Newtown Rat


Image © Matthew Venables 2013. All rights reserved.

Tuesday September 10, 2013

You’d think I’d be done with the dead things, having just finished an exhibition that included a set of deceased birds. I know half the people who ever mention these shots, say they don`t need to see anymore. The other half however seem more like minded, to the extent that some have taken to sending me siting locations, that I may haul over there and get lucky I suppose.

Between one thing and another I rarely do. The “gesture” of the beast not being right, not enough decay, too much. Down a few years now I’ve only really gathered five or six that I’ve liked.

The other day however, my mate Tim sent word that he’d found a rodent outside his fathers’ house, in a lane behind the high school. He’s a nice fella with whom I sometimes have a beer and play pinball. While photographing, Tims’ father popped his bowler hatted head out the side gate to say hello, an artist still later in his life, amidst a last minute painting for a competition entry deadline.

There’s nothing at all tricky about making these pictures. Really a simple process of just turning up with a camera and lens, making an exposure. Whilst most of the time there ends up being nothing I’ve felt worth shooting, that could be a part of the reason I enjoy it, a slow collection. When you take lots of equipment, or have a specific idea, you tend to make something happen. You end up with a result, a photo for something. Most often there’s a good reason for this, or someone needs it for something.

Here it’s the opposite is true, the instant I get to the spot I tend know I won’t make a good photograph . I still operate the camera, let some frames be made, almost as waste. Perhaps that the ones I like somehow stand for and represent those other shots as well…sounds ridiculous. Certainly I enjoy the getting up and going in anticipation, usually to stand on a place I’ve never specifically stood before.

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