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Galleries:

 
Stone #1

Stone #1

Handprinted cyanotype 200x260mm

Stone #2

Stone #2

Handprinted cyanotype 200x260mm

Stone #3

Stone #3

Handprinted cyanotype 200x260mm

Stone #4

Stone #4

Handprinted cyanotype 200x260mm

Cox Creek, South Australia, 2021

Cox Creek, South Australia, 2021

Handprinted Van Dyke Brown 175x220mm

St.George River, Victoria, 2021

St.George River, Victoria, 2021

Handprinted Van Dyke Brown 175x220mm

Jamieson River, Victoria, 2021

Jamieson River, Victoria, 2021

Handprinted Van Dyke Brown 175x220mm

Cumberland River, Victoria, 2021

Cumberland River, Victoria, 2021

Handprinted Van Dyke Brown 175x220mm

Goulburn River, Victoria, 2021

Goulburn River, Victoria, 2021

Handprinted Van Dyke Brown 175x220mm

Cumberland River, Victoria, 2021

Cumberland River, Victoria, 2021

Handprinted Van Dyke Brown 175x220mm

Phantom Falls, Victoria, 2021

Phantom Falls, Victoria, 2021

Handprinted Van Dyke Brown 175x220mm

 
Mat Hughes. Photographic Artist
Sandridge Beach 3207
Sandridge Beach 3207

Inkjet pigment print

Emerald Hill 3205
Emerald Hill 3205

Inkjet pigment print

Hobsons Bay 3207
Hobsons Bay 3207

Inkjet pigment print

Sandridge Beach 3207
Sandridge Beach 3207

Inkjet pigment print

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I'm delighted to have been asked to participate in this outdoor installation located within the grounds of Gasworks Arts Park in Port Melbourne. Join myself and other artists for the opening by Port Melbourne Mayor Louise Crawford this Saturday at 2pm.

 

"Gasworks Arts Park is opening new windows to our vibrant city from behind the photographer’s lens. 72 images featuring the buildings, beaches and bustle of the City of Port Phillip will showcase the natural and built environment of our sensational surroundings. These Perspectives of our city are shared through the images of 6 selected professional and amateur photographers."

Artist Statement:

 

I spent a long time trying to understand what makes up the City of Port Phillip. I looked at colonial history and then further back into the deep indigenous culture that has always been here. I looked at geology and imagined the time when the bay was flat open grassland stretching south towards the horizon.

 

Walking the streets, I looked for the old towns of Sandridge & Emerald Hill, cross-checking street names against old maps. I sought out the sites of lagoons, that which once bordered Middle Park before Middle Park even had a name and slowly, I built up a picture in my mind. 

 

I thought about the rich maritime history and the thousands of ships arriving in the bay. And I pictured those travelers disembarking from their ships and stepping ashore, perhaps for the first time, and sending postcards of the local sights back home.       

 

The eight images selected are from a series of ten. Each highlights a location within the City of Port Phillip boundary. The work is a playful nod to early postcards with their engraved illustrations, skewered colors, and offset printing. They described an exciting, stylized impression of a place, both real and yet unreal.

 

In addition to the work displayed in the Gasworks Arts Park installation, these works exist as a series of framed inkjet pigment prints that includes additional location text and acknowledgement of Country.

 

Artist Statement:

 

These five images started as part of the Bay Windows project above. They were made during last year’s Melbourne lockdown. Sandridge Beach in Port Melbourne became our go-to place for fresh air and exercise. There is something about the native flora in this corner of Port Phillip Bay that is wild and reminds me that despite the pace of urban development, this area has been a river estuary for far longer.

 

The Spinifex and Sedge are native to the area. The Coastal Sword Sedge was known as Kerbein or Noongar by Aboriginal people. The leaves could be used for basket/rope making and the white base of the leaves could be roasted or eaten raw.  

 

Both works were made using a combination of digital photography and traditional darkroom printing. Prints were made by hand using a 19th century printing process called Van Dyke Brown which is characterized by the wonderful brown tones. In a digital age where granular sharpness is often the benchmark, these images present an older artisanal practice, one that celebrates authenticity.

 

The paper is coated by hand with a light sensitive emulsion, and the prints are finished with bee’s wax. They are presented behind a finely crafted frame.

 

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