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Trace Elements
Photographs by Luke Gregory and Sean Fennessy
17 December – 4 February 2011

01_Luke_Gregory_untitled_2009

Sean Fennessy and Luke Gregory’s photographs are full of people who aren’t in them.

We see in their suburban Tasmanian landscapes and domestic vistas the remnants of absent causes and unseen practices. These images do not capture ‘decisive moments’, but rather their fading traces.

In making his photographs, Gregory adopts the role of suburban ‘flâneur’. He walks the streets and cul-de-sacs of regional Tasmania with his medium format camera in search of quietly intriguing social artefacts. He is particularly drawn to the nature/culture interface as it is played out in the suburban and semi-industrial fringes.

Fennessy takes us into the intimate domestic spaces of the unknown and recently departed. Through his photographs, he constructs subtle, yet strangely disconcerting narratives leaden with the ghosts of previous habitation.

Together, the artists’ work reimagines everyday surroundings and causes us to reflect on the ability of photography to conjure memories of the familiar in the seemingly anonymous. Gregory and Fennessy’s images are also a celebration of the difficult beauty of the banal. In this way, they serve as a welcome foil to the pervasive photographic idealisation of the ‘Tasmanian Experience’.

Luke Gregory and Sean Fennessy are young Hobart-based photo-artists who grew up on the North West Coast of Tasmania.

Sharing this common backdrop during their formatives years, Sean and Luke experienced the Coast’s shift to post-industrialisation following the closure of a number of heavy industries during the 1990s. The experience attuned them to the ebb and flow of economic, cultural and social forces, both local and global, and how these can serve to transform how individuals collectively shape and experience their sense of place.

Separately, both Sean and Luke were drawn to the unique possibility that photography represents as a medium through which to reflect on social, cultural and environmental transition.

Sean Fennessy is a highly-regarded working photographer, having been a two-time SOYA finalist and in 2006 was named by Art and Australia magazine as one of the country’s best emerging artists aged under 25.

Luke Gregory’s work has received international attention, having been shown in Vancouver in 2009 as part of an international group projection show and published online by Canadian and Italian contemporary photography magazines. Trace Elements is his first Tasmanian exhibition.

Image: Untitled 2009- Luke Gregory
Photograph: Courtesy of the artist