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Luminous curiousities

5 April 2018 | Posted in: News

Written by: Rayannon Innes | Photography: Ryan Fitzgerald

In an age heavily dominated by social media, with its demand for instantaneous, picture-perfect imagery, one can question where authentic and art-driven photography resides. Hamilton’s Clocktower Studios can serve to answer this question, where an impressive collective of creatives, the majority of whom are professional photographers, work to master their craft on a daily basis.

Fine Arts graduate Ryan Fitzgerald joined this studio collective early last year, landing himself in the ideal space for his unique print-making practice. Exploring a process that emerged in the mid 19th century, Ryan’s wet-collodian prints are something that’s best witnessed up close and in person. “If you look at it under broad daylight, it’s just luminous” says Ryan, when observing one of his printed plates under the sun from the studio balcony.

Striking in photographic detail, the plates require swift darkroom attendance in which the entire process, from coating to developing, is executed within the short time it takes for the plate to dry. Predominantly self-taught, Ryan has become well acquainted with the process  and is now choosing to challenge the aesthetic conventions through his prints. Decaying food, insects, and unsettling film personalities appear strangely endearing as Ryan combines a beautiful process with somewhat grotesque subject matter. The result is what keeps Ryan so immersed in the process: creating visual paradoxes that make the viewer question ideals of beauty.

Following significant national recognition for his work recently, Ryan foresees exhibiting his latest collection of prints in Sydney at the end of the year.