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AVEDON TALK AT THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

Sept 22, 2013

As part of the Avedon People exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, I was invited by the exhibition curator Dr Christopher Chapman to talk about my enduring admiration for Avedon and how his work process has inspired me. While in the very early stages of shooting my Skater project I read 'Avedon At Work in The American West' by Louise Wilson. Not only is it a great document of the journey they took together while Avedon shot what would be come one of his greatest projects, but it was a revelation to discover that the project was shot over many years. This knowledge was liberating and has shaped the way I now shoot my own projects. In the past I gave myself strict timelines with each series, but at last I understood that taking my time, in this case 3 years to shoot a project actually enhanced the experience and the end result.

I have been to many Avedon exhibitions over the years and was very excited to see this one. It didn't disappoint. It was fantastic. The image of Lou Alcindor who would later change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a standout for me. The talk went well and I was happy to leave with a gorgeous poster designed by Brett Weincke as a keepsake.