Glasshouse exhibition spotlights one of Australia’s most popular photographers | Port Macquarie News


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At Glasshouse Port Macquarie, until February 6, is a retrospective exhibition of photographic prints featuring the work of Australian social and environmental artist – Sophie Howarth. I first met Sophie in a gallery in Sydney, in 2014. She stood among the vast, poetic landscapes and intimate, colorful portraits of hunters, horses and eagles in her exhibition Soaring-The Golden Eagle Festival of Mongolia. His work had the flavor of a National Geographic Photographer (but it was not). You could tell she was working in the classic traditions of humanist photography, with a deep appreciation for the chemistry of people and places. She told me that she felt at home among the Kazakh people. She said she recognized the place, felt out of place. She had even thought about moving there to live. I raised an eyebrow, not out of doubt, but because it was the same woman who created the Sophie Howarth Photography Rock Archive, one of Australia’s most popular collections of rock music photography. How disparate could the subject be? Straight out of art school and into the pit, Sophie was the official photographer for the famous Australian music festival Big Day Out. She found herself among the crowd, backstage and traveling with the bands for two decades. She even wrote a book about it, Peace, Love & Brown Rice: A Photographic History of the Big Day Out. The first book ever written about the festival, it’s filled with photographs, quotes and notations – the point of of an insider. His visual style was ahead of his time. At the time, she drastically blurred and reframed scenes behind closed doors, wrote over her photographs and used collages. As a way of viewing and interpreting documentary projects, its style predates the liberated expressiveness heralded by cell phones with cameras and text apps. If you’re like me, and you know the era and the music, you’ll have seen Sophie’s photographs. They have been featured in countless magazines, on posters and as album covers. That she survived all the fun of show biz in one piece, and with her curiosity for people and crowds intact, is amazing. Sophie’s interest in photographing indigenous peoples and traditions began in the late 90’s when she was invited to join her mother and some of her mother’s friends at Bondi Beach. There she found herself photographing the Sea of ​​Hands, an event organized by ANTaR, a group working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organizations and leaders on rights and reconciliation issues in Australia. Carried away by the experience and the cause, Sophie packed her kit and joined ANTaR as they traveled by bus through Australia ‘shaking hands’ for reconciliation. His story and photographs of the expedition were published in Rolling Stone Australia. Soon came an invitation to photograph the inaugural Garma Festival, followed by another to photograph singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and the Saltwater Band (on their Top End community tour). Later came his travels in Mongolia. But it was the Sea of ​​Hands where Sophie’s focus shifted from a fascination with the tribalism of popular culture to immersive observations of ancient cultures. Sophie would be the first to say her career was never calculated. Just grab the camera and get to work. She’s certainly been too busy to think too far ahead, and she always seems to have been driven from the heart. Today his work can be seen in public galleries across Australia, but never before like the show at Glasshouse. Curated by Bridget Purtill, Behind the Lens shows the breadth of Sophie’s subject matter and styles. It includes a recent collaboration with Poets and Thieves (an offshoot of illustrious Melbourne label Hoponit). Launched during the 2021 COVID lockdown, the Poets and Thieves project reinterprets Sophie’s rock music imagery as a limited-edition collection of handcrafted textiles that evoke the nostalgia of the festival experience and a flamboyant moment in music history. . From Nirvana to Saltwater to Soaring, there is an underlying theme to Sophie Howarth’s art. It’s a question of passion, poetry, confidence in oneself and in people, and the desire to create. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:




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