and now the end is near...

Well, actually, it's the end of my exhibition, Hikari 505—taken down early this Saturday just past. 

It's been my most successful exhibition in terms of public interest and feedback. The opening night was wonderful, and I've been very humbled to discover that so many people like my images—not to mention that one image in particular won the SALA 2013 Contemporary Art Prize. I provide here my artist statement for your information:

At the turn of the 20th century, 13% of Earth’s human population lived in urban areas. According to the United Nations, by 2010 just over half were urban-based: a proportion estimated to reach about 70% by mid-century.[1]
How we urban dwellers experience biological nature―gardens, parks, vacant land, verges, and farmland at city edges―becomes more marginal as urbanisation advances in lock-step with increasing rural migration, population growth, and burgeoning material consumption.
Hikari 505 extends my previous studies of the scarcity of beauty in urban landscapes, to nature. These new images appear at varying degrees of abstraction, and comprise a stylistic departure from past work.  At first, nature appears abruptly, albeit transformed, then transitions before dissolving and disappearing into vaguely urban mises en scène.  The process is in flux but the destination is clear―nature becomes increasingly incidental, and ipso facto provisional, as we race headlong toward urbanisation. The series illustrates nature’s continued erosion and suggests our indifference toward it.
These images were recorded with a Leica M9P camera and Leica Summilux-M 50mm ƒ/1.4 ASPH lens, during a journey in late 2012 west from Tokyo―Earth’s largest urban agglomeration with more than 38 million people.  I travelled by shinkansen at up to 300 km/hr to Kagoshima via Kyoto, Osaka, and Fukuoka; a distance of some 2,300 km return.
In creating Hikari 505 I thank fellow photographers for their valued critiques; the Atkins Technicolor team for their exceptional processing, printing, and framing; and Akiko Hosonuma for her expert translations.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Peter Timms, Robert Dessaix, and Pete Hays, without whose wisdom my appreciation of art, beauty, and the natural environment would be more the poorer.  And I’m also grateful for encouragement from Greg Mackie, Alex Makeyev, and my mother, Margaret.

Thanks again to the SALA Board; the Advertiser and Business SA (sponsors of the award); my caterers who did a most excellent job for the launch; Ms Mel Bailey for opening the exhibition and providing such a lovely speech; Kate Burns for designing the promotional material; and a very dear friend who has provided so much good advice along the way and who also helped me find my confidence, Ms Sidoney Henbest.

And last, but by no means least, thanks so much to the wonderful people who liked my images enough to have bought a few. See you at the next exhibition (rumour is, it might be part of the 2014 Adelaide Fringe)!

[1] United Nations 2011, World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision, New York.