Australia

  
we’re all climbing into the plane in a few hours. The year of brutal rough times apart (as a family) drawing to a close…. but leaving great friends who will be lifelong.

So mixed feelings all round.

  

At the airport and starting my rush back to see everyone. Be there soon!

  
My big girl one year already! How time has flown and how I miss you all. Looking forward to seeing you as soon as possible.

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Journal 20160606 birthday celebrations for my big boy - party at school

Ah my gorgeous Freddy – I miss you all during every minute of every day – and I wish I could have been there with you and your little mates to party and celebrate.

Five years ago yesterday you turned up and flipped everything on its head.

Journal 20160515 splish splash Im in need of a bath - darkroom

An afternoon spent knuckle deep in the chems…. an afternoon well spent… a much needed few hours in the dark shuffling about.

  
Leaving on a jet plane soon… pointing the nose SE and going and going and going…

Sad to leave the family again and sad to think of old friends lost as time rolls on.

Lots of work ahead. Many things to bury myself under. It begins now.

  
Matt Nott

Gone too soon mate.

  

  

 

Journal 20160107 things going sideways- ASSK votes

Out of nowhere Kisim Picky turns back up and starts flipping cars in riot like delight!

Welcome to 2016 woop woop. 2015 disappeared in amongst sweat, desperation, a little hustling and running about with the little lunatics who keep my days interesting. The national elections came and went and I got to see a few interesting moments. Glad I was around when it all happened… we’ll see what comes of it all.

Little Rafi is not so little anymore and is full of chuckles, noise and wiggling about attempting to chase the two boys. They are in turn on bikes, in the water, on a playground or demanding bandaids be applied to various injuries acquired through said activities.

Im just now hustling through airports on the way back to Australia. In my usual churlish way I’m not enjoying the travel as plane trips no longer hold any fascination or excitement. In fact a degree of fear seems to creep in on occasion and it’s come from nowhere… I suddenly feel like I’m aware of the great distance to the ground and the speed at which we could cover it with the assistance of gravity…

Journal 20160107 things going sideways- on press

I’ve got some exciting times ahead in lil’ ol’ Canberra… but as always extra layers get thrown in the mix and make good times just a touch confused and double edged… ahhh the benefits of circumstance, luck and the never-ending merry-go-round of life and the need to pay the piper.

Journal 20160107 things going sideways- bagan

But fun has been had. Pictures have been laid on paper. Temples have been stared at and the tourist route trampled because it does hold magnificent sites/sights. Relatives and friends have run about together in the silly season times and everyone is as well as can be.

So here’s looking forward to the months ahead. See ya all sooooooon…

  

It’s easy to forget the cutting light and brisk wind off the mountains that Canberra does so well in the cold months.

Standing out in it (after being away for a while) brings in a big stupid grin – magic.

  

(c) Adam Ferguson

After reading some reports online and asking a few questions I sat in Yangon this afternoon and got a connection quick enough to stream ABC Radio (Canberra) to listen in to an interview (and surprisingly that interview was deeply flawed)…

Mr Angus Trumble, the Director of the National Portrait Gallery (of Australia) removed the portrait of Indonesian President Joko Widodo by Adam Ferguson from the gallery walls citing concerns for the safety of the work, collection and visitors. He also made reference to what he regards as the majority view within Australia as well as statements made by the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, within the Parliament and the decision to recall the Australian Ambassador from Jakarta as influencing his removal of the work.

I was particularly appalled that such an important public Arts Organisation (yes yes… capitals and all) is pulling work by a photographer for what seems to be some sort of quasi-populist (?!) move to placate outrage… that on the face of it didn’t really exist. The NPG stated that no threats had been made… and during Mr Trumble’s interview on ABC radio he made reference to only a single visitor passing comment on an imagined scenario. On the face of it this seems to be a GIANT overreach.

A gallery like the NPG is in the stunning position of being able to shape debate, engage with the public on a large scale, host discussions and seminars and generally try and challenge the public with the magnificent opportunities provided by any number of Australian and international artists through their work. Holding popular blockbusters and hosting various touring shows and awards is another means to bring people in and point them towards even more pieces from the permanent collection.

Imagine if the real (past) threats to the photographic works of Mapplethorpe, Henson, Mann, Serano and Goldin had been so hastily cowed to? For there were threats in those instances (political and/or violent, overt threats)… and many of the galleries fought back in defence of the work and gave their heartfelt reasons for the importance and value of debate and the continuing visibility of the controversial piece(s). In the face of threats to the work, ongoing funding, and even life… many many stood and fought.

Mr Trumble, all you have done is censor a picture made by an Australian photographer. A picture that is from a series that graced the cover of one of the most widely read magazines in the English speaking world. That picture is a depiction of a figure who is at present at the centre of an issue/debate consuming large amounts of ink and pixels in the national media. You have not censored or condemned that figure. You have not placated any outrage or avoided a riot. You have not secured your funding for future years or avoided annoying the powers that be.

You have simply put a photograph in storage. A photograph that should be hanging on the wall and generating lively discussion. As the Director of a national gallery you have put the artist and the art itself at the very bottom of your priority list when there is no ‘crisis’. And that is a black mark against the NPG.

I would like to quote a short section from Calla Wahlquist’s piece in today’s Guardian that clearly expresses Ferguson’s views (an opportunity that ABC Radio denied him by not even referencing his quotes, rather asking Mr Trumble how “the photographer felt about the decision”?!?!?… truly ABC Canberra… WTF):

*

Ferguson is in Nepal for Time and told Guardian Australia via email that he was “upset” and “perplexed” by the gallery’s decision to remove the portrait.

“The image has already received significant showing at the NPG so I am not upset merely because my image has been removed,” Ferguson said.

“I am though upset about the statement this makes about the NPG’s integrity and the support of visual art in Australia, despite how controversial [it may be]. I am totally perplexed that a leading Australian artistic institution like the NPG would take such action.”

Ferguson said the gallery should have taken the opportunity to engage in discussion about Australian-Indonesian relations, rather than hiding the image away.

“I would have thought that allowing people to engage with the photo that I created would be now more important given the circumstances,” he said.

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You can find plenty of Adam Ferguson’s work on his website:

http://www.adamfergusonphoto.com/