I flew to Adelaide to see the Trent Parke exhibit The Black Rose at the Art Gallery of South Australia. To describe this as an event I've been anticipating for months would be an understatement.
Magnum photographer Trent Parke is one of the great photojournalists of our time.
I discovered his work by purchasing a copy of Minutes to Midnight at our local Readings in Melbourne. I was shocked by the honesty, cleverness, the sense of observation and the reflection of ourselves which was present in his work. The Black Rose is a highly personal and mammoth project which, as he puts is has taken his 44 years to bring to this point.
There were so many images which stopped me in my tracks. One, of a singe hair of his late mother's found while looking at her collection of handmade dolls, reminded me of taking a sample of my mother's hair from a pillow while she was in the hospital. A deeply personal connection.
Another reminded me of a somewhat similarly image from the sadly recently departed Mary Ellen Mark. This, in turn reminded me of what has always been one of my greatest fears, living in poverty. I've included both images below. First Trent Park's image, then Mary Ellen Mark's.
I suspect the narrative of these stories are slightly different, but to me they are both equally chilling.
Before Trent's talk near the end of the exhibit, I was able to briefly meet Trent Parke and tell him how much I admired his work, and have him sign my copy of Minutes to Midnight.
I am now determined to do more than capture the stationary, safe images and to look beyond the obvious and try to make images that matter. I would encourage everyone to check out Trent's work, and Mary Ellen Mark's for that matter.