2017 Graduate Feature; Zac Dorio

Our graduate being featured today is photojournalist and surfer Zac Dorio.

Zac Dorio, 2016

 

What got you started in photography?
I got started in photography when I first realised that I could capture a moment and keep it forever as an image, being able to capture that slice of time really got me thinking.

 

When you first started at PSC, what kind of photographer did you imagine you would become?
When I first started at PSC I had NO idea what kind of photography genre I liked, what style or where I would see myself! I was just happy and open to try new things and experiment.

 

Zac Dorio, 2016 

What is the most beneficial thing you have learned?
Through studying at PSC throughout the years I learned to be versatile in my work, be willing to try new things and step outside my comfort zone.

 

What was your most challenging moment at PSC?
My most challenging moment at PSC was probably when I had to shoot fashion / editorial type of images, I had no experience in that field. It was tough but I came out with some really strong images.

 

What was your most rewarding moment at PSC?
My most rewarding PSC moment was seeing my work printed at our end of year exhibition ‘Always Already’. To know where I had come from and how hard I had worked for that, seeing my work on the wall just made me realise how far I had come and how worth it it all was.

 

What was your graduating folio about? How did you arrive at this idea?
My graduating folio was about the ocean, the connection and interaction I have with the ocean via a passion of surfing and photography. I always enjoyed shooting surf and surf lifestyle, so I was automatically drawn to the sea. I wanted to document it in a way that was personal to me and also told a story and showed that connection.

 

Zac Dorio, 2016

 

What advice would you give to current students?
I would just say be passionate about what you do; always give 110% so that you know you gave it your very best. Push your boundaries and step outside your comfort zone

 

What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
I work in a busy little cafe making coffees, I surf and like to explore Victoria as much as possible .

 

What is your dream job/shoot?
My dream job is to work for a magazine / company following surfers around the world chasing adventures, good waves and good vibes.

 

To stay in the loop of what Zac is working on, follow him on Instagram.

 

Zac Dorio, 2016

2017 Graduate Feature; Ena Skaljic

With graduation now 5 weeks away, we want to introduce you to some of the students who are graduating in 2017.

First up is Ena Skaljic, a photojournalist student whose graduating folio was working with Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park to to shine a light on the relationship between humans and animals.

 

Ena Skaljic, ‘Untitiled’, 2016

 

Hey Ena, why did you choose photography?
I have always been fascinated by photography, the camera itself got my attention when I was young and saw my mum through the lens thinking it was magic.

 

What was it like when you first started at PSC? Did you have an idea back then of what you wanted to be doing now?
Starting at PSC I had no idea about my aesthetic but I knew I loved science and nature so I focussed on that. I never had a set idea as far as commercial, art or photojournalism. I’m glad I came in open-minded cause I’m not sure if I’d produce the work I do now if I did otherwise.

Ena Skaljic, ‘Untitled’, 2016

 

Looking at the work you’re producing now, how would you describe your style?
My style is nothing like it was the first year, however it was a gradual growth. My aesthetic alone changed while in Malaysia during the OBSCURA festival with the support from Sarker Protick. Style in shooting has developed into confidence and based on instincts.

 

What is the most beneficial thing you have learned in the last three years?
Personally the most beneficial thing I learned during my three years at PSC is support and finding confidence in my instincts. It is extremely important to have people to support you – I’m not talking about your parents who think all your photos are nice but friends, artists, teachers and mentors who aren’t afraid to tell your flaws and be honest. As far as instincts, I was focussed on pleasing the teaches and students showing them what I thought they would like, I eventually went on my instincts (subjects, timing, concepts) and that is when I produced my current aesthetic and subjects.

 

Did you have any challenges in that time?
The most challenging aspects at PSC was finding the confidence in my own work and not to feel intimidated by others but learn from them.

 

What would you suggest to current students?
I would encourage current students to take advantage of what PSC offers! You have the most talented and amazing teachers there for you, great studios and equipment at arms length, unlimited networks, all this and more that no other Uni or place can provide. Oh & have fun, take risks and get out of your comfort zone, that’s the prime time to do all that!

 

In taking risks, what was your final folio on?
My final folio was focussed on the human, animal relationship by documenting Moonlit Sanctuary’s conservation work and animals. I knew I wanted to work with wildlife, after lots of research I knew I wanted to base it on Australia’s wildlife and the limbo they are in between surviving and extinction.

 

Ena Skaljic, ‘Untitled’, 2016

 

So you’re quite passionate about animals, where do you get your motivation from?
My passion for what I am shooting drives me. Inspiration-wise of course it is from fellow students, teachers, other artists of all mediums but also from nature as cliché as it sounds. I like to observe movement, lights and shadows that alone can inspire me completely.

 

What are you working on at the moment?
Right now I am getting into contact with The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program in hopes of working alongside them and documenting their incredible work.

 

That’s awesome! Do you have a dream job/shoot that you would love to do?
I would absolutely love to keep working on wildlife, mainly within Australia as there’s a huge gap that needs to be filled in order to raise awareness and create a change.

 

See more of Ena’s work here on her website

 

Ena Skaljic, ‘Untitled’, 2016

Tuesday Feature; Andrew Arismunandar

Today we are looking at third-year commercial student Andrew Arismunandar, who had one of his images included in Blow Up Photography Competition and Print Annual, issue 3.
Andrew’s image “Sea of Ash” was entered into the black and white category, and depicts Mount Bromo in East Java; an active volcano that is only accessible by foot or horse. The image was taken when Andrew was 15; he and his mother rode out to the 2329 metre high beast that constantly spews sulphuric smoke across the landscape, covering everything in a thin layer of ash.

“You need a gas mask because there is a lot of sulphur”

Andrew Arismunandar, 2017, ‘Sea of Ash’

 

When asked how this falls into his current work, he replied ‘It was the only black and white photo I have, so I thought “why not!” ‘. Andrew’s previous folio was titled “Decadence” that paired graphics and images to revolve around sacred geometry. i.e. The egg of life, the tree of life, etc. ” It is a critique of Christianity. I have been a Christian for the past 15 years. From all those years, I’ve witnessed the ugly/good side of the church community and I wanted to express it through my work.”

“I guess I’m not the standard commercial photographer, I’m interested in graphics” 

Andrew Arismunandar, 2016, ‘Egg of Life’

 

What got you started in photography?

The earliest I can remember is when I was 8, when I got my first cell phone. I used to play around with the phone’s camera and take photos of my friends and pretty much my daily activities. One of the things I would frequently do is to take photos of real life objects and obscure them, essentially abstracting them. It’s a neat little thing I would do if I don’t have any interesting objects/subjects. I only got serious when I was 13, my dad was working in marketing for his company at the time. He was working as a graphic designer and a photographer at the time. During his off time he would lend me his DSLR camera just to experiment with it. Honestly I’m convinced he did it just to get me off from playing too much video games.

 

When you first started at PSC, what kind of photographer did you imagine you would become?

I’ve always envisioned myself as a freelance photographer that occasionally do commercial work for clients, and sell my personal work on the side. I think it’s a good way to maintain my personal style while being able to make good money as well.

 

What is the most beneficial thing you have learned?

The most beneficial thing I’ve learned from PSC is realising that art is a lot more dynamic than I initially thought. Usually before I watch/play a movie or a game, I would check out the reviews on Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes. In these sites they always have an overall score like say Fight Club has a 79% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’ve always thought that an artwork needs to follow a linear criteria. If a person follows the criteria well they will receive the much coveted 100%. This changed when I went to PSC, because that’s when I learned that there is no right or wrong in art. Art is very complex, and not to mention people have all these different reactions towards a work of art. The only failure in art is to not being able to attain your own goals. Like if you’re creating a work that explores the theme of depression, if your audience feels sad then you succeed. This is a very basic example, there are a lot of factors ranging from lighting, colours, models and etc that draws a specific emotions from viewers. If a person uses these elements wisely, they will surely succeed with their finished product.

 

What was your most challenging moment at PSC?

The most challenging moment at PSC will always be coming up with an idea for a folio. You can do anything you want, but what do you want? Of course what I want to do is very hard to achieve, which requires a lot of knowledge in special effects and complex lighting. I remember my 2nd year folio being a failure, because I couldn’t achieve the special effects that I couldn’t possibly achieve with the skills I have at the time. There needs to be a balance in creating something you’re interested in and want to learn. In the same time it has to be realistic and too difficult to achieve them.

 

What was your most rewarding moment at PSC?

The most rewarding moment at PSC is every time I finish a folio and get good marks out of it. I look back and go: “Wow everything turned out a lot better than I thought, I can’t believe I was freaking about this few months ago”. Happens every semester, and that feeling of satisfaction never gets old.

 

Recently, Andrew has also won a silver award in the AIPP Victorian Commercial category – awesome work!

Andrew Arismunandar, 2017

 

How has your style developed?

Overall my interest lies in the surrealism genre, I’ve been exploring the genre in the past 2 and a half years. It started off from merely abstracting the architecture in Melbourne, to creating surreal landscapes and abstracting organic creatures. Overall I’m still experimenting with different styles and still figuring out my strengths and weaknesses.

What are you working on at the moment?

My current folio is Kronos, it is a heavily inspired from the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft and Hideo Kojima’s “Death Stranding”. It’s going to be a series of images that explores the fear of the unknown. I believe we are all created by a blind and uncaring chaos. The world can just take away your hard work in an instant if it wants to, like a sick joke with no punchline. It’s a genuine fear that I have and something I’ve been trying to actively suppress through religion. With this project I want to explore this idea in depth and hopefully overcome my fears.

Andrew Arismunandar, ‘Kronos’, 2017

What advice would you give to current students?

Don’t get cocky. It’s very easy to get cocky with the combination of DSLR cameras and social media. The photography medium is not crafted from scratch (like paintings), it is crafted through the photographer’s surroundings. With a good DSLR camera, you can shoot randomly and get an accidental masterpiece. The combination of social media doesn’t help either. Most people tend to confuse that their friends “like” the image, not because of the image quality, but because of the person themselves. Friends are always biased and will always be happy with what you do. Some guy’s badly composed photo of his lunch can get triple the “likes”, compared to a photographer that made a genuinely well composed photo (all due to how well acquainted the person is with most people).

What do you do when you’re not taking photos?

I usually just watch films on my spare time. Films and photography are similar, as it is a medium that relies on the environment (except for animation). The great thing about movies is that despite being a different medium I can still learn from it visually. So it’s like killing 2 birds with 1 stone, I’m entertained while in the same time I also get visually inspired by them.

What is your dream job/shoot?

My dream shoot is being able to craft a series of images that will immerse my audience and make them feel euphoric. I want to achieve a similar effect to the third final act of Kubrick’s “2001: Space Odyssey”. I want people to say: “I don’t know what the hell this is, but it’s goddamn beautiful”.

Stay tuned on his Instagram account 

 

 

Feature Friday: Marvellous Melbourne

For the 6th year in a row, Melbourne has topped The Economist list of the worlds most liveable cities. (Yay)
Highlighting Melbourne’s love of sport, the arts, it’s beautiful parks and gardens, fashion, festivals, laneways and street-cafe life, transport, shipping industry and it’s distinctive architecture is ‘Marvellous Melbourne- It’s Art and Soul’ exhibition.

With 27 Victorian artists capturing the city in paintings, photographs, drawings and prints; this exhibition on display at the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf is a show of the uniqueness of Melbourne.

 

We’re proud to hear that former PSC students Angela Miller and Hiroki Nagahiro as well as current student James Thorn are involved in this exhibition. Open all day, every day and free of charge, this is a great opportunity to see some work by wonderful artists.

Marvellous Melbourne will be on display from now until May 25th at the Hilton Melbourne South Wharf (2 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf) where it is presented by OzLink Entertainment and Hilton Melbourne South Wharf.

 

 

 

 

Angela Miller

Wednesday Feature: Pam Morris

Today’ feature is Pam Morris who completed stage four of the part time course last year. Her final folio ‘Window of Opportunity’ shows a photo essay highlighting opportunities for society to minimise waste and optimise reuse.

Pam Morris, ‘Window of Opportunity’, 2016

 

“Our technologically advanced society accepts organ transplants as being commonplace. We recognise the enormous benefits of harvesting healthy body organs from the dying, to potentiate the lives of the living. By taking this concept of recycling discarded items from the ‘outmoded’, to rebirth them in the ‘new’; across other facets of our lives, using the building industry as an example of one place we can all start”

Pam Morris, ‘Window of Opportunity’, 2016

 

“Over the past decade our major Australian capital cities have experienced a massive building boom, as local and overseas investors have bought up choice suburban properties for high density development.  The most lucrative properties are those with large blocks, close to the city and public transport, which unfortunately tend to belong to our city’s older heritage housing stock.”‘

Pam Morris, ‘Window of Opportunity’, 2016

“These hand-crafted historic homes are being rapidly replaced with a swathe of modern multi-development town houses.  Whilst we mourn the loss of these unique beautiful old homes, we often fail to consider the secondary more insidious environmental impact of their demolition generating tonnes of building rubble. It is estimated that over 90% of building demolition waste ends up in landfill, which overtime will become a significant environmental hazard as it decomposes and leaches toxins and hazardous substances into our soil and ground water. Although over the last 30 years there has been an increased public awareness of optimising our domestic use of renewable energy and recycling our household garbage, unfortunately the building industry has generally been very slow in adopting a reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy; primarily because it is just not profitable.”

Pam Morris, ‘Window of Opportunity’, 2016

“Ultimately it comes down to us as consumers to reduce the waste in the first place by retaining our structurally sound buildings but if we do have to rebuild, then create sufficient market demand so that architects, designers and builders optimise recycled or reused materials as standard practice in their construction process.

Pam Morris, ‘Window of Opportunity’, 2016

 

 

More information on part-time courses

Tuesday Feature: Caitlin Gartside

Today’s feature is on fine-art student Caitlin Gartside, whose on-going work focuses on introspection and mental illness.

Caitlin Gartside, 2016

 

Caitlin completed her studies at PSC last year majoring in art photography in the bachelor course, now her work is on display at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre for the rest of March, open Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:30pm. Check out the exhibition ‘Elements’ at our celebratory night tomorrow night from 6 – 8pm at 210 Lonsdale street, Melbourne. Follow Caitlin on Instagram for more of her work

Caitlin Gartside, 2016

 

“I see myself as a person with flaws that outweigh any good traits I may possess, a burden despite reassurance, and a failure regardless of evidence of success. I feel as though I am systematically betrayed by my malfunctioning and unconscious cognitive processes. Understandably, I then tend to project these negative feelings onto those around me and I assume that their judgements of me align with my biased judgments of myself.”

Caitlin Gartside, 2016

Friday Feature: Jade Byrnes

No stranger to photo books, Jade Byrnes’ graduating folio ‘Kinglake’ found her as a finalist in the Australian Photo Book of The Year Awards; as well as being nominated for the MACK First Book Award. The documentary series looking at trauma within the landscape, was also exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Photography where it received the award for Best Self-Published Photo Book.

 

Jade Byrnes, ‘Kinglake’, 2016

 

Jade finished her studies at PSC last year dedicating her year-long folio to Kinglake… 

“Like many other Australian towns, Kinglake; a town located in the shire of Murrindindi 65km north of Melbourne, has a long history of bushfires. It consists of farmland, forests, national parks and a small township. The most recent and severe bushfire that affected the area was the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfire, which took many lives, destroyed more than a hundred-thousand hectares of land and displaced hundreds of people.”

Jade Byrnes, ‘Kinglake’, 2016

“Studies have shown that due to climate change, fires in Victoria, Australia, are more likely to occur every two to three years, rather than every thirty years, as was the case 100 years ago. Kinglake is about the aftermath of fires in the landscape, it traces the trauma and effects on both the land and the people who inhabit it.”

 

Jade Byrnes, ‘Kinglake’, 2016

 

Jade’s work is currently on display at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre at 210 Lonsdale street, Melbourne Monday to Friday 8:30am to 6:30pm for the Month of March.

See more work by Jade

 

 

Thursday Feature: Agata Mayes

Now in the 3rd stage of the part-time Advanced Diploma course, Agata Mayes has been working on developing her personal style.
Her latest series “Inside The Mind” has been created to explore in-depth, the sensation of unexplained, severe fear.

 

“My recent body of work is not an analysis and does not answer the question “why” but focuses on how it feels  with a complete acceptance of this state. The aim of this work is to return to deeply repressed emotions and past experiences. This is an opportunity for the viewer to revisit “the inside”, reconnect with what is “real” and  abandon the idea of “wrong” which might lead into a personal interpretation.”

 

Agata Mayes, ‘Inside The Mind’, 2016

 

Born in Poland, and after living in Italy and England where she completed studies in informatics in 2003, Agata moved to Australia in 2011. Her passion for photography lead her to short courses and workshops before she finally decided to take up part-time study with PSC’s Advanced Diploma course. Before arriving at PSC to refine her technical skills and the conceptual understanding of photographic art, Agata won the “Kayell Best Commercial Work” at the Centre for Contemporary Photography salon in 2015, and was already actively involved in the photographic community 6 years earlier.

“I am an artist with an interest in psychology and my work reflects how I see the world. My aim is to study the human mind, explore the subject of ego and to understand what makes us who we are. My ultimate goal is to create something timeless which will remain as evidence of my life once I leave my body form.”

 

Agata Mayes, ‘Inside The Mind’, 2016

 

Agata Mayes’ series “Inside The Mind” is on display at the Queen Victoria Womens Centre for the month of March, open from 8:30am to 6:30pm Monday-Friday at 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne.

Follow Agata on Instagram

 

Wednesday Feature: Sonja Broersen

With graduation only two months away, Sonja Broersen is living and working in Melbourne after completing the Bachelor course last year, majoring in art.

Focussing on themes of self and using a minimalist language, Sonja’s current work “Soft Stone” consists largely of self portraiture, with the addition of still life and sculptural elements, using photography to reflect on her experience with feminine identity.
This series was exhibited at her graduate show Always Already, at Besser Space, Melbourne (2016). Previous work includes self-published photobook Distance (2015), exhibited as part of the group show Kapow! (2015) at Ruffian Gallery, Melbourne. Broersen has also recently exhibited works in exhibitions such as the IPF Photo Prize (2016) and the CCP Salon (2016).

Sonja Broersen, ‘Soft Stone’, 2016

 

Soft Stone is a body of work that is the result of continual reflection and a lingering confusion of what it means to photograph the self. It has evolved from a simple intrigue into an illusive and largely intuitive desire to gain a better understanding of my identity as a woman. The driving force of this work is a conflict I find within myself – a contradiction of actions and beliefs that stems from growing up with unattainable and damaging social expectations – the back and forth of embracing and rejecting femininity.

We are now living in a time where embracing femininity is just as empowering as rejecting it. This has prompted me to reflect on myself and reevaluate my identity as an adult woman. I am not looking to reach any sort of conclusion – I am merely attempting to gain a wider understanding of one part of my identity. My experiences are, and continue to be, unique; I am not attempting to reflect a universal experience of womanhood or femininity. This project is the result of my own reflection, investigation, and experience.

Sonja Broersen, ‘Soft Stone’, 2016

 

 

See more of Sonja’s work

 

Tuesday Feature: Emma Watson

Completing the Bachelor course last year, majoring in art; Emma Watson is set to graduate from PSC this May. Emma’s work will also be on display at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre for the month of March. Be sure to go see it along with other students‘ who are involved in the exhibition ‘Elements‘.

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’ 2016

 

Currently working as a freelance photographer, her monochromatic work is quietly spoken and very personal. It focuses on themes of memory, mental illness, family and identity. Drawing from past and present experiences she uses her camera to escape from her mind and to help make sense of her place in society.

Emma’s graduating folio ‘Folding’ revolves around her relationship with her family as she comes to deal with depression and a new family dynamic.

 

 

For my entire childhood I’ve grown up with the most loving, connected, family bond one can ever imagine; where everything has always felt so secure and safe, a sanctuary where all the corrupt things the world generates can’t touch you, or in other words, a safe embassy I’ve always seeked asylum in.

On the 17th of August 11:15 am I was diagnosed with clinical depression. My emotional reserves are completely empty. I find myself wanting to cry everyday and everything overwhelms me. The more depressed and lonely I get, the more I isolate myself from the outside world diminishing my motivation to reach out to people. Delivering this news to my family is still to this day, the coldest and cruelest moment I’ve ever shared with them.

I used to think life-changing news brought people closer together. Yet for some reason I found myself feeling more and more distant and isolated than ever before. It’s so difficult now to decode the reality. When my family surrounds me, I feel this overwhelming sense of distance and disregard on their behalf. I hear the sound of the cracks forming between us and growing bigger every day, but it’s so unclear to understand the cause of this breaking.

Is my family still there for me and I just can’t see it anymore. Or are they trying to reach out to me and I’m choosing to run away.

All of this coincided with my last year of photographic studies and I decided to use my camera to explore this very new to me family dynamic. So, I started interfering with my history; I cropped out family photos, covered aspects of my home and became the perpetrator of fading certain memories.
My camera brought me closer to my family roots. I scrambled through our lines to reconnect with the way things used to be. But I’m ultimately using this body of work as a way to communicate with my family.

 

 

See More of Emma’s work 

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016