For those who don't have an opportunity to see my exhibition, A few of my favourite things, you can read my accompanying artist's 'statement' (more my comments on each image) here:
The dazzling autumn colours reflected from the surface of Benten-do pond, Daigo-ji, delight the eye. Despite their apparent naturalness, however, the excavated pond and carefully selected trees have been artfully arranged. Nature here has been idealized, assembled, and maintained by humans.
Many a garden flower has been fashioned by human intervention. The supple eruption of pastel-pink pæony petals in Climax is as much the result of natural genes as it is our ability to manipulate them to fabricate something desirous. Is it coincidence that we see beauty in a plant’s sexual reproductive structures?
Desire exists in a variety of forms. Beauty and eros unite in Konstantin, arms folded, and as with pæony and pond, his appearance would be improbable absent diligent planning and effort.
Since 1978, the rainbow flag has been adopted by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersex people as a symbol of sexual diversity. The glistening rainbow-coloured candies—amechan—hanging in Gion are an unambiguous and delicious proxy.
The stark beauty in Neika comprises an intricacy of contrasts—dark and light; fine and coarse; short and tall; abundant and scarce; wispy and rigid; and open and enclosed. The beauty in Waterwall Waltz is simpler: a young couple embraces in a spontaneous waltz, briefly transforming a dreary winter’s day.
Representing the rapid pace of urbanisation, Trellis was taken from inside a Japanese shinkansen zipping along at 300km/hour. As farmland whizzes fantastically by, nascent beauty emerges unpredictably, rescued from what would otherwise have been an ever so fleeting moment.
On the world’s second largest island, New Guinea, people take great pride in, and effort to adorn themselves. The resplendent headdress worn by Simbu woman, Wabag epitomizes human fascination with self-beautification.
Beneath an image’s surface often lies something deeper. The complementary images Fayoué II and Fayoué III, were taken on the idyllic South Pacific island of Ouvéa. Their tranquility is, however, tinged with pathos. In 1988, French military killed 18 indigenous Kanak in the north of the island. Here, beauty and solemnity coincide.
Beauty is more abundant—and more transient—than I once would have admitted. Whether natural, designed, complex or profound, beauty surprises, inspires, and sustains. When my resolve is low and pessimism on the rise, it’s the perfect restorative.
It's been a great opportunity provided by the Adelaide Feast Festival and the Hilton Adelaide. Special thanks to Geoffrey Parslow, Sophie Hann, Michael Safralidis, and the crew at Atkins Technicolour.