Decisive Moment opening at contact sheet, October 2015

November 10, 2015

contact sheet is a photographic exhibition and work space located at St Leonards, Sydney. Paul McDonald is the founder and director of this space and to celebrate the first year of operation he co-curated an exhibition with Sandy Edwards of Arthere. The exhibition was called “Decisive Moment”, not however the Cartier-Bresson concept, in this case the idea was to select 39 photographers who would then choose what they regarded as a photograph that was decisive in the formation of their personal style. A great idea – the curators choose the artists but leave it up to them to choose the work. There was a broad selection across young and old; established and emerging; fine art, commercial, photojournalism and personal work. Some exhibitions are tightly curated with nothing left to chance, others, like this one, leave a lot to chance which can be risky but also allows for something special to happen which was the case with Decisive Moment. The exhibition has been extended until the 21st of November, opening hours and address can be found at the contact sheet website.

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One of the first photos I took at the event – two legends of Australian culture, photographer William Yang talking with collage artist Jim Anderson, standing in front of Anderson’s work in the exhibition, a collage related to Martin Sharp. Jim Anderson has a fascinating website, viewable here.

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It was pretty busy as the event was both the exhibition opening and a celebration of the first year of contact sheet.

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Christian Blanchard with his work, which was a colour contact sheet of a roll of film he shot as an emerging photographer. I love looking at contact sheets, there is something fascinating about seeing a photographer’s conceptual decisions physically linked within the discipline of 36 frames.

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contact sheet director Paul McDonald with William Yang in front of William’s work, a classic frame that was included in his legendary 1980s book “Sydney Diary”.

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I felt a bit like this after running around photographing for hours.

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There are two exhibition spaces divided by a long common wall. These are the people still there an hour after the official finish time.

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