through their separate travels to Japan and separate photographic practices. They feel that the ways they were touched by Japan and Japanese culture are highly relevant to their individual artistic practices and the idea for the duo show emerged from this common feeling.
Mim Stirling’s work is informed by structuralist cinematic conventions, her images take the coded language of cinema, and fracture it in stills. In her series Shot Reverse Shot (sample images above) she recombines small portions of different films, and introduces characters to create a conversation, a false narrative between two worlds. Sourced from Japanese Samurai genre films and their Western remakes, the images question ideas of originality and the apparent cryptomnesia – the phenomenon of the reappearance of a long-forgotten memory as if it were a new experience – of contemporary cinema. For example Mim says: ‘In Line of Sight No.1 (above right) I have sampled two films – ‘The Seven Samurai’ (1954) directed by Akira Kurosawa and ‘A Few Dollars More’ (1965) directed by Sergio Leone. Thus merging a period Japanese cinema classic with a classic Italian spaghetti western’.
The images, originally on film, then digitised to DVD, are transmitted through an analogue TV, and then finally captured digitally. This generation-loss echoes the loss of the grand world of the cinema, now reduced and imprisoned inside televisions.
Caroline McLean-Foldes’ work is informed by metaphysics and imaginal psychology. In her series Wonderland – Through the Looking Glass (sample images above), she uses Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as a metaphor for her visit to Japan and her images explore a Japanese wonderland. For her, Japan is a sacred realm of magical landscapes and spirits. Nostalgia and an outsider’s idealism propelled her quest. Caroline says: ‘My digital camera allowed me to explore parallel, elusive worlds in a way that I found less available within the constraints of analogue film. I had unlimited freedom to capture the mysterious, metaphysical and intangible…I sought ancient traces and modern insights…Darkness and light in a smoky patchwork, revealed to me omnipresent unconventional dream-worlds’.
Caroline and Mim are both founding members of The Photo Group, a photographic artists’ collective. They are also both currently involved with the North Sydney Council’s Crows Nest Pop-Up Initiative.
About Mim Stirling: http://mimpix.wordpress.com/
About Caroline McLean-Foldes: caroline/facebook
126 Regent Street, Redfern NSW 2016