A course offered by Batchelor Institute uses iPads, mobile phones, the Internet and Facebook for learning. But these are the tools. The critical thing is connecting with students' aspirations and lives that are often very challenging – like Lena Campbell's. She lost her oldest son to gang violence. She's making digital photo stories on the iPad with strong messages to young men to think about the choices they are making. And in the process she's getting over her grieving. KIERAN FINNANE reports.
A darkened room behind a heavy black curtain in a gallery adds something of the anticipation you feel at the cinema or in a theatre as the lights go down, heightening the usual anticipation of an art show. And typically the artist working in this space strives for immersion – the viewer's in the artist's work. How apt this context for Suzi Lyon's work, Looking for Turtles. And how refreshing, invigorating – like a plunge into a deep pool – to experience work of this nature in Alice Springs where digital media and installation continue to be relatively rare.
You don't need Lyon's evocative artist's statement (but do read it, at least afterwards) to understand, immediately, that this is a work about longing for transformative, transporting experience, to be taken out of the everyday.
All but one of her images – taken with a disposable camera – show the human figure or figures underwater, mostly not in conventional diving or swimming actions, but fully engaged nonetheless in moving through water. The freezing of this movement inscribes the images with a passionate expressiveness and intense physicality – arms and legs outstretched, hands and feet extended, backs arched, muscles clenched. You only normally see the human body as expressive as this in dance or sport or sex or dreams. KIERAN FINNANE reviews.