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Rosemary Laing honoured at 35th Higashikawa International Photography Festival
Rosemary Laing, skyground #2 2019, archival pigment print. two sizes: 123 x 223 cm, 83 x 143 cm (framed sizes), edition of 8.

MELBOURNE.- Rosemary Laing was honoured at the 35th Higashikawa International Photography Festival in Hokkaido, Japan this week. Laing received the ‘Overseas Photographer Award’ for photographic achievements including her series' weather (2006), leak (2010) and Buddens (2017).

The 35th Higashikawa Award Winners’ Photo Exhibition is on view 5 to 28 August at Higashikawa Bunka Gallery, exhibiting Laing's works from weather and leak. Since 1985, Higashikawa has been known as The Town of Photography and is the only one of its kind in the world. It was declared a Culture Capital of Photography in 2014.

Rosemary Laing said: “My projects are often created in meaningful places wherein I set up situations for the camera by either making a construction or working with a performer. In weather my performer is caught within a chaotic space of high wind and swirling shreds of newspaper. She appears to be tossed around by these metaphorical forces of climate and daily news events.

For leak I built an oversized upside-down domestic timber house frame in a paddock, on a sheep farm in the Cooma-Monaro region of NSW. I wanted to make images about the tension between the idealised history of land occupation for farming by settlers, and the present day pressures of spreading urbanisation.

In both bodies of work, I am interested in the elastic gravity between the sky, and the ground, and their connected conditions.”

Rosemary Laing's new series, skyground, is currently on view at Tolarno Galleries until Saturday 17 August.

"Within the reciprocal indeterminacy of sky and ground — clouds becoming snow becoming clouds — the storm’s impact spins and folds the world in all directions. But this dynamic also creates moments of unsettling stillness. And, at times, the atmospheric respite is more akin to the eerie calm inside the eye of a cyclonic storm. Between these two modes of capture in Laing’s images there’s a suggestion of being simultaneously inside and outside the immediacy of the event, while at other times squarely facing the cataclysmic power of the land and sky collisions.

Cycling between an estranged locality and aberrant archetype of wilderness, these states of rest and unrest reframe skyground’s temporal effects within the wake of a disaster that is still playing out." – extract from Tanya Peterson's catalogue essay.

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