Antipodas Exhibition in Cuba Now Open 2019

Yesterday I opened my new exhibition ‘Antipodas’ here in Camaguey in Cuba with friend Paul Murray. By invitation from the Minister of Arts of Cuba, the exhibition includes a curated selection of twenty of my Fine Art Prints of Emperor Penguins from Gould Bay in Antarctica and a selection of Paul’s work from our 2018 Namibia workshop. Each of my photographs was printed on Moab Somerset Museum Rag in 20” x 30” format. Since travel from Australia to Cuba with twenty framed prints of this size was logistically impossible, we chose to display them unframed with a wall hanging system; which has worked exceptionally well. The opening was a smash success with well over a hundred people in attendance with standing room only.

The exhibition will remain on display here in Camaguey until December before it makes its way to Santiago De Cuba and finally to Havana where it will conclude at the end of February 2020. Some of these photographs will also be on display at my new Frozen in Time Exhibition opening in Melbourne Australia in June next year. You can download a digital catalogue of the photographs from the Cuba exhibit HERE.

About Cuba: This has been my first visit to Cuba and it has certainly left an impression on me. Cuba itself is like a wax museum with a pulse. It is a place frozen in time that bustles with friendly energy, street charm and that oozes character from its many cobblestone streets. It is far removed from my usual travel destinations and the sort of photographic opportunities it offers are a distant galaxy to my Polar landscape and wildlife work. Of course, the temperature and humidity here are far from my preferred environment, but one has to accept that it is the Caribbean after all.

In regards to the Cuban street photography scene – Personally, I find the sort and type of street photography Cuba offers either far too voyeristic, when executed with a telephoto lens from a distance; or far to confronting when engaging at close range with a wide angle lens (which is really what is required to produce the best work). The huge socio economic divide strikes a deep and sensitive chord that makes me at best uncomfortable; even when I have engaged with the subject and have their permission to take the photograph. I should note at this point, that in my experience, the people of Cuba are exceptionally warm, friendly and inviting. However, the socio economic divide remains an invisible and impenatrable barrier for me that I personally really struggle with. I do very much love and appreciate street photography when it is well executed, but feel no need or desire to force myself out of my comfort zone just to get a photograph. By contrast, I am quite comfortable in Nature sitting in a hide day after day in freezing temperatures, or searching the frozen sea ice in search of Polar bears – I love this process and that is what matters to me. I would much rather be face-to-face with a Polar bear on the sea ice than face-to-face with humanity in the street. Ironically, I can see great photographs everywhere as I wander the streets of Cuba, but the process of street photography is quite simply not for me. Fortunately, I can enjoy the many evocative and powerful photographs in a work such as Vivir Con * in my own time and from the comfort of my own living room.

If you are a dedicated street photographer I think you will find Cuba is just about nirvana. Between the old cars, the rustic dilapidated buildings, and the friendly faces full of character on every corner there is enough material here to keep even the most ardent and dedicated street photographer active for weeks at a time. I can clearly see why so many street photographers are drawn to the urban scene in Cuba. I can sum up my thoughts by acknowledging that Cuba may be a street photographers paradise, but I am no street photographer.

* Vivir Con by Carolina Sandretto is a highly engaging and emotional exposition into Cuban family life and the relationships between the spaces they live in. I may well review this book in full at a later date, but in short, I highly recommend you consider adding this powerful work to your photographic library.

Moab Masters Power of the Print Video Release 2019

Moab and Legion paper have just released a new Power of the Print Video as part of the Moab Masters series. I have been working with Moab as one of their Master Printers for more than eight years now and I am still just as passionate about printing today as I was back in the film days – actually even more so.  Moab still produce my favourite paper for printing – Moab Somerset Museum Rag. An absolutely gorgeous rag paper with a wonderful surface stipple that reproduces the texture and tone of snow and ice with a majesty and tactility that I find unmatched by any other paper I have tried. If you are not printing your photographs you really are missing out on what is probably the most satisfying and enjoyable aspect of the entire photographic process. My sincere thanks to Tony Knight and This is My Life for the video production.

Antipodes – New Fine Art Print Exhibition in Cuba November 2019

By invitation from the Ministry of Culture of Cuba I am extremely excited to announce today that I will be opening a new joint exhibition with American Photographer and friend Paul Murray, titled “ANTIPODES” in Cuba in November this year 2019. The exhibition will open in Camaguey on the 1st of November this year and will travel onward to both Santiago De Cuba before concluding in Havana Cuba 2020 early next year. 

This two-person photographic exhibition consists of approximately 18 – 20 photographs from each artist. Holko’s photographs capture the life of the Emperor Penguins of Antarctica in their natural environment while Murray’s images portray the wildlife and natural lands of Namibia. Both works are of outstanding quality and rarity and should be a great opportunity for the Cuban audience to enjoy this very special carefully curated selection. The exhibition opens in Camagüey and will extend to Santiago de Cuba and Havana.

 This exhibition project arises as a direct result of curator M.Sc. Juan Carlos Mejías Ruiz, who wants to show the art from these “magicians” of the lens to the Cuban public.  This exhibition will be one of the most important to open during the realisation of the 2019 Noviembre Fotografico and will be inaugurated on Friday, November 1st, in the Republica 289 gallery. Both photographers are “Major League” professionals with the experience and curriculum to match their work.

Artists from other countries, including Spain, Italy, and Germany are also planned to participate this November in additional Camaguey-based exhibits.  At some point during the artists’ stay in the city, there will be a meeting with the nature photography group Bioencuadre, where work experiences are exchanged and professional links will be created. 

The Provincial Council of the Plastic Arts of Camagüey is working steadily to support Noviembre Fotografico building on the outstanding results of its previous efforts in 2018, which involved a considerable number of the public and generated a group of activities and content that enriched the city’s panorama of the visual arts and culture achieving a prominent presence in national, international media and social networks.

Frozen in Time – New Fine Art Print Exhibition 2020 – Save the Date!

I am excited to tease today that I will have a brand new exhibition of Fine Art Prints of my Polar Photography coming to Melbourne next year. The exhibition will run for one month only from June 4th until July 4th 2020 and will include approximately three dozen of my photographs from both the Arctic and Antarctic captured over a period of ten years. The exhibition will be held in South Melbourne and previously unreleased limited edition prints will be available – More details to come soon…Save the Date!

Iceberg in Antarctica

Where are the Winning Prints from the AIPP 2019 Victorian Nature Category ?

Over the last few days I have received several emails from those interested in the art of printing, asking “where can I go to see the actual prints” of the winning photographs in this years AIPP Victorian Epson Professional Nature Photographer of the Year Awards.  Well, I will have some very exciting news about just this and more in the next few days. Stand by….