Geoffrey Dunn

Describe your artmaking practice.

I am a photographer fascinated with all things visual. I strive to create images inviting a viewer to see something of what I saw when I created the picture. I achieve this through digital and film-based photography and post-processing techniques.

When, how and why did you get into it?

I have loved photography since I was a boy. I received my first Kodak Instamatic when I was about eight or nine and have enjoyed taking photographs ever since. Why did I get into it? Mostly because I like looking at pictures! I find photography an artistic medium in which I can express things that I am unable to express in words.

What ideas do you explore through your art?

I am a trained biological scientist and have a fascination for natural phenomena and much of my work and exhibition history reflects this.

I have also spent 15 years as a semi-professional musician and so I enjoy capturing musicians and performing artists either during a performance or working with them to create promotional images or album covers … I love making album covers!

My art documentation practice sees me working one-on-one with artists to create images of their work that inspires people to want to experience the original.

I am increasingly drawn to portraiture and using an image of someone to allow a viewer to have even a glimpse into that person’s life and experience. My current solo exhibition Provenance explores the faces of eight Canberra artists with just this aim.

Who/what influences you as an artist?

Oh my goodness where to start? Light is probably the biggest single influence for me. The way it reflects and refracts and its ability to describe something or someone beyond words is crucial to how I see the world around me. Artist-wise I would have to list Richard Avendon and Robert Mapplethorpe as portrait photographers I admire greatly.

Of what are you proudest so far?

What a question! I am perhaps proudest of the fact that I am still pursuing photography as an artistic expression as an entirely self-taught photographer … that I am continually improving my practice and that every piece is an improvement on the previous work. Working with my subjects and them telling me that I’ve made a positive change in their lives through my photography also makes me feel a sense of pride. Receiving my accreditation as a professional photographer with the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers was also pretty good.

What are your plans for the future?

Keep producing better images and exhibiting! I would like to continue working with artists and musicians and promoting their endeavours by capturing their live performance or creating album art. I have a number of projects coming up including portraiture highlighting social justice issues and another working with dancers to capture movement and exquisite human forms.

What about the local scene would you change?

I would be outrageously famous! 😊

I’m not sure I would change too much. The arts community is very supportive and there are a whole range of opportunities to showcase your work. There are lots of people willing to help out with projects and their unique skills and willingness to try something new is truly heart-warming.

What are your upcoming performances/exhibitions?

My current show is called Provenance, on at the Huw Davies Gallery at the Manuka Arts Centre, Thursday August 17 until Sunday September 10. Provenance is an exploration of “Artists behind the Art” and features eight portraits of eight Canberra artists I admire and respect: Lori Cicchini, Paul Summerfield, Sarah Rice, Byrd, Thea Katauskas, Hanna Hoyne, Stephen Best & Duncan Lowe.

I am also working on a project with a more documentary focus. I will be exploring a social justice issue that’s close to my heart and hope to raise awareness about it through my photography. Watch this space.

Contact info:

Instagram: @geoffrey.dunn

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