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Carmen

Carmen Jenner is a travel, food, and lifestyle writer, wanna-be photographer and the founder of Fluffy Towel. She specialises in travel memoirs, destination pieces, hotel reviews, guidebook contributor, travel advice, restaurant reviews, family travel, and copywriting.

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Perth, Australia

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Richard Avedon photography collection comes to Perth

filed06 Aug 2014 from

See if you can find Bob Dylan?

See if you can find Bob Dylan?

Never has the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words” rung more true than in the instance of photographer Richard Avedon.

Currently displayed at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth is very fortunate to only be the second city in the country to host Avedon’s exhibition. It’s the closest most of us will ever get to the famous faces peering out of their frames; especially since many of them are no longer with us. Framed specifically for this exhibition, the black and white portraits on silver gelatin are breath-taking. To stand in front of Marilyn Monroe in an unguarded moment is a thing of exquisite beauty, and demonstrates how Avedon clearly installed a sense of ease in his subjects. Certainly a gift many photographers strive for.

In another shot Marilyn flings her arms around Arthur Miller. She’s in good company and next door stars the striking image of Elizabeth Taylor adorned with cock feathers, Warhol poses with members of The Factory in various stages of undress, Bob Dylan is undeniably cool in Central Park, Mae West hams it up with Mr American, a life-sized Twiggy intimidates her curvaceous admirers, Capote is ethereal, while Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg are capture nude, apart from their shaggy beards, in an intimate embrace. But it’s writer Dorothy Parker whom I’m most drawn to. Those baggy tearful eyes and teeth stained from life must have helped fuel her caustic wit and Avedon’s claim, “My photographs don’t go below the surface. I have great faith in surfaces. A good one is full of clues.”

 

What a face, what a writer, Dorothy Parker

What a face, what a writer, Dorothy Parker

Recognised for his simple compositions, he captures the essence of his subjects in charming and often confronting realism; revealing a truth rarely seen particularly when it comes to beautiful celebrities being photographed. Those less familiar with his work may not even be aware of his collections of working class New Yorkers and the people of America’s West; many which can be described as endearing, compelling, shocking and poignant. He produced an outstanding documentation of society and in this exhibition we see a woman in 1963 holding up a newspaper with the headline “President Shot Dead” and photos of patients from the East Louisiana State Hospital bordering on the intrusive and yet, so moving and important to tell.

Famed for his fashion photography and minimalist portraits of the famous and the everyday person, he developed a unique stripped-back style and using a white background. His innovative style was copied by his contemporaries and most notably by portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz. Using a large format camera and enormous white backdrop, he’d often head outdoors, making quite a production out of the shoot. You can just imagine the public’s reaction and wonder how many were at the mercy of Avedon’s vision.

Avedon started his photography career at Harper’s Bazaar followed by a 20 year partnership with Vogue and eventually became a staff photographer for the New Yorker in 1992, a position he held until his death in 2004 where he died on assignment after suffering from a cerebral haemorrhage. “He had amassed such an enormous collection of material over six decades, many thousands of negatives and prints,” Ms Dumas from The Richard Avedon Foundation says, “There are images that exist as negatives or contacts that will never be printed.”

Avedon is one of the most influential and significant portrait photographers who lived during a time of great cultural and political change. By uniting his subjects in their humanity, he laid the foundations not just as a photographer, but as an artist.

Even after completing several circuits of the exhibition, if like me, you’re still yearning for more there are private events available like “Fashionable Photography: where art and fashion collide” and “In Your Face: Full Frontal.” The Richard Avedon exhibition runs from 2 August until 17 November www.artgallery.wa.gov.au

avedon

2013 in a camera case

filed31 Dec 2013 from

camera at sunset

I may be a writer, but as one specialising in travel, this online world demands pretty photos as much, if not more so, as words. Hence, most travel writers are also professional photographers by default.

When packing for a trip the bulk of my luggage is books, beauty products (yes, I know I have a problem) writing materials (including the old fashioned method as well as a laptop) and my Canon with an assortment of lenses. I never seem to …

Manila Madness

filed24 Nov 2013 from

We’ve all seen the heartbreaking photos in the wake of Haiyan. And while many of us probably won’t be rushing out to book our next holiday to the Philippines, it’s a shame, because not only do they need tourists more than ever, it’s a fascinating country.

The sprawling metropolis of Manila has many mini cities within its labyrinth and several years ago I took a walking food tour through Chinatown, actually it was more like an eating tour as I …

Bunker Bay, takes my breath away

filed13 Nov 2013 from

bunker bay

 

I recently had a glorious stay at Pullman Resort Bunker Bay and all the words and photos in the world can’t do this part of the world enough justice. No wonder all Western Australian’s get a dreamy look on their faces whenever you mention the Margaret River region. Read the full article published in Qatar Airlines inflight magazine here Pullman Resort Bunker Bay

 

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Apache CLIP Award

filed19 Jun 2013 from

Svetlalana Baily_CLIP 2012 Winner

If photos of pretty landscapes are your thing then you won’t mind that the Apache CLIP Award is over. On the other hand, if you’re swayed by the grittiness of reality you’ll be watching this space, particularly the exhibition space of the Perth Centre for Photography (PCP) for its next exciting instalment.

CLIP stands for Contemporary Landscapes in Photography and the criteria of the competition was to create original and stimulating pieces to challenge traditional landscapes. The Apache CLIP Award …