The Tamar Valley - a modern protrait

Media Release


Photographic exhibition “the Tamar Valley - a modern portrait” is to shortly move to the Queensland Centre for Photography (Brisbane) in July where a selection of portraits from the 380 odd images collection will be on show for about 4 weeks, before a considerably larger selection of the complete works goes on show in January 2010 at the Kingston Art Gallery in Moorabbin -  a bay-side suburb of Melbourne. Selected images were shown in Melbourne in 2008.


The opportunity to show the work in Launceston in 2010 is in the early stages of discussion and is proceeding via the established process.


The Melbourne exhibition is to be opened by Tasmanians Against the Pulp Mill (TAP) Robert McMahon. Mr McMahon will open and then provide a small series of floor talks to the public over the period of the exhibition. The informal talks help viewers place the work into an overall context - and the large format size deliberately selected to create impact. ” There is no doubt that McMahon’s leadership, integrity and impassioned delivery will help bring home the key messages of the show.” photographic artist Richard Butler said.


“What is very clear is that the entire gravity of the situation in the Tamar Valley is galvanised when the portraits are placed on display” Butler commented.  “The gallery scene is currently quite full of very conceptual and often very self exploring work - and that is all fine - but in view of the formal approach taken with the portraits, it hasn’t been easy trying to get this (the portraits) kind of work in front of curators..” Butler said..“I used to try and explain the context and the meaning - now I just say - ‘I have some of some of the most important portraits captured onto paper in recent times and you simply have to see them..’ and once they do - we get to talk. The Melbourne show was signed up after 2 emails and a short meeting’.


Butler said it was most satisfying to see the work at this stage due to the collaborative effort the project required.  “This was a big gig, and some really special people put a huge amount of effort into making it happen - including Jan and George Greig, the inimitable Dave “Mr Photoshop” Groves, Robert McMahon and Fiona Ferguson - as well as many others - and of course all those hundreds of people who came to be photographed.”


The project has been excellent in helping to increase the understanding of the human response to issues created along the Tamar Valley because of the proposed pulp mill and forest harvesting practices. These issues include the use of agri-poisons, the truck a minute counted at times on the East Tamar and of course those perfectly immaculate burns.


Richard Butler

image title: Portrait of a young man, Hillwood, March 2008.
Large format 8 colour Digital Ink Jet Print. 1000mm x 900mm. Printed onto Harmon Fibre Baryta Gloss.

 

 

 

RICHARD BUTLER - Media release

“What is very clear is that the entire gravity of the situation in the Tamar Valley is galvanised when the portraits are placed on display” Butler commented.  “The gallery scene is currently quite full of very conceptual and often very self exploring work - and that is all fine - but in view of the formal approach taken with the portraits, it hasn’t been easy trying to get this (the portraits) kind of work in front of curators..” Butler said..“I used to try and explain the context and the meaning - now I just say - ‘I have some of some of the most important portraits captured onto paper in recent times and you simply have to see them..’ and once they do - we get to talk. The Melbourne show was signed up after 2 emails and a short meeting’.