Fremantle Arts Centre

Having been away during its launch I finally got down and saw a little of the FotoFreo 2010 in its last days. The biggest joy for me was at the Fremantle Arts Centre with the photographs by Qin Wen of the demolition of old Chinese buildings under a wave of new western style high rise. They were big images, about 1m x 1.5m inkjet outputs (see above pic), probably from 4×5 format given their great detail. The compositions had a theatrical air about them. You could really stop and stare into these images, seeing the new buildings on the horizon all the way forward to peoples’ faces, tangled powerlines, jumbled tiled roofs right through to intricate foreground detail. The images were almost monochrome at the edges, with wonderfully soft, muted colours, except for the woman in traditional red dress who was the thematic link in all images. The soft muted colours of this exhibition were also shared by Eugene Richards’ “The Blue Room” at the Fremantle Prison Galleries. So refreshing to see subtle nuances being displayed again in colour photography, rather than the gawdiness often associated with a heavy handed photoshop technique. Also squeezed into the prison was Brad Rimmer’s exhibition “Silence – the West Australian Wheatbelt”, one of the few local, contemporary works supported within the main exhibition program by the FotoFreo organisers.

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