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A fragmented lens

09 Jun 2016

A fragmented lens Image

Elli Bardas’s exploration into the artistic realms of photography has been one of both discovery and enlightenment.

Currently in her third year of a part-time advanced diploma, she said the experience had so far been valuable in helping her to realise that harnessing the creative elements of photography was all about perspective.

“I love that we’re being taught how to see but then I love that if the two of us went to shoot the same thing it would be a totally different photo because you have a different idea.”

“I heard this guy talking about life being a shared experience but our perspectives fragment that and I thought that was actually really profound.”

While having spent much of her adult life on a number of philanthropic boards and working as a full-time mum, she said learning more about photography had always been on her radar.

And while entering the course with an open mind to all professional avenues, she said she had quickly realised the path she was most interested in pursuing.

“I definitely want to go in an artistic direction,” she said. “I’m definitely not interested in commercial photography and in photojournalism you have to be too quick and I don’t think I’m that quick.”

“I spend a lot of time looking at different art and ideas and I studied art in year 12 so I at least have a fundamental knowledge and have always continued to look and learn.”

Elli said much of her work at Photography Studies College (PSC) had been inspired by British artist David Hockney, as well as a former Polish student who she found online.

The latter’s influence had a profound impact on a series of camouflage portraits she completed last year, one of which earned her the Australian Centre for Contemporary Photography’s 2015 Excellence in Colour.

She described her award-winning entry, capturing her daughter with a similarly coloured dog, as artistic portraiture.

“A friend of mine had a portrait in her house from a famous photographer and it had her daughter in it and I just never understood why she did that but all of a sudden I went oh it’s actually a piece of art!” she said.

“I wish people could have portraits that are more artistic than smiley happy families and that are personalised. So I’ve been commissioned to do a few since then and that’s been really fun.”

While she continues to hone her skills, she said she was constantly amazed by just how much one could do with photography.

More importantly, she said that, until undertaking a course at PSC, she had never realised that studying was something that could be enjoyed.

“When I left school and people went on to study I couldn’t understand why they went on to study. I actually had no idea. I thought that you endured a course,” she said.

“All of a sudden I went ‘oh it’s not for the teacher I’m actually learning it for myself,’ so that’s been huge realising that people study because they actually like it!”

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