The opening of Melbourne street artist Rone’s exhibition, Empty, in Fitzroy. (Supplied: Sophie Argiriou)
by Julia Baird
For the artistically stunted among us, the idea of labouring intensely on murals while perched on ladders, cranes and cherry pickers for days or weeks, only to have our beautiful images tagged with graffiti or smashed to rubble, is a profoundly depressing one.
But for street artists, it’s a singular thrill. Temporariness is part of the game.
When I stand in an empty old movie theatre, the Star Lyric in Melbourne’s Fitzroy, looking at an enormous, delicately drawn female face, two storeys high, the thought that it will amount to a painted pile of rocks in a few days is difficult to stomach.
But the artist, Rone, created it knowing that the building would be destroyed by developers shortly after his current exhibition, Empty, closes.
A painting of a woman dominates a wall in an empty old movie theatre as light pours through round windows.
Portraits of beautiful women shine in Rone’s exhibition in Melbourne.
A finite lifespan, he says, is what makes street art singular: it blooms suddenly, then is exposed to the elements.
“The temporariness is what makes it contemporary, of the moment, and more important or special,” he says.“When someone paints something on the street it won’t be protected, anyone can come with spray paint and draw a dick on it, and destroy it — but you walk away, there’s not much you can do about it.”
“There is an ethereal, otherworldly feeling to this photograph, as this little island in the middle of Tumuch Lake in northern British Columbia appears as if it’s floating in the clouds,” says Shane Kalyn, who submitted this photo to the National Geographic Traveller Photo Contest.
The scene was amazing to witness, let alone be lucky enough to photograph—totally the right place at the right time.”
This photo and caption were submitted to the 2014 National Geographic Traveller Photo Contest.
Photographer Hidenobu Suzuki views his images as if they’re paintings.
Through gorgeous and well-considered compositions, he conveys an ethereal feeling in the Japanese landscapes. Suzuki plays with light, reflection, and field of vision to highlight nature’s splendor.
He does a fantastic job of abstracting parts of his photos – occasionally things will appear blurred – so that it feels less like documentation and more as poetry via the camera lens.
“I feel that realism is a more Western style,” Suzuki writes on LensCulture.
“Using only rational thinking when creating photography results in better attention to the detail—but there is a tendency to get bored,” he continues. “Working with feelings and looking for emotions is more relaxing and ultimately, more powerful.”
Suzuki intends to express feelings of spirituality in these images, and his love of quiet, contemplative moments is evident.
Through them, it’s as if we’re on the journey alone, admiring the purple sky and looking down a foggy path, savoring it all for ourselves.