I am a Widow’s Son, outlawed and my orders must be obeyed.”
Inspired by the iconic Jerilderie Letter, phot
ographer Liam Lynch reunites Australia’s infamous Kelly Gang in his latest series of images.
Just as the Jerilderie Letter brings Edward ‘Ned’ Kelly’s distinctive voice to life, with ‘The Kelly Gang’ Lynch challenges us to look beyond the armoured exterior of his doomed men, and into the articulate and sardonic sense of humour that was Ned.
But are Kelly’s words a bushranger’s confessional or a defiant narrative of a hidden truth?
Lynch’s contrasts the symbolism of defiance and courage of Kelly’s armour with his passionate articulates his pleas of innocence and desire for justice.
Australian Film Industry award-winning costume designer Anna Borghazi’s plate-metal body armour provides the archetypal frame for Lynch to drape Kelly’s striking metaphors and images drawn from his 8000 word Jerilderie Letter manifesto.
Lynch’s juxtaposition of Kelly’s narrative against his
distinctive iconic moulded armour, illuminates Kelly and his men as defiant symbols of a time of when rich pitted against poor, of violence and passion, criminal and hero, defiance and courage.
Lynch’s bold images reignite the bushranger mystique of the Kelly Gang in the Australian psyche …
“Imagine setting up a studio under the surface of the sea. To capture this body of work Liam composed each image under water with backdrops and studio lighting, carefully maneuvering behind these wonderful creatures creating a studio feel. Liam’s trademark and contribution to the natural world is to capture unique rare and endangered species.
Each of the palladium photographs he handcrafts is unique – fitting for the incredible natural beauty of the subject – just simple and elegant. Palladiotype photographs are considered the more enduring of the photographic print processes – juxtaposition to the fragile nature of the species.” Ellie Young
Beneath the surface of the temperate waters of southern Australia live truly unique species that are found nowhere else in the world.
Each image is composed using underwater backdrops that are carefully manoeuvred behind the subject and lit to create a “studio like” feel. After weeks underwater finding then communing with these unique animals in their natural habitats i’m soon elbow-deep in alchemy: paper stocks are hand-coated with emulsion, and chemicals mixed from scratch. Finished prints look genuinely antique in many ways drawing inspiration from Joseph Banks’ catalogues, or Darwin’s specimen collections. Yet these works have a modern edge… Combining the ancient palladiotype method with new technology and equipment to produce the final result.
For me crossing the line from machine-made to hand-made does necessitate a substantial commitment, and the work is certainly labour-intensive. But in the end, what unfolds before the eyes is no ordinary photograph each print is a handmade one-off… which seems fitting to do justice to the incredible natural beauty of the subject that is captured within the image. Liam
From February 17 till April 3 2016 Dracones et Equorum “Dragons and Horses” will be showing in the gallery at Gold Street Studios.
Official opening Sunday 21st February 2pm to 5 pm
It was at Gold Street Studios back in 2011 where I first discovered the palladiotype photographic process under the expert guidance of world renowned photographer and scientist Dr Mike Ware along with gallery owner/director Ellie Young.
It’s both an honour and a pleasure to have the opportunity to be able to show my work in such a distinguished space amongst my piers.
About gold street studios
Ellie Young is the founder of Gold Street Studios. Since its establishment in 1999 gold street studios has become the centre for alternative photographic print processes in Australia and New Zealand. The studios provides a resource Centre for photographic image makers and attracts both local and international participants seeking to advance their knowledge and skills in the art, craft and science of traditional handmade and early photographic print processes.
700 James Lane Trentham East Victoria 3458