This work was commisioned by the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, and exhibited on the site of Melbourne Obsertaory as part of PHOTO 2021.

These works were made in the studio, shot on a rudimentary medium-format 1920s camera. With a nod to historic astronomy photography, early cinema and special effects, they are images of constructed diroamas, made out of simple materials to hand, depicting the cosmos: stars, planets, galaxies. The obvious clues of construction – light bulbs, electric cords, fishing lines etc. – remain visible. The images blur distinctions between macro/micro, and between horizontal and vertical planes.

The photographs are displayed in steel structures, designed with reference to photographic and scientific instruments such as spectrographs, heliographs and telescopes. One of the structures includes a circular aperture with an attached armature and mirror that creates an eclipsed view of the surrounding landscape and sky. 

Curator: Isobel Parker Philip. Design: Youssofzay + Hart. Fabrication: Custom Industrial.
The title is borrowed from a painting by artist Maria Cruz who had in turn borrowed it from a song and album by Yoko Ono. 

Two works commissioned by Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) as part of the exhibition 20:20, a survey exhibtion of new works by twenty artists.

Things fall apart (Yeats), neon version, 2020 is a fragment of a poem by the Irish early-modernist poet, WB Yeats. Rendered in neon, the text becomes a sign, a reminder of our inherent fragility, and the temporal nature of the existence of all things.

Accompanying this text work are two ‘drawings’, made almost 20 years apart and identical, except for the obvious effect of time on the older version. The works are made onto posters, released as a limited edition inserted in a book, by the Cuban/American artist Felix Gonzales-Torres, featuring a black and white image of two birds in flight against a grey sky. My intervention was made by stitching metallic thread through the paper, a series of expanding circles that evoke ripples, soundwaves, or targets.

In these works, recurrences, change and impermanence are all represented.

A set of photographic collages, constructed in-camera.

The starting point was found analogue photographs from various sources that were re-photographed and enlarged to become backdrops for 3D arrangements of found objects including light-bulbs, lenses, acrylic sheets, and film filters. The layering of translucent and other materials extended from  experiments with photogrammetry. The photo/sculpture hybrids were then rephotographed from above, echoing the process of copy-stand photography.

The resulting images distil perceptual slippages between analogue/digital, real/reproduced, 2D/3D, and confuse foreground and background. The works also create tension between the horizontal and vertical planes, and are displayed somewhere between the two states, on leaning, rough-cut plasterboard panels.

These works seek to slow perception, especially in relation to photography which is so often (nowadays) a ‘quick’ visual medium. Rather than being a ‘pencil of nature’, or an apparatus for the representation of the ‘real’, photography is considered in terms of the complex effects it has on perception and visuality.

 

A series of medium-format panoramic photographs, made with multiple exposures, document L'atelier Brancusi, a recreation of Constantin Brancusi's studios, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

A multiple exposure photograph taken at L'atelier Brancusi, Paris in March, 2018.
This version of the work was made for AJAR, Mitchel Cumming's window project, at Sydney College of the Arts.

A series of works examining light and reflective surfaces, primarily the moon as a 'mirror' of the sun:
- A series of hanging light-bulbs, partially masked with black-paint, are transformed into eclipses, visible in mirrored discs on the  floor.
- A set of time-exposure photographs, made on a medium-format panoramic camera, track the movement of the moon across a night sky.
- Two sculptures, scale-models of film-sets that feature mirrors: a 1:12 scale model of the mirror-maze set from The Lady from Shanghai, 1947, and a 1:10 scale model of the peep-show set from Paris, Texas, 1984.
 

This piece was originally commissioned for Try Hard Magazine, an independent, online publication focused on Australian and New Zealand photography (2013-2017)
 

Like Lightning

Some friendships are like lightning, a brilliant jolt of expelling energy — intense, unsustainable — succeeded by a ghost on the retina.
 
The images here document a selection from the received half of a two-way posted exchange, undertaken in the flashpoint of such a friendship. The postcards are made of photographs and found and collected scraps. Sent over 2 years, in the analogue/digital crosspoint of the mid-1990s, they encapsulate a nostalgia for old technologies (typewriters, snail mail), collapsed together with new (early digital prints).
 
These correspondences were not our primary way of communicating—we lived nearby and saw each other often—but rather a gift-exchange, an alternative form of poetic and aesthetic engagement.
 
I don’t have my side of the correspondence, nor any documentation, nor any memory of it. But this received half mirrors what I must have sent—a confluence of shared references. I recognise in this exchange the seeds of my subsequent practice as an artist: bricolage, usually photo-based, utilising found images and readymade surfaces as palimpsests to inscribe.
 
I don’t know what these images may generate for other people looking at them. For me, they are tektites: the residue of the impact of a friendship, reverberating after-images from a distance of more than 20 years.
 
*For privacy, I have redacted sections of the works that may identify their maker.
 
Luke Parker, 2017
 
 

A series of individual works by Mary Teague and Luke Parker in dialogue across two galleries, examining patterns formed by light passing through apertures and screens, or refracted off glass and other surfaces.


A diptych with photographs printed on angled canvases, one a macroscopic detail of a found surface, the second a found image of the universe.
Onto each are placed various photographs with subjects including: an ancient urn with a spiral; volcanic craters and sink-holes; the sun, the moon, and an eclipse; comets; a seismographic printout of an earthquake; a felled forest after an unidentified event; workers at a diamond mine; geological stratum, and a man making an ‘automatic’ drawing.
Across the surface of each canvas, sewn threads connect the images into geometric constellations, along with objects including black pearls, silver jewelry, and coloured photographic gels.
 

Assemblages on found screen-print screens featuring faux-Victorian and -Georgian period window decal patterns, used for sandblasting patterns onto glass. Here, the patterns have been screen-printed onto acrylic sheet then attached to the screens' wooden frames to create double-sided display boxes. These are hung perpendicular to the wall using the screens' existing hinge holes.

Inserted into and onto the works are various found objects including photographs, haberdashery, mineral specimens, and faux mourning jewellery. The images include photos of ancient artefacts, the cosmos, and scenes of destruction including the aftermath of a riot, smashed windows and documentation of museums after incidents of theft or destruction.

The works play on the perception of looking through surfaces such as windows or vitrines, and blur front/back, surface/depth, inside/out.

A series of collages, with large-format backgrounds of photographic details of found surfaces including painted walls, peeling posters and graffiti. Onto these grounds are pasted constellations of varied imagery including found and historic photography, with subjects ranging from microscopic details to cosmic phenomena.
 

A series of assemblages incoporating photographs, digital photograms and found photo prints with materials including foiled leather, fabric and silver thread, all drawn from an archive of images and materials collected over 20 years.
 

A series of works combining found photos, photograms constructed with a scanner, and analogue and digital photographs taken with cameras.

Perception is confused through the use of optical patterns, mirrors, holes, and the inclusion of 'real' objects alongside their photographic facsimiles.

The 'traps' referenced in the title include nets, webs, holes and sink-holes; the camera is also a ‘trap’ for capturing light.

A modified version (2012) of a work made in 2004

The text is a fragment of a poem by W.B. Yeats
The font is derived from Marcel Duchamp's 'The Green Box', 1934

An ongoing series of 'adjustments' in the form of drawings made with stitched cotton onto found postcards. The cards feature reproductions of works by Marcel Duchamp (primarily the 'readymades') as well as related works by Jeff Koons and others.