29th April - Finalist in the NSW Parliamentary Landscape Prize
My image 'Black duck dreaming site, Royal National Park NSW 2016' has been selceted as a finalist in this year's NSW Parliament Landscape Prize. The work will hang with 9 other finalists and another 30 images from the Head On Landscape Prize, at NSW Parliament House until the 9th of June 2016. More information here:
1st April 2016 - Hill End Artist Residency
It's official. I will be hanging out at the historic artists residence Haefligers Cottage at Hill End for the month of April, with my trusty torches, tripods and an appetite for moonlit hillsides and home cooked meals. See link here:http://www.hillendart.com.au/current-resi…/current-residents
6th November 2015 - Cirque de See public light performance.
With the coordination of 65 light spinners this event was held on the sandy flats at Moona Moona Creek on the shores of Jervis Bay as a pre-event for the 2016 See Change Arts Festival. More information here: https://www.facebook.com/SeeChangeArtsFestival/?fref=ts
12th September 2015 - Primary School public light performance.
I've begun doing public light performances for school. These are some recent images from the Newtown North Public School's annual art show.
15th August 2015 5 - 7pm 'Field of Orbs' Event.
2015 is the ‘International Year of Light’ and I was commissioned by Inspiration Australia to create a light-inspired artwork to celebrate.
I called it the Field Of Orbs and it involved enlisting 100 orb spinners to stand in the middle of Centennial Park, each with a cluster of Christmas lights taped to the end of a piece of string.
It was a wonderful event and the suppport from the community to make this event a success was marvellous.
Here are some images from the event below.
The SYDNEY MORNING HERALD ran a story about the event on Saturday 8th August. See link here: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/how-100-people-swinging-lights-in-centennial-park-after-dark-will-be-a-work-of-art-20150805-ginola.html
See background story here: http://sydney.edu.au/science/outreach/inspiring/news/field-of-orbs-photo-event.shtml
See the 1 minute VIDEO from the night here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc1ODy64O9M
'Playground of Orbs'
FIELD OF ORBS
3rd of September 2015 - Launch of 'Illuminate' a community arts project in partnership with ICE (Information Cultural Exchange) and Woodville Community Services.
My latest exhibition is called Illuminate and is a departure from my usual subject matter of the Australian landscape. Over the past 18 months I have been exploring ways of using the techniques of light painting to work in areas of art therapy and community development.
I have been fortunate to partner with ICE (Information Cultural Exchange) a progressive community arts organisation, based in Parramatta. Through their guidance a 3-month participatory digital art project with residents of the Villawood East Housing estate was held in partnership with Woodville Alliance.
Residents of the local housing estate were invited to attend a series of photographic workshops at Woodville Community Centre, where we explored ways of portraying their story and personal histories. Light painting can be a magical process and so I used a darkened space and my array of hand-held lights to transform the workshop participant’s everyday personae into something dream-like and intriguing.
More information is on the ICE website: http://ice.org.au/project/illuminate/
7th August 2015 - Launch of the Cameraygal Festival.
I was commissioned by Lane Cove Council to create images of iconic sites in Lane Cove to illustrate the 2015 festival program and associated promotional material. The festival runs from the 7th August to the 11th October 2015. More information is available from the council website:http://www.lanecove.nsw.gov.au/Community/LoveWhereYouLive/Pages/FestivalsinLaneCove.aspx
17th February 2015 - Light Painting Workshops at the National Arts School
Here is a photo taken by NAS student Marisa Bartholomew at one of several workshops I have been running at the prestigious National Arts School in Darlinghurst, Sydney. In the left of the photo is senior lecturer Ella Dreyfus. It was a fun event and the students were very excited about getting onto their computers after the session to upload their photos.
31st January to 28th March 2015 - Illuminated Landscape Public Art Exhibition at Gallery Lane Cove
I was pleased to be awarded a public art prize by the Gallery Lane Cove committee in January. The award included a 2 month installation of my images printed onto vinyl banners and set up around the gallery, which goes until 28th March 2015.
The address is Gallery Lane Cove, 164 Longueville Road, Lane Cove.
I'm having an artist talk on Saturday 7th February at 11am. There will also be 'Light Painting Workshops' on the spectacular foreshores around nearby Tambourine Bay.
12th December 2014 - New 'Secret Assignment' workshop listed.
The intention of ‘Secret Assignment’ is to gather a core group of just 6 photographers to travel to an undisclosed location within the Sydney region and work together as a team to create outstanding images. We will work towards a hypothetical brief as if we were on a National Geographic style magazine assignment.
Each location is distinguished by a striking historic structure. These sites have been listed on the National Estate Database so there is a strong educational and historical element to these light-painting adventures which will add to the experience. They are situated on public land and I have surveyed them thoroughly in advance. See the Workshops link for more information.
27th October 2014 - Latest addition to the Waterscape Series
The Waterscape series is my most ambitious light-painting project to date. This most recent image, Waterscape #3, was shot at the historic North Bourke Bridge on the Darling River in north-western NSW in October 2014.
This series explores the remnant achievements of engineers and architects, who were set with the task of mitigating and managing water. It also plays on the delusional qualities of water, which has often coloured our national mythology.
This image has been reproduced as a fine art print and it looks amazing.
3rd September 2014 - Industry Seminar - Guest Presenter at Campbelltown TAFE
I'm very comitted to sharing and inspiring other students of photography. I do regular presentations to a range of teaching institutions. In 2014 those institutions include: The National Arts School in Darlinghurst, The Australian Centre for Photography in Paddington, the CATC Design School at the Rocks , and the New Media Design Centre at Campbelltown TAFE.
16th May 2014 - Winner of the Parliament of NSW Landscape Photography Prize 2014
I was delighted that this image entitled, 'Waterscape #2, Reservoir No. 2, Centennial Park NSW, 2013' won this year's Parliament of NSW Landscape Photography Prize. The award has only been run three times in its history and I have now won it twice, and was highly commended in the third. One colleague joked that the award should be renamed the 'Peter Solness NSW Parliament Landscape Photography Prize'. You can see the exhbition of 40 finalists at NSW Parliament House until the 8th of June 2014. More information here at this link: https://headon.com.au/event/2014-head-landscape-awards-finalists-0
9th - 31st August, 2013 - No News is Good News. Group Exhibition
I was invited to participate in this vibrant and eclectic group show, which celebrates the personal passions of news photographers, both past and present. (I worked as a press photographer on the Sydney Morning Herald in the 1980's and on various news magazines since then.) My featured works are titled, 'The Adventures of Illumoman and Illumoboy'. It is from a series that explores the effect and narrative of strapping torches to oneself (or one's son) and recording the movement of the body over a long camera exposure. Gallery details are http://newsagencygallery.com.au
20th June, 2013 - Mangrove Forest #2, Vintage Print Release
Internationally acclaimed photo agency Magnum defines ‘vintage’ prints as being those “…that are made at or around the time of the shooting of the image.”
In recent conversations with Sydney photography dealer Josef Lebovic, the importance of artists creating vintage prints of their work was discussed. Not enough photographers do them apparently. In a sense it’s an act of faith by any photographer to create vintage prints if they don’t have the incentive of an immediate sale. A photographer must believe in the quality of an image before spending the time, money and creative energy to reproduce it into print form. I began to consider the ‘signature’ images from the ‘Illuminated Landscape’ series, and hence worthy of such attention.
The most celebrated image is certainly, ‘Mangrove Forest #2, 2010’. In 2010 it was awarded the inaugural NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photographic Prize. The presiding judges, Alan Davies, Sandra Byron and Mark Tedeschi stated that this was, ‘a striking, mysterious and alluring image’ and that it transformed, ‘a muddy swamp to a place of ethereal beauty’. As it was an acquisitional prize, the image is now in the NSW Parliament collection.
Since then Mangrove Forest #2 has been exhibited widely and purchased a number of times, including by the Macquarie University Gallery, as well various private collections, both nationally and internationally. The image has also been reproduced regularly in the media as a sample of my best work.
With this in mind I sat down recently and decided to print the full A2 and A1 signed editions of this image. I printed them personally on the Epson 9900 inkjet printer, using museum grade paper and pigment inks. They are signed and numbered on the front and also signed and dated the back to authenticate me as being the printer of these works, (rather than a commercial printer being the author of the print)
Print numbers 4/15 to 15/15 are still available in the A2 size and 3/15 to 15/15 are still available in the A1 edition.
Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions or if you would like to view the image.
17th May 2013 - Head Off Landscape Prize - Finalist's Exhibition
I was chosen as a finalist in this year's inaugural Head Off Landscape Prize with my 2009 image, 'Looking north, Sandstone Ridge'. There were twenty finalists wittled down from over 1,200 entries. The winner was Jonathan May. The finalist's show is hanging at the intriguing 'Paddington Reservoir' space, (Pic attached shows my image hanging at the space) The show is on until the the end of the Head On Festival, 23rd of June 2013. I'm also running some workshops at the festival. More info here: http://headon.com.au/festival/workshops
February 2013 - Australian Photography Magazine story
I wrote a piece for this month's Australian Photography + Digital Magazine about my favourite place in the world to photograph. Not surprisingly it was just down the road at the Royal National Park. It is a part of a feature where the magazine asked 12 top travel photographers to nominate their favourite place. The issue is on sale until the end of February.
January 2013 - '350' photo featured on the cover of the 350.org Facebook page
This photo was taken as a campaign image to promote the work of the 350.org movement "a global movement that's inspiring the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis." It was shot at Clovelly in 2009. It has since become an iconic image for the movement and currently features as the cover image for their Facebook Page. See Link. http://www.facebook.com/350.org It was done by having over 150 people slowly walking around a marked pathway holding candle-lit lanterns. It required a number of organisers and a large megaphone to direct the crowd. The exposure time was approximately 45 seconds.
January 2013 - Centennial Park 125th Anniversary
The Federation Pavilion was designed by Sydney architect Alexander Tzannes and opened in 1988. It was built as a permanent monument to Federation in Centennial Park. On the 1st of January 1901, more than 60,000 visitors came to this location to witness the proclamation of the Commonwealth of Australia. At the time a temporary pavilion was used which shortly after fell into disrepair. The Federation Stone is now housed inside this building. As a tribute to Centennial Park's 125th anniversary, I decided to photograph this historic site. It's one of many historic sites within this special Sydney parkland.
December 2012 - Wishing you a Luminous Christmas
I camped at Bonnie Vale in Bundeena about three weeks ago and did this light drawing in the shallows of Port Hacking, looking out past South Cronulla to Cape Solander in the far distance. My five-year old 'helped' me i.e. he jumped all over me while I was trying to draw. It took a few goes to get things right.
November 2012 - Feature in Australian Photography Magazine
A nine-page profile of my almost 40-year career, going right back to the beginning in 1975. Written by the magazine's editor, Robert Keeley. It talks a lot about the need to reinvent oneself and how to find new ways of making a living from photography whilst still seeking out inspirational images. Web link to the edition here; http://www.australianphotography.com/news/november-edition-of-australian-photography-digital-out-now
September / October 2012 - 'THE LIGHT PAINTER' exhibition.
Manly Art Gallery and Museum Sept 7th to October 7th 2012
This special event was opened by musician and former Midnight Oil member Rob Hirst on Friday 14th September 2012. The exhibition launch was also the launch for the 2012 Manly Arts Festival. There were also workshops and an artist talk. It was a fine opportunity to be invited to show at this popular public gallery. Gallery location and other information can be found here: http://www.manly.nsw.gov.au/attractions/art-gallery-museum/
See the video from the huge opening night. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVMT97FFZcc&feature=youtu.be
There were a number of new works that I specially shot for this show, including studies of North Head and the northern beaches. There was also a variety of media on display, including my popular fine-art inkjet prints, plus new large-format canvas and acrylic displays. There was also a special light box presentation - a tribute to Sydney's unique Aboriginal rock engravings. Finally there was a special installation and video celebrating the noble adventures of my light-suited alter-ego, 'Illumoman', and his trusty assistant, 'Illumoboy'.
This was the most ambitious exhibition I have held to date.
August 2012 - Invitation to exhibit at the 2012 Noorderlicht Photofestival in the Netherlands
I have been invited to exhibit work at this internationally significant photographic festival. Previous Australian photographers to be invited include: Trent Parke, Max Pam, Tracey Moffat, Robert McFarlane, Stephen Dupont and Philip Gostelow
Terra Cognita Main exhibition, Photofestival Noorderlicht 2012, Sept 2 – Oct 7
The 19th Noorderlicht International Photofestival Terra Cognita is a photography exhibition about the relation between man and nature. How do we experience nature, and what is its value for us? Our romantic longing for pure nature is diametrically opposed to the practical desire to control the world and cultivate it. Terra Cognita looks at nature far away and close by, as a dream and as reality – nature in our genes, and in our minds.
Work by over 70 photographers from all over the world has been selected for this Festival. The photography is diverse, and flows across the limits of genres. Whether the work is documentary or staged, nature appears to be a vital source of inspiration for photographers. Their visual statements take us along on a journey through a fantastic world.
More information at this link: http://www.noorderlicht.com/en/photofestival/terra-cognita/photographers/
March 2012 - Feature in Sawasadee Magazine
A ten-page gallery of the best of my work from the past five years is featured in the March 2012 edition of Sawasadee magazine, the Thai Airways inflight magazine
December 2011 - Exposure Pro interview posted on CNET.
Go to this link to see the video interview video and profile of Peter's work on the popular digital news CNET website. This segment features leading Australian photographers and their work.
November 2011 - 'Aboreal' Macquarie University Art Gallery, Nov 10th - Dec 15th 2011
I have four works in this group exhibition opening this week, which also includes, Fred Williams, Arthur Boyd, Gary Shead, Axel Poignant, Rosemary Laing and many others
'Arboreal explores the way trees are more than just biochemical entities but living cultures within their own right and capable of collecting narratives of historical and contemporary importance.'
More information at: http://www.artgallery.mq.edu.au/about/exhibitions/#current__2011__261082011_1512011
Extraordinary Tree - Royal National Park, 2009
November 2011 - 'Illuminated Landscape 2009-2011' - Blurb Book
The Illuminated Landscape images have been compiled into a fine art book. It's a culmination of three years of rather obsessive photography. If I could explain the underlying narrative of this work, it would be an infatuation with the 'Gondwanian splendour' of Sydney. Lots of sandstone, Angophora and moonlit waterways, with the occasional city-skyline in the distant background.
If you think you know Sydney, think again - this is Sydney like it has never been photographed before.
You can preview the book on the blurb website. I will be ordering multiple copies next week for the Christmas market. Books are due to arrive by November 30th. If you may be interested let me know. No obligation at this stage - I'm just getting an indication of numbers before the Christmas rush. Signed books are $85. + delivery - or drop by for a Christmas drink and pick up a copy. They are 8"x10" portrait format. Hard Cover. 80 Pages. Proline art matte paper.
Click here to see preview http://www.blurb.com/books/2673280
I have launched a Facebook Page as an adjunct to this website. The Facebook page allows me to have a regular conversation as to what's happening in the ever-growing world of night photography. In a sense it has become my blog, (so it will replace the blog I have had on this site) What I'm wanting to do is provide ideas and inspiration to people. This is the link
September 19th 2011- Illumo Boy is Born
What is 20 kilos in weight, 40 inches in height, emits about 500 lumens of light (when his batteries are charged) and is visiting a playground near you ? Yes its the birth of 'Illumo Boy'. He officially came of age on Sunday evening September 18th at the Turruwul Park playground in Rosebery. His purpose - apart from having fun - is to help his Dad photographically map the energy patterns of active four-year-old boys, using long exposure times with his camera. Stay tuned for more adventures.
September 10th 2011 - Spring has Sprung at the Centennial Park Cafe
On Friday night September 9th my Epson 9900 large-format printer was humming away in the studio until quite late, to produce this magnificent A0-sized inkjet print of 'Waratah in Bushland 2010'. The flower was photographed growing wild in the bush at Heathcote, on the southern outskirts of Sydney, around this time last year. The following day I slipped the print into a frame and set it up at the Centennial Park Cafe. It caused quite a stir amongst the Latte-set. People gathered around to comment. I think it is the scale of it - the flower has been reproduced to about five times its natural size. The acute detail of the image (thanks to the dexterous torch-work) and the primary colours of red against a blue moonlit sky also help make it quite striking to look at. Check it out if you are around. If you want to know how I produced the image, come to my next Centennial Park Night Magic workshop. Details available on the 'Workshops' link of this site. http://www.illuminated-landscape.com/workshops/
September 2011 'New Advanced Night Magic Workshop to be held at Cockatoo Island'
Due to popular demand I have devised a new 'advanced' workshop to be held in the fascinating 'post-industrial' landscape of Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour. See the workshop link for all the details. http://www.illuminated-landscape.com/workshops/
August 2011 'Publication of the Australian Photography and Gallery Compendium'
This is a new landmark publication which showcases some of the finest work currently being exhibited by Australian photographers. A labour-of-love by the dynamic duo of Bob Kersey and Mary Meyer, the reproduction is superb and this really is a collectable book. I have my award-winning image, Mangrove Forest #2, 2010, featured across two pages of the book.
Purchase details here: http://www.thecompendium.com.au/
4th August 2011 'Highly Commended' - NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photographic Prize
This image - a Dharawal Aboriginal rock engraving of Murrera (an initiated leader) taken at Jibbon Head was 'highly commended' in this year's NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photographic prize. The exhibition, which consists of 36 finalists as well as a Secondary School Competition is on show at NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney, from Aug 4th to 25th. More information here: http://www.parliamentaryphotoprize.com.au/
12th July 2011 'Tree of Life Exhibition'
Big Fig Centennial Park 2010 was one of the most voted for by staff at the 'Tree of Life Exhibition' at the Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. The philosophy behind the show - which was opened by the NSW Governor Marie Bashir on 14th June and ran until 7th July - is that art is good for sick people. (I always thought that. I also think trees - and the contemplation of trees - are always good for the body and the soul, whether you are in hospital or not) The image has been acquired by the hospital's art program and will be hung in the new community health centre.
Photo: Jennifer Blau
March 2011, Australian Art Review profile
Story by Jane Somerville
Quote: "In place of harsh bright sun there is a surreal glowing richness. It is as if we see more details - each line in the gnarled bark of a tree or each curve in a rock formation. It is this drama and beauty within the natural world that Solness seeks to highlight in his ongoing series of photographs titled Illuminated Landscape..." end of quote. You can view the full article here: http://www.artreview.com.au/contents/804345113-peter-solness-illuminated-landscapes
February 13th 2011
'Feature image and story in the Weekend Australian Magazine'
October 27th, 2010'Wentworth Courier Arts Profile'
October 5th, 2010
'Peter Solness is profiled in a new book called, 'Sydney' by author Delia Falconer'
The opening chapter of a new book launched this week (and described in a review in this weekend's Australian by writer Louis Nowra as 'Brilliant') features a profile of Peter Solness and his fascination with Sydney's unique Aboriginal rock art (see samples on the Fine Art Prints page of this site) Delia Falconer interviewed Peter in 2008 at one of the art sites at Bondi. She writes: 'Photographer Peter Solness has captured the ray's spiritual force, a sense that it has willed itself out of the rock itself. Its bright outline casts a shadow, so that the enormous creature seems to hover beside the footpath, as if it has just lifted itself up from the sandy ocean floor and is now poised to swim off, into the still air.' The book is available through your local bookshop. Published by New South and is one on a series on Australian cities.
September 9th, 2010 NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photographic Prize
'Mangrove Forest #2, Hawkesbury River 2010 receives FIRST PRIZE
The Sydney Morning Herald on page 11 wrote today: 'An evocative nocturnal shot of a mangrove forest has won the first NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photographic Prize worth $10,000. The image was described by judges as "a striking, mysterious and alluring image". They praised Solness for using moonlight and torchlight to transform "a muddy swamp to a place of ethereal beauty".
The free public exhibition will run from 31 August – 23 September 2010 at New South Wales Parliament House in Macquarie Street, Sydney. For further information go to: www.parliamentaryphotoprize.com.au
April 20th to 21st May 'The Challenged Landscape'
- Group exhibition, UTS Gallery, Ultimo, Sydney.
Included artists; Michael Hall, Ruby Davis, Bonita Ely, Stephanie Valentin and Nici Cumpston. Curated by Sandy Edwards. Catalogue essay by Tania Leimbach.
Quote: "Peter Solness and Stephanie Valentin's work draw upon natural curiosity as they expose the complex and uncertain human relationship with the natural world through eerie, poetic and at times wonderous images" end quote.
October 29th 2009 to May 2010 'Nocturnal' Exhibition
Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney.
Curated by Sandy Edwards. Catalogue essay by Robert McFarlane
An exhibition using large light-boxes. This exhibition was one of the most popular ever held at Customs House. The season was extended for four months from the original dates of 29 October 2009 - 31st January 2010, finally closing in May 2010.
Quote from the catalogue. "... his awareness of place compels him to pass so lightly through the Australian landscape, he does not even draw upon the raw southern sun to light his way. Instead Solness chooses a more difficult path, finding an improbable magic working in near darkness under moonlight .."
September 2009 - Photo Review Magazine Feature Article
Devotion: The Photography of Peter Solness by Don Norris
It's the middle of the night and Peter Solness is deep in the bush, setting up his tripod on a little sand bank in the moonlight. In front of him is a waterfall and as he frames the picture, thousands of sandflies swarm up to bite him about the legs."
Go to this link to see the full article: http://www.photoreview.com.au/features/profiles/devotion-the-photography-of-peter-solness.aspx