A Road Less Travelled

Monthly Archives: June 2014

SHOOTING THE MELANESIAN CULTURAL FESTIVAL

It’s great to be in Papua New Guinea again – this time shooting the Melanesian Cultural Festival over the next 10 days. It’s a once every four years event, this year being hosted by PNG.

Here’s a Mekeo performer from the Central Province of PNG I shot (below).

I did the press conference for my photographic exhibition today, with TV, newspapers and radio all turning up to hear me on my soapbox talking about the erosion of traditional cultures throughout the region. I’ll spend tomorrow shooting the festival before officially unveiling the exhibition at the national gallery the day after.

DRAWING ATTENTION TO THE DISAPPEARING CULTURES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC – MY FIRST INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION.

At the beginning of this year, I was invited to feature my work in the Head-On Photographic Exhibition in Sydney – Australia’s premier showcase event for photographers. As excited as I was, my assignment schedule didn’t allow for it so I had to withdraw. It was a huge disappointment but, I reasoned, merely a pause in the journey I’ve embarked upon to draw attention to the value and vulnerability of the South Pacific’s indigenous cultures.

Three weeks from now, 25 of my fine art photographs of Papua New Guinea – some up to two metres in size – will be mounted in the country’s National Museum and Art Gallery as part of The Melanesian Festival of Culture and the Arts of the South Pacific. The exhibition, which will draw largely from my fine art book, Tribal PNG, is being sponsored by the event organisers and Tim has been madly getting everything ready while I’ve been away on assignment. Invitations and catalogues (below) are to be finalised when I get back; 10 of my print of demand books published by Momento have been purchased as corporate gifts for dignitaries in attendance.

“SHOOT IT LIKE VOGUE” – REGIONAL AUSTRALIA ASSIGNMENT, VICTORIA

Don’t you love it when the commissioning tourism authority sends you the travel section of Vogue Magazine as part of your brief and says, simply, match this (no matter you won’t have a stylist, you’ll have to scrounge for wardrobe and props, and that the talent will be local “ring-ins” – only available between taking the kids to school or when they’re not working. Oh, and it’s a big region; you’ll need to travel several hundred kilometres to cover everything on the eight page Shot List.

…And so began the seven day shoot I’ve just completed of the Daylsford Macedon region of Victoria which is centred about an hour’s drive north of the state capital, Melbourne.

WATER, WINE AND PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK

I’m eating my way around the Daylesford and Mount Macedon region of Victoria – about an hours drive north of Melbourne – and what a delightful part of Australia it is. Sprinkled with stylish eateries (I’m sure I’ve put on several kilos since I arrived) and boutique accommodation, its appeal centres around its much celebrated mineral water which people drink and bath in, its wine – quality not quantity it boasts – and the fact that the classic Australian movie Picnic and Hanging Rock was shot here.

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