Taking art to the street

By Matt Harvey

Photographer Kristy Fox is interested in people and locking in time and moments, be they events, portraits, or just people doing people things.

Focal point Darkroom and Gallery is putting together a street photography exhibition.

According to the gallery “The theme is street photography. People, places, buildings, laneways, graffiti, life on the streets, COVID, etc., etc.”

“I guess the main thread in my work is people, so far. I have directions I’d like to branch out into such as fine art but for the most part I like shooting people doing people things. If that’s a portrait, or an event or street photography then I am happy,” Kristy said.

PSC has provided Kristy with great opportunities, expanding her sphere of influence and inspiration, and even helping her to look at different styles with new appreciation.

“For many years it seemed people were only doing long exposures of rivers and sunsets off piers which I didn’t find inspiring but I saw the technique applied in new ways by Toshio Shibata in class and it got me interested in landscape again,” she said.

“Influences are so hard to define! I have photographers whose work I love to stare at but then I really enjoyed being exposed to a greater range of photographers during my time at PSC.”

One of the great advantages of life in the arts post-COVID means that communities can come together and teach and learn from each other.

Kristy discovered Focal Point Darkroom and Gallery via a music photographer, Zo Damage, who had posted about going on a tour there.

Kristy followed the account which brought her to the attention of Craig who runs the darkroom and gallery.

“He messaged me to ask if I would like to contribute to the street photography exhibition that he was putting together,” she said.

The arts is a complicated field to study while in lockdown, home-bound and unable to see beyond your window or traverse past a five then 10km radius makes creativity and discovering new things nearly impossible.

Photography is a very hands-on discipline and attempting to create new photos.

“The trick is keeping an open mind and an adventurous spirit,” Kristy said.

“We still learned a phenomenal amount but I can’t help but feel a bit wistful about all the opportunities for hands-on learning and photo walks with the amazing staff and other students.”

However, the unique circumstances of the pandemic did bear fruit for some in the creative fields allowing them precious downtime to think and plan for the future.

“One of the good things about the pandemic has been the time to sit down and daydream about future photography projects so now I’ve got notebooks full of ideas for photo zines, exhibitions and project ideas! I am also in the process of setting up my own photography business Bird Noises Photography where I hope to photograph events and portraits - you know, people doing people things,” she said •

Kristy’s work can be found on her instagram @birdnoisesphotography and the street photography exhibition runs until July 11.

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