'I work in black-and-white, because the missing of color shows this important difference between reality and a photography.' Thomas Bourry
Last month I profiled the incredible black and white work of Thomas Bourry (A Specific Reality). Thomas is very excited about his new project and has just published the first photo calendar featuring his images. The limited edition calendar is available for 20 euro (via Paypal) by emailing Thomas' agent (whose site is here) at firstname.lastname@example.org
'The calendar contains a fine selection of something old, some most loved classics and some new from my works of the last years.'
-WARNING- If you hate scary movies, skip on by this post! The movie in question is not your run of the mill scary movie, it seriously haunted me for years.
In the 80's movies on television were still an important staple. DVR and Tivo were not around and VCR's were used mostly for movie rentals. I remember distinctly looking forward to Saturday and Sunday afternoons for the Million Dollar Matinee. Although I did not live in, or even really that close to Maine, for some reason our NBC came from there and the local personalities who hosted these movies were usually as interesting as the movies themselves. The movies would not be considered great but they were usually always up my alley. Movies like the original Battlestar Galactica, Flash Gordon (Sam Jones version), The Planet Of The Apes series, old Tarzan's and long gone from the theatre James Bond flicks.
I remember one Sunday afternoon in the late 80's, I would have been around 12 or 13. I was in our rec room in the basement when the Sunday matinee began. My mother was upstairs on the sewing machine (I still remember those little lines that would go across the screen each time her foot hit the pedal), the rest of my family were all out. The movie, one I had never heard of, began. I don't remember much about most of it really as I only half watched the first half. It was about a woman (Kim Novak) who survived a shipwreck and two Coast Guard helicopter pilots are sent to rescue her. The boat however was drifting in a mysterious part of the ocean known as Satan's Triangle. As memory serves me, the movie was not really that well written, well acted or well done. As memory serves me, that mattered little, the impact was not connected to the quality.
Satan's Triangle is all about the ending, an ending so creepy and unsettling that as I said, it haunted me for years. When the movie was over I was in a sort of state of shock and it took me a long time to get the courage to leave the rec room and run like hell upstairs to be close to my mother. She knew something was wrong, but I could not really articulate what it was.
I knew nothing at the time about Kim Novak, but her face in her final scene is forever implanted in my brain. I am not joking when I tell you even this week, me in my thirties was re-watching the ending (on youtube) and I again had that wave of evil and childhood terror re-enter my body. My research tells me my reaction was shared by many as the film has developed quite a cult following. Might have been my age when I first watched, but this movie, that last scene, stayed with me like no other. There is a great site with a bit more info/perspective on the film HERE: I am not so much recommending this film as commenting on the power of a movie moment, a Sunday afternoon movie matinee moment that stuck.
One of the things I often want to know about an artist is what led them pursue their passion, not just as a pastime, but as a career. As some of you might remember at one time photography was going to be my future, but.... I let security (and parental pressures) nudge me into a safer (yet not incredibly profitable) line of work. Many of the photographers I profile have day jobs and shoot during their free time, for others it is their only job and source of income. Given my experience and current line work, photographer Shayne Fergusson's path was of particular interest to me.
Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Shayne moved to Sydney in 2000. Originally he started off in Graphic Design and Video Production, but, like me, took a safer route, for Shayne, that was social work and youth work.
'I studied at TAFE for about six months before i could no longer resist my love for photography. I spent most of my classes drawing up shoot concepts.'
'Starting in counselling with Gay and Lesbian youth groups, I moved from there into graphic design to pursue a career within the media. In 2005 I got my first break and became one of the primary designers for The Sydney Star Observer (or SSO) and Sx News. These 'free to streets' gay and lesbian publications helped me to polish my photographic and design skills and started to teach me how the media industry works.'
It is inspiring to me that through Shayne's work with youth he was able to find a way to use his artistic skills to help. While assisting other youth care workers at a gay and lesbian group in Hornsby called GAL@H (Gays and Lesbians at Hornsby), Shayne used his photographic and graphic skills to create advertising material for the group.
In 2007 Shayne enrolled at the Sydney College of the Arts in Rozelle. It was there he studied photo media and art history, completing his degree in 2010. Shortly after graduating he became a Photo Editor for an agency called Picture Media. This opened the door for Shayne to freelance, doing a combination of photo editing and photography throughout Sydney including work for publications including Woman's Day, New Idea and SSO.
Much of Shayne's work is focused around the male nude and urban landscapes and he shoots many of his models around abandoned sites and buildings. However for this shoot, with model Steven Watson, the location was on the roof top of his apartment block which Shayne has been waiting to have the opportunity to use in a shoot.
31 year old Steven Watson is an actor, dancer and aerialist. Steven is no stranger to the spotlight having worked in television, film and music videos and has performed on stages throughout Australia and New Zealand. Given his experience as a performer, Steven says he loves to work with photographers whose images tell a story. The story Shayne wanted to capture was maybe more of an attitude than a story, as the aim of this shoot was to explore the 'bad ass' confidence that Sydney is developing within the fashion world.
'The inspiration behind this shoot was more an experimentation than anything else. I wanted to create the same feel as an Armani/Gucci shoot. I based it on the phrase "From Russia with Love", but instead "From Sydney with Love".'