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scrawl
8 November 2012
are you trying to seduce me...?
Topic: photography

national gallery, london


I saw a billboard for the Seduced by Art: Photography Past and Present exhibition at the National Gallery in London in the Tube the other day and thought, 'Ooh, that would be good!' and mentally earmarked it for suggestion to a friend to catch up to see this weekend, as I've had to rain-check twice on catching up with him.

I went to look up details just now, and though I will still probably check it out, it irked me no end that:

a) it is the National Gallery's first major exhibition of photography. Camera photography is not a new art. The process has existed for almost 200 years in some form. Why has it taken this long for the National Gallery to recognise it as such?

b) by 'recognise' I use the term loosely. The description of the exhibition states: It takes a provocative look at how photographers use fine art traditions, including Old Master painting, to explore and justify the possibilities of their art. Le sigh. Photographers still have to 'justify' the 'possibilities' of their art? I'm surprised the word 'art' in this context isn't within quotation marks to clearly indicate the National Gallery's view that photography's claim to being art is a spurious one, at best.

c) the National Gallery's first major exhibition of photography is actually not an exhibition of photography. It is an exhibition of photography and painting. Drawing attention to one particular and rich strand of photography’s history – that of the influence and inspiration of historical painting. From that description, I would assume the exhibition indicates photography is only valid as an art form in its relation to painting, and will be viewed as such, not as a stand-alone art form in its own right.

d) the opening gambit for the exhibition is View Old Master painting through a new lens with the National Gallery's first major exhibition of photography. Even in the blurb photography takes a poor second place.

I haven't even been to the exhibition and I'm already riled up about it. I hope it isn't as patronising and insulting to photographic artists as it sounds. Arguably the contemporary photographers it mentions including are not my preference, but to indicate showing their work is only valid in the context of showing how they have been influenced by painters from times past (and not even contemporary painters) feels like a complete negation of their work to me.

I'm not arguing that art from one time or one medium doesn't influence art that follows or art in a newer medium. I would be naive to disregard that aspect. But surely if you are going to stage the first major exhibition of an art form, you would concentrate on that art form, not on how it references / is derivative of another form of art / art medium?

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 22:09 GMT
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14 July 2009
every day is like sunday
Now Playing: blur - the great escape
Topic: photography

Mr T's


Phewf! Another crazy week and a half, and I never feel like I have enough time in the day!

I've been scanning some shots I took in Blackpool back in 2001 for a submission; my new book of portraiture is in the very last stages; I have another submission almost done; my print for Unsensored09 is ready to collect from the framer, and I found out last week that Truth Lies Beyond has been selected as a finalist in this year's Corangamarah Art Prize!

I have to find a way to get there for opening night this year, as this is my second year in a row being selected and I didn't get to go last year.

On top of all that I am trying to make a start on culling down my belongings for the move, and went to an old friend's wedding on Sunday night.

...And some of my self-portraiture is featured in the latest edition of Frame Lines: #8 Contrasting Landscapes.

Hoping to get a couple of gallery visits in on Friday, including the Dali exhibition at the NGV.

Please forgive my irregular posting for a bit, but in the meantime I did a little tweak to a couple of sections in my site about a week ago, so if you haven't taken a look lately, now's a good time :D

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 15:41 BST
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21 June 2009
lights out
Now Playing: the cure - seventeen seconds
Topic: photography

lights out


I have come to the borders of sleep,
The unfathomable deep
Forest where all must lose
Their way, however straight,
Or winding, soon or late;
They cannot choose.

Many a road and track
That, since the dawn's first crack,
Up to the forest brink,
Deceived the travellers,
Suddenly now blurs,
And in they sink.

Here love ends,
Despair, ambition ends,
All pleasure and all trouble,
Although most sweet or bitter,
Here ends in sleep that is sweeter
Than tasks most noble.

There is not any book
Or face of dearest look
That I would not turn from now
To go into the unknown
I must enter and leave alone
I know not how.

The tall forest towers;
Its cloudy foliage lowers
Ahead, shelf above shelf;
Its silence I hear and obey
That I may lose my way
And myself.


- Edward Thomas

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 04:34 BST
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3 April 2009
i was always your girl
Now Playing: the reindeer section - son of evil reindeer
Topic: photography

i was always your girl


About a week ago, I received an email about what I would consider to be pretty much my dream workshop.

Aaron Hobson is running a 3-day workshop in his local area, the Adirondacks in upstate New York, primarily based around narrative, cinematic-influenced photography, to culminate in an exhibition on the final night.

Not only am I an admirer of Aaron's work, I share a passion for cinematic imagery and self-portraiture with him. He is one of the many folk I would love to share a pint with and discuss photography, inspiration and self-portraiture, and the landscapes and abandoned structures, whether houses or places of industry, in his photographs regularly invoke my jealousy at what is at his proverbial fingertips.

Currently I don't know that I will be able to scrape together the funds for a trip to the US in August this year, but failing that I hope he will be able to continue to run workshops like this in 2010 which would be more likely for me to be able to participate in.

If you're able to participate in this and you think it looks good (I think it looks awesome!), I encourage you to contact Aaron through the workshop site.

And to all photographers reading this in New York, Los Angeles and maybe San Francisco (or even non-photographers!), if I were to come over to the US in August this year, or in June or September next year, would you be interested in catching up to show me around, take photos, or even just for a pint or a coffee?

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 08:33 BST
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27 March 2009
a sidelong glance
Now Playing: depeche mode - exciter
Topic: photography

untitled #37


I just booked my flight to Brisbane to visit my parents for my birthday (the 17th of April). My return flight arriving in Brisbane on 16th April and returning to Melbourne on 10th May is costing me far less than I expected. Apparently I had more Qantas Frequent Flyer points than I thought, so most of the cost is being covered by them! Nice one!

So if you're a photographer in Brisbane, drop me a message and let me know if you're maybe interested in catching up for a photo walk or a drink. My parents live a bit of a way out and I don't drive, so my mobility may be a bit limited, but I'll see what I can do :o)

Meanwhile, I have an image in the latest round of the Saatchi Showdown. Please vote.

And I will have a print in the CCP Kodak Salon 2009, the opening night for which takes place from 6 - 8pm April 2nd 2009.

If you're after a print from my stores I'd recommend getting in before I jet off, as I won't be able to post / ship prints whilst I'm out of town.

And darkness & light is only available for another 20 days!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 13:57 BST
Updated: 27 March 2009 13:57 BST
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16 January 2009
what's a girl to do?
Now Playing: dresden dolls - no, virginia
Topic: photography

untitled #4


A Flickr contact of mine posted a photo today that caught my attention as soon as it appeared on my Flickr homepage when I did a refresh. This isn't all that odd. Often his photos do catch my attention because he has a lot of talent, a signature style and I'm always impressed by his knack for making his wooden box within a basement or bedroom look like an impressive studio, replete with wallpaper, carpet, props and himself or a stunning model posing within it.

However, he is not prone to posting photos of breasts and nudity unless he has something to say, so of course when I saw what appeared to be a semi-nude woman reclining on a bed, I guessed he had some axe to grind.

Sure enough, he was taking a (not-at-all veiled) shot at Miss Aniela and Rebekka Gudleifsdottir's inclusion in a recent issue of Spanish Playboy. He was pretty quick off the mark too, given that only a few hours earlier I had clicked through to Rebekka's stream to view the tearsheets she'd uploaded, and already here he had a custom-edited photograph of his head sewn Frankenstein-style onto a naked female torso to go with his comments.

Although this photographer is somewhat infamous on Flickr for posting controversial rants about female self-portrait artists, especially those who use nudity in their work, he has a tendency to claim it all as a joke when confronted by the artists he is criticising / lampooning the work of, so it's hard to really tell how serious he is being.

A lot of the time I just shrug off his rant posts and go "oh well, he's at it again", and move along to whatever else I'm working on, or check out work from other contacts.

But today, without it actually making me angry (because it didn't), it disappointed me once again that the attitude "Having tits is all I need to become famous, I don't need talent" seems to abound amongst those jealous of the success of artists like Miss Aniela and Rebekka.

The assumption they haven't spent tireless hours devising, shooting and editing photographs; they haven't done the "hard yards" of contacting galleries, magazines, potential clients, potential sponsors, of promoting their work through Flickr, their blogs, and other online outlets (and anyone who claims this is far easier than toting a portfolio around door-to-door really hasn't spent any time updating sites / profiles / blogs, researching, and promoting their various endeavours online); that they've just snapped off some quick shots of T&A and then whacked them up on Flickr and waited expectantly for galleries, magazines and clients to click through and hand them everything on a platter, is really quite insulting, both to Miss Aniela and Rebekka, but by extension to any successful female self-portrait artist who might take nudes or implied nudes. The notion there is a direct correlation between the amount of nipple shown and the amount of success these artists achieve outside of Flickr is a naive and offensive point of view, and I'm disappointed that it exists.

I haven't seen the spreads of Miss Aniela's images, but as Rebekka says in her post about the article, she's "going to take at least some pride in being featured in this publication wearing clothes". I think that is a testament to the quality of her work that it has been included in a magazine where her imagery is quite different to the magazine's standard photography and does not include the (seemingly) obligatory nudity.

But moreso than all of this, why is it such a bad thing that so many female photographers are now getting recognition around the world? Personally I think it's fantastic and about bloody time, especially since in the past there were probably many, many talented female photographers but relatively few of them became famous because, like most industries, photography has historically been a male-dominated arena.

Here's a challenge for you: see if you can name 50 world-renowned female photographers. They can be in any field – fine art, portraiture, self-portraiture, photojournalism, fashion, etc.

Wikipedia is not the ultimate resource, but as an example, I only found around 24 female photographers in their list of photographers who I would consider "world-renowned" (and that was being generous, some of them may not be as well known as I would like to think).

However, going through their list for world-renowned male photographers, I found 50 before I even hit the end of the S's, and that was me being restrained as I know not everyone has studied photography or art history to know many of the ones I know from classes in college.

Oh, and guess what? Of those 50 male photographers, around half of them shoot / shot nudes, and many are / were renowned for their nudes. Only difference I can see is that, apart from a few of them, they photographed other people nude, not themselves...

And for those bitter and jealous about the success of these artists, if you want to become famous and get your "15 minutes of fame" for your photography, here's a tip: spend less time sledging the work of others and more time concentrating on your own photography and I'm sure you'll find more success.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 09:24 GMT
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21 December 2008
and the way the rain comes down, that's how i feel inside
Now Playing: the cure - open
Topic: photography

and the way the rain comes down hard, that's how i feel inside

Though it's not raining at all, and that's not how I'm feeling right now.

Actually in a music mood today.
Joined blip.fm today and you can also find me on last.fm

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 07:28 GMT
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7 November 2008
why the long face?
Now Playing: arcade fire - neon bible
Topic: photography

in happier times


This was a series I created titled "Why the Long Face?" for the Canon Photo5 competition. And though, as I expected, none of the images were selected as finalists, it was a fun series to do, and that is more important to me than any prizes :D

The image above is the one shown in Edward Steed's memory bubble in the final image, of happier times before the death of Felicity Mare from equine influenza.

Models: Karen and Greg
Photography, styling, concept and editing: Bronwen Hyde
Locations: Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne; Mitre Tavern, Melbourne; my old home and my new home.
Inspired by: the work of Elle Moss and the horse mask found at Fat Helen's.

a letter to her lover far away
a letter to her lover far away



news from home
news from home



not long for this earth
not long for this earth



death came too quickly
death came too quickly



now she is gone he sits alone
now she is gone he sits alone

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 08:22 GMT
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10 August 2008
print and portrait session sale on now!!
Now Playing: the divine comedy - victory for the comic muse
Topic: photography

untitled #55


That's right! I'm having my first ever print and portrait session sale!

Until the end of August 2008 you can buy any¹ non-limited edition standard² size print from my website for only AU$45.00!³ That's 25% off my standard print price!

Or you can buy a limited edition print, framed or unframed*, and get a bonus non-limited edition standard size print of your selection for only AU$30.00 extra!³

And if that's not enough for you, I'm also offering 20% off my tailored portrait package prices until the end of August 2008!**

To take advantage of any of these offers:
- head over to my website and take a look around,
- then email me at propaganda@bronwenhyde.com with the URL of the image(s) you would like to purchase;
- or if you're after a portrait session fill out the contact form on my site or email me directly with as much information as possible and I'll get back to you with a discounted quote.

So what are you waiting for?!

The fine print:
¹ Some exclusions apply.
² "Standard" is defined as any single image printed at 7"x10.5", 8"x12" or 10"x10".
³ Postage & handling additional.
* Unframed limited edition print prices as shown in the 365days and alternate worlds stores, framed prices available on request.
** The portrait session can take place after 31 August 2008, but the booking must be made and the non-refundable booking fee of 30% of the total quoted portrait session price must be paid on or before 31 August 2008 in order to secure your booking and lock in the discounted rate.

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 09:32 BST
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7 August 2008
when i'm sixty-four
Now Playing: tv on the radio - desperate youth, bloodthirsty babes
Topic: photography

untitled #159

Five of my images appear in Issue .30 of F-Stop Magazine.
They can be found in the third row of the group exhibit.

Five of my images are also included in Release #64 of Phirebrush.
One is in the featured section,
and it and four other images are in the
bottom row of the first page and the
top row of the second page of the photography section.

Buy my book!

Posted by Bronwen Hyde at 16:33 BST
Updated: 7 August 2008 17:04 BST
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