Now Playing: nick cave & the bad seeds - let love in
My friendship with Claudia Phares began with a dead wombat. Specifically, this one.
A mutual friend, Melissa, told me she'd come across my print hanging on Claudia's wall at a party one evening. Though Melissa had never seen the image before, she instinctively recognised it as one of mine and asked if she could take it down to confirm the details on the back of the frame.
As the print had sold in a Dutch auction at Brunswick Street Gallery, and I'd not known the buyer, it was strange and cool to hear of a friend's random encounter with it.
Sometime not long after that, Claudia and I met each other at an opening at BSG. From there we became fast friends and I discovered that, not only is she a voracious collector of the work of emerging artists, she is an emerging artist herself.
After numerous encounters at openings, and meeting up to discuss art and photography over coffee, the idea arose at her engagement party that we should try to do some sort of collaboration before I moved north. As she was off to Western Australia and the Northern Territory on exploratory jaunts, and I was crazy-busy with moving and such-like, we only had a small window of time to create images and plan our collaboration.
So, whilst I was mightily hungover from my leaving drinks the Sunday before I left Melbourne, we managed to coordinate a joint self-portrait exploring the concept of friendship or amistad.
We wanted to express how friendship does not only exist if the two friends are in the same place at the same time. It is also about the nature of the connection.
Working with Claudia was fun and inspiring, and we both regret the fact we hadn't worked together until just before I left, but we do intend to work together again in the future wherever we may meet; and irrespective of where we are, we will always remain strong friends with a wonderful connection.
Thank you to Claudia for the concept for this shoot, and for instigating my most public, partially-clothed self-portrait, joint or otherwise, to date. Not only did we agree on meeting in Fitzroy Gardens in the centre of Melbourne, we also managed (unintentionally) to time our shoot to coincide with seemingly unending foot traffic from the MCG after an AFL match! Suffice to say our presence and odd behaviour drew quite a lot of attention.