Infrascapes is an exhibition of recent work by Ballina photographer Mark Davis. This intriguing exhibition is on display at the Tweed River Art Gallery until 30 September 2012.
Mark’s interest in photography started more than 30 years ago at Expo 88 in Brisbane. The artist says: ‘To me, the way a camera could capture a moment in time and lock it away to share in the future was a source of intrigue. Although physical time travel is currently not possible, I firmly believe a camera is a time machine.
‘Think how often, while looking at a picture you have taken, you are spirited back to where and when the image was created. The real challenge for a photographer is to transport those people who were not present at the time of exposure and put them in the picture.’
Mark’s photographic practice evolved from prints in the late 1980s, to slides in the early 90s and, in this century, to digital imagery. Throughout this period the influences on his photography changed, but one thing has remained constant.
‘My aspiration has always been to make images that communicate with people, to share my perspective on the world we inhabit,’ Mark said.
‘You don’t take a photograph, you make it’. These eight words, a quote by American landscape photographer Ansel Adams, inspired Mark’s whole outlook on photography. Like Adams, he uses a number of pre- and post-exposure processes to create an image; exposing it in the camera and using numerous development techniques to produce a work that communicates with the viewer.
Most recently, his photographic journey has led to the capture of infrared light.
‘We tend to think of light as only something that is visible. When we see objects illuminated by visible light, our eyes allow us to visualise size, shape and texture. Without light falling on the subject, a photographic image would be lifeless and formless, with no emotion communicated to the viewer,’ Mark said.
‘Infrared light is not visible to the human eye and my aim has been to make the invisible visible. Infrared light can only be viewed post-exposure. The pre-exposure image seen in the camera’s viewfinder is a scene illuminated by normal visible light.
‘With practice and experimentation, when selecting a scene to photograph, I endeavour to pre-visualise what the final infrared image may look like after exposure and post-processing editing,’ Mark said.
To create the images in this exhibition, Mark has used a specially modified digital camera to explore the infrared light illuminating Tweed Valley landscapes. The visible and infrared light have been fused together to give an ethereal appearance.
Mark hopes ‘… the infrared images I make will stimulate gallery visitors to think about the beauty and grandeur of our local environment’.