How was your experience at Obscura? What did you learn about yourself or your photography?
It was good but it was intense, my workshop teacher was Wawi Navarroza. I learned a lot about my work flow, and my work ethic as a photographer, as well as how much work goes into every little thing. I also learned how to develop an idea and push it in a short space of time which was helpful to see what kind of drive you have to have.
What was your favourite moment?
My favourite thing was the end of the workshops, at the projection screening of what everybody did and created in those five days. We all came together like one big family.
Did it change your perception of photography?
It changed how I approach photography as a medium, I think more about my concept and how to approach the images themselves. Not just snap shots but thinking and planning for each image.
What was your body of work about?
My work was about the colour pink and my relationship with the colour itself. I looked at the colour and the architecture of the place I was in, finding the similarities between the buildings and my body-the familiar colours and shapes. At the age of six I begged for a Barbie pink room, everything had to be pink. As I grew older the stereotypical association with the colour pink of being weak and sensitive, caused me to dislike it.
Arriving in Penang the bold use of pink covering the buildings is what re-sparked my interest in the colour. The unfamiliar clash of strong shapes used with bold colours, are not common aspects within suburban Melbourne. Discussing ideas and bouncing things off of Wawi helped me push and develop my idea into what it became.
The main challenge I faced was the limitations of such a specific concept. I struggled trying to get it past just the colour, then when it came down to buildings and bodies, I struggled to make my body in the shape of the architecture.
What are you working on right now?
My second semester folio. It’s about the Maribyrnong River, memory and home; I grew up near the Campaspe River and used to camp with my family along the Murray. Since moving to Melbourne, I’ve become homesick so I’m using the river as a reflection on my memories and my home.
This folio is a work-in-progress, how has it developed? How have you developed?
I’ve done a fair bit of research on the river and some pretty interesting things have happened. There used to be a meat packing business, and tea gardens; there is now a detention centre which you can see but can’t get to. I now also have more respect for the Indigenous history.
See more of Shelby’s work on her website.