2017 Graduate Feature; Emma Watson

Today’s graduate feature is on bachelor art student Emma Watson, yes you’ve heard her name before; she was a part of the ‘Element’s exhibition that was on display for the month of March at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre. Once again not the actress!


Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016


Hey Emma, your final folio ‘Folding’ has been seen and spoken about quite a few times, but going way back; when you first started at PSC what kind of photographer did you imagine you would become?
To be honest I wasn’t entirely certain. I suppose at an earlier point during PSC I envisioned myself to be a major documentary photographer that travels the world. However, I soon realized that ideal didn’t match my personality or style in the slightest and that my work had to be a lot more silent and minimal.


How do you describe that style?
It’s a lot more coherent and specific to a narrative. Unlike when I first started where everything I produced was a bit higgledy piggledy, I now feel confident that I can produce a body of work that I know will reflect my personal style and story.


What got you started in photography? Was it the higgledy piggledy?
It’s always been second nature to have everything I experience in my life captured through a lens. Photography has always been a part of my life, in fact you’ll struggle to find a time that hasn’t been documented. I’m simply continuing on with what I’ve always known.


Emma Watson, ‘Folding’ 2016


What do you do when you’re not taking photos?
Mostly I read a lot of fiction. I find it to be a great source of inspiration for new ideas and just a great way to escape reality. It keeps me fresh and broadens the boundaries I unknowingly place on day to day situations.


What are you inspired by?
Books, documentaries, movies, diaristic photographic projects, really it’s anything that can change and challenge my point of view.


What are you working on at the moment?
Currently I’m in the early stages of trying to organize this concept of an online collaborative project where anyone can partake and submit their story/images. It’ll be a community for self expression, somewhere to be heard instead of ignored concerning specific topics. As I said it’s more of a concept than anything else at this stage.


Where do you get your motivation?
I find motivation from my past and present life experiences. All my work is very personal so naturally I draw everything I’ve and seen and felt to help me clarify a visual representation. It’s actually a very therapeutic process.

The chance to collaborate is a pretty big advantage of being at a place with like minded people, would you say that was the most rewarding part of PSC?
Actually, it was a day during my 3rd year where I confided in my beautiful teacher Hoda about the true meaning behind my work. It may sound as quite a small reward but it pushed my work into areas I wouldn’t of otherwise attempted or considered.

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 2016

What is the most beneficial thing you have learned in your three years of study?

Naturally I learnt a great deal about the technicalities of photography, but I found that I learnt more about myself than anything else. I’ve now found so many different ways of self expression when words have previously failed me and by doing so have gained a much more profound sense of self and empathy for others.

What was the most challenging moment for you at PSC?
Without question it’d have to be me trying to break down those barriers I’ve built up within myself. The trick I’ve learnt for majoring in any art degree is allowing yourself to feel that vulnerability, to be utterly exposed and honestly raw within your concepts and self. It’s much easier said than done.
Can you give any advice to current students?
You’re going to face a moment when it feels like the world is out to get you. You’ll either lose your files, have no money for printing, or simply can’t break that mental slump of frequently trying to produce new ideas. The best advice I could give to someone at that time is to just ask yourself one question, am I doing this for the love or for the practicality of photography? Because if it’s for the practically you’re going to stop once you’ve reached that goal but if it’s for the love you’ll always continue on with the work.
See more of Emma’s work here

Emma Watson, ‘Folding’, 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: Jo Duck

Today’s Feature Friday is on 2005 graduate Jo Duck, who we sat down and had a chat with.

Jo was also featured in C41 Magazine back in February for her work with the  Hula Hoops Guiness World Record Holder 


Hey Jo, what got you started in photography?

A good friend of mine was using the darkroom at his highschool and I thought it was complete magic. My highschool didn’t offer photography so I just picked up a camera and started shooting film. I learned a lot from making many mistakes.

Why did you decide to study at PSC?
I went to the Open Day at PSC while I was in highschool and just knew it was the right fit. I had looked at other colleges which offered photography, but I found the specialised course, the people and the feeling at PSC suited me best. I had no regrets and enjoyed my three years studying at PSC.

When did you graduate and what did you focus on?
I graduated in 2005. I majored in commercial photography but I enjoyed approaching commercial photography from a more conceptual direction. I have never been interested in shooting a product to sell a product – I enjoyed the conceptualising and decided to create narratives for all my commercial work. This meant a lot of pre-production and research, but that was the part which made my work more rich and interesting to produce.

Jo Duck, 2017

How did PSC help get you where you are today?
I learned a lot of technical skills which helped me to get started in the industry. I loved learning about studio lighting and still love experimenting in the studio using my initial education.
PSC has a great sense of community and I had a great network of tutors and friends who are still a big part of my personal and professional life.
I also learned to really nurture an idea, to delve deeper and ask why I’m creating the work I’m creating and what I’m trying to say with it.  These were definitely essential building blocks to becoming a photographer.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently balancing commercial work with personal work and collaborations. I love collaborating with Marawa (the guinesss world record holding hooper!), we’ve been shooting together all over the world for about ten years. I’ve also really enjoyed collaborating with incredible UK culinary genius’ Bompas + Parr.
I’m shooting editorial fashion as much as I can, working on an exhibition when there’s time and collaborating with art directors in Europe to produce a really weird and exciting body of work.

Jo Duck, 2017

Who and/or what inspires you?

I love watching films for inspiration and also listening to podcasts, looking at other photographers work and hearing people’s stories.
I get a lot of inspiration from David Lynch’s work, I love the photographer Weegee and also think there a lot of brilliant photographers working in fashion right now.

How would you describe your style
Polished with raw edges.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career so far
I’ve met a lot of fascinating people through my work and travelled to places I probably wouldn’t have visited if I hadn’t pursued photography.
I love collaboration and have worked with people with truly brilliant brains who work with me to push a project and make some unique work. I really love that each new job / idea is a challenge and that no two days are the same.
Oh wow, where have you shot?
London, Paris, New York, LA, Croatia, and Istanbul, as well as weirder, smaller towns in between!

What advice would you give to current PSC students or people thinking of enrolling at PSC
My experience with education is you get out what you put in. If you immerse yourself in all aspects of photography while you’re studying, it will help you to make an educated decision about which direction to take your career in.
Your time at university gives you access to great equipment and great helpful people who have a wealth of experience. Ask questions!
See more of Jo’s work here on her website! 

Jo Duck, 2017

Mowanjum Workshop with PSC’s Peter Hatzipavlis

Outside Derby in Western Australia, the Worrorra, Ngarinyin, and Wunumbal tribes make up the Mowanjum community. At the heart of this community is the Mowanjum Aboriginal Art and Culture Centre; a creative hub where old and young come together to create and inspire one another.


Mowanjum Festival


Next week our very own print master Peter Hatzipavlis, will be travelling to North-Western Australia for a workshop with artists in the community as they respond to the theme of Micro Macro Country. The microscopic and macroscopic interpretations of the Kimberley will be translated through a range of creative mediums, where Peter will develop their processing skills to print contemporary art on merchandise; these products will be sold in the Culture Centre.

We’re incredibly excited and proud to be supporting this workshop! Remember to follow us on Instagram to keep up-to-date on all of the happenings next week!



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