Suspended scenery - Three approaches to landscape

Sandra Barnard, Jun Chen & Kurt Sorensen
   
January
   
7
 -  
January
   
18
"To hold something in suspense is to keep it undetermined; to remain in a state of indefinite in-conclusion."

INFORMATION

To hold something in suspense is to keep it undetermined; to remain in a state of indefinite in-conclusion. In Suspended Scenery, Sandra Barnard, Jun Chen and Kurt Sorensen investigate suspense through analogue photo media processes. Landscapes become scenes of investigation into the elusive, inescapable and uncanny qualities of time.

On Sandra Barnard’s morning walks, she collects natural debris from her surrounding areas and brings them back to her studio. In the bellows of her enlarger, she reconstructs landscapes and captures the scenery through light onto photosensitive paper. Bellows traditionally allow movements that can be used to correct distortion in a photograph, but in this context is used to create further depth within the image. Piece by piece, layer by layer scenes are reassembled, resulting in a sense of three-dimensionality for the viewer, with some objects appearing closer. These constructions are an expression of her reflection and experiences within nature.

During Jun Chen’s travels in Australia and the US, she often notices quiet places that are meant to be active but are temporarily empty. While these urban spaces are not unusual, without people there is an eerie sense of emptiness, absence. Yet, rather than absence indicating deficiency or loneliness, it instead refers to an abundance of space. Space to be in solitude, to contemplate, to rest.  For Jun, contemporary life runs at a fast pace with perpetual busyness as the norm and pressure to be continually producing. Yet, when she ventures away from her every day and notices these empty spaces, she is filled with a sense of serene and quiet, where the passage of time seems to have been suspended.

Using an analogue camera and available light, Kurt Sorensen searches for locations of tragic or traumatic events in regional Australia. By presenting a social and historical visualisation of the landscape through the lens of colonisation, these narratives form the basis for photographic representations of unseen and overlooked histories. Sorensen’s renditions of these expansive landscapes are strangely intimate, our view framed by the moody skies and oddly inviting land that nevertheless fills us with trepidation and ambiguity. Through these hauntingly uncanny photographs that are steeped in suggestive modes of melancholy, apprehension and a foreboding fear of darkness, we experience an uncertain beauty. (Written by Donna West Brett.)

ARTIST BIO'S

 

SANDRA BARNARD

Sandra Barnard is a professional photographic print maker. She has been making prints for galleries museums and various art institution for the past 35years.


By arranging debris that’s found on her morning walks, she reconstruct a series of landscapes directly in the bellows of the her enlarger. Sandy communicates her reflection and her experience with nature in these bellowgrams. 

 

This is the first time she has exhibited her work.

JUN CHEN

Jun began her interest in photography and printing while she’s migrating form Canton to the US, now resides in Australia she continues to practice photography and other arts. 

 

Whilst traveling Jun is often drawn to quiet places, spaces which are devoid of human presence. These places are scattered everywhere with an eerie emptiness as they are display a world without us. These desolate spaces are not unusual but draw us into the uncanny in what would be a familiar sight in an urban setting notice these quiet places here and there. These spaces are in which we expect to see people and activity are now empty and present us with the passage of time seems to have suspended, and it is serene and quiet. 

KURT SORENSEN

Combining history and anthropology, my photographic practice echoes a colonial history, invoking the antagonistic encounter between early European settlers and the Australian landscape. I connect with my subject matter through in-camera and darkroom processes that allude to the precarious and uneasy relationship of colonial Europeans with the antipodean environment. My photographs have been included in several nationally recognised prizes and have been shown extensively both nationally and internationally. My work is held in several public and private collections here and overseas.

 

To hold something in suspense is to keep it undetermined; to remain in a state of indefinite in-conclusion. In Suspended Scenery, Sandra Barnard, Jun Chen and Kurt Sorensen investigate suspense through analogue photo media processes. Landscapes become scenes of investigation into the elusive, inescapable and uncanny qualities of time.

On Sandra Barnard’s morning walks, she collects natural debris from her surrounding areas and brings them back to her studio. In the bellows of her enlarger, she reconstructs landscapes and captures the scenery through light onto photosensitive paper. Bellows traditionally allow movements that can be used to correct distortion in a photograph, but in this context is used to create further depth within the image. Piece by piece, layer by layer scenes are reassembled, resulting in a sense of three-dimensionality for the viewer, with some objects appearing closer. These constructions are an expression of her reflection and experiences within nature.

During Jun Chen’s travels in Australia and the US, she often notices quiet places that are meant to be active but are temporarily empty. While these urban spaces are not unusual, without people there is an eerie sense of emptiness, absence. Yet, rather than absence indicating deficiency or loneliness, it instead refers to an abundance of space. Space to be in solitude, to contemplate, to rest.  For Jun, contemporary life runs at a fast pace with perpetual busyness as the norm and pressure to be continually producing. Yet, when she ventures away from her every day and notices these empty spaces, she is filled with a sense of serene and quiet, where the passage of time seems to have been suspended.

Using an analogue camera and available light, Kurt Sorensen searches for locations of tragic or traumatic events in regional Australia. By presenting a social and historical visualisation of the landscape through the lens of colonisation, these narratives form the basis for photographic representations of unseen and overlooked histories. Sorensen’s renditions of these expansive landscapes are strangely intimate, our view framed by the moody skies and oddly inviting land that nevertheless fills us with trepidation and ambiguity. Through these hauntingly uncanny photographs that are steeped in suggestive modes of melancholy, apprehension and a foreboding fear of darkness, we experience an uncertain beauty. (Written by Donna West Brett.)

ARTIST BIO'S

 

SANDRA BARNARD

Sandra Barnard is a professional photographic print maker. She has been making prints for galleries museums and various art institution for the past 35years.


By arranging debris that’s found on her morning walks, she reconstruct a series of landscapes directly in the bellows of the her enlarger. Sandy communicates her reflection and her experience with nature in these bellowgrams. 

 

This is the first time she has exhibited her work.

JUN CHEN

Jun began her interest in photography and printing while she’s migrating form Canton to the US, now resides in Australia she continues to practice photography and other arts. 

 

Whilst traveling Jun is often drawn to quiet places, spaces which are devoid of human presence. These places are scattered everywhere with an eerie emptiness as they are display a world without us. These desolate spaces are not unusual but draw us into the uncanny in what would be a familiar sight in an urban setting notice these quiet places here and there. These spaces are in which we expect to see people and activity are now empty and present us with the passage of time seems to have suspended, and it is serene and quiet. 

KURT SORENSEN

Combining history and anthropology, my photographic practice echoes a colonial history, invoking the antagonistic encounter between early European settlers and the Australian landscape. I connect with my subject matter through in-camera and darkroom processes that allude to the precarious and uneasy relationship of colonial Europeans with the antipodean environment. My photographs have been included in several nationally recognised prizes and have been shown extensively both nationally and internationally. My work is held in several public and private collections here and overseas.

 

FEATURED WORKS

Sandra Barnard, On the film plane and in the bellows l, 2020, C type Print, 60 x 80 cm
Jun Chen, Winter 1, 2018, C type Print, 30 x 40 cm
Kurt Sorensen, Windows Creek, 1915, C type Print

OTHER  EXHIBITIONS