“Strobe” is a collection of 90’s rave culture, hand-held photographic impressions caught in the strobe lights. Electronic underground alternatives. Retro grooves. Psychedelica. Surreal oddities. Blurry disorientation. Vivid imagination. Glimpses. Fragments. Half-remembered faces. Half-forgotten places. Peripheral memory. Buzz. Distortion. Wild. Crazy colours. Beckoning. Alluring. Elusive. Totally irresistible to the curiously minded.
I spent 7 years in the 90’s and early 00’s photographing dance parties, raves and festivals in Sydney, particularly events put on by one of the three art collectives I was a member of – Clan Analogue, Loveseat and Artcore.
One day when I was 20, I bought a book at a garage for sale for 50c called “Nights In Birdland”. I knew nothing about it and bought it purely because it was about jazz (back then, I played the saxophone). It turned out to be a treasure trove collection of photographs by a young woman called Carole Reiff, who in her 20’s, documented the American jazz scene of the 1950’s. I fell in love with her moody, grainy and evocative images of jazz legends such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday and John Coltrane. She perfectly captured not only the musicians but the ambience of the jazz clubs and the life and culture associated with this period in musical history.
So when I found myself with an incredible opportunity to document Sydney’s underground rave and electronic music scene several years later, I immediately thought of Carole Reiff. I aimed to capture the vibrant spirit of Sydney’s underground electronic music scene, the motion, the colour, the musicians and performers and the quirky, iconic characters, the eclecticism, the vibrancy and the ambience that contributed to the creation of this subculture.
The digital panoramic compositions were originally created as a large scale projection art piece for Illuminart, Petersham Town Hall, 2006
“Strobe” solo photographic exhibition
June – July 2007, @Newtown RSL, Enmore