Shopfront mannequins dressed up in urban street reflections. London born, Sydney based photographer Steve Greenaway has traversed many major cities to shoot just this in his exciting new exhibition “A City Unpolarised”. Based upon a visual concept conceived totally by accident, this exhibition of works will now be shared with the visual loving public at the Black Eye Gallery in Darlinghurst, Sydney from Nov 11 – Nov 30.
Captive mannequins and their encasing glass prisons are transformed into a canvas for Steve Greenaway. He poignantly manages to layer the intersections, the textures and the light from external urban surrounds and still balance the composition behind the reflections. There is something timeless about this collection of photographic works and we chat to him to find out a little bit more.
When did you first find yourself loving the view behind a lens?
I properly got into photography when I was about 15 or 16. Before then it was all about painting and charcoals at school but when my art teacher introduced photography to the class, I was hooked.
Do you have any other talents that we don’t know about?
Singing in the shower, but my kids might disagree! Jokes aside, Im starting to get into moving image now, I wouldn’t call it a talent yet but a lot of what I know about lighting and composition transfers across quite naturally.
How did you come up with the concept for “A City Unpolarised”?
Window shopping. Something we all do.
There was one occasion along King Street in Newtown where I noticed how the mannequin interacted with the reflection on the glass. I took a snap on my phone at the time and kept looking at it for days.
From then on I’d always look for the reflections before looking through the glass at the window display.
Having photographed London, Sydney, Paris and Auckland for this exhibition, do you feel you could characterise each city in one word? Hard question, we know, but curious nonetheless!
I didn’t find myself looking for differences between the cities, in fact I looked for the same thing each time. Each city certainly has it’s unique character but I don’t feel Im such a brilliant writer to characterise them in one word.
Light is always a major feature in a photographer’s work. What’s another important quality for you?
Generally I love colour in my work I use it for composition and to allow the viewers eye to travel around the image. A City Unpolarised was a great opportunity to go back to the basics of light and tone to create compositions.
Do you have a creative decision that you prefer to seek another’s opinion on? If so, why?
As a commercial photographer I answer briefs all the time. The point of an exhibition for me is to lay creative ideas and thoughts open for criticism by all.
If I can generate a conversation, positive or negative, then Im happy.