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Apr 16, 2015 12:15 EST

Jim Rolon: Polaroid Composer Series – A project endorsed by the Australian Music Centre

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 16, 2015

Jim Rolon: Polaroid Composer Series

By Jim Rolon

The story of the project

I am creating a series of portraits of sound artists and composers of jazz and classical music to be photographed on polaroid style film to be shown large, initially for web but eventually for gallery. It is an exhibition which will coincide with the 40th anniversary of the Australian Music Centre. In addition, this is a big project which I need to fund before some of the imaging materials I use become unavailable.

Thanks to Creative Partnerships Australia’s MATCH program, every dollar you give to this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar provided I reach my campaign target of $6328.00.


Here is my spiel:

Back in early 2014 while working on the final segments of research for a Masters at UTS and while pursuing acquisitions of my work by the National Portrait Gallery and the National Library of Australia, I decided to create a hybrid portrait series using the last of the available instant film stocks available in the world that would fit my old Polaroid cameras. Although many photographers have photographed in Polaroid to scan and then present their images as digital image files or prints, I thought I would put my signature on this process while I still could since I never have this in my 30 years as a photographer; and I wanted to record the faces of Australian creative artists either young or old.

I began the series photographing young creatives as a sort of test and then approached an old friend closer to my generation, the composer Andrew Ford (whom I have photographed many times) to see how this process fared with subjects in their 40’s, 50’s and beyond in age. Of course photography is a visual thing and my trademark “not so pretty but interesting” style needed to fit well into this process for me to feel good about proceeding with the project.

See young creatives Here

It is Andrew who suggested that I initially photograph composers only. Both he and I liked his Polaroid style portrait. Andrew pointed out that Australia’s sound artists, composers of jazz and classical music should be photographed in an extended series because no one really has done it. I in turn visualised an exhibition of large prints and an online exhibition initially presented as a grid on which you can can click on a portrait to view large. Additionally, because of this period of my life (my research in Design and the digital machine; plus my work now having historical value in Australian archives) I wanted to photograph these people as a historical record.

Andrew Ford

They, the sound artists and composers, are often not famous people yet they are always there. You may not recognise their faces but I make the argument that this country needs to have a creative series of portraits of our composers because it just does not exist.

I hope that this series eventually finds a home in an Australian archive. These Australian composers change our lives even when we do not realise it. When we go to the movies, watch TV, listen to the radio and perhaps watch a TVC we may not realise they are there. We are hopefully aware of the composers when we go to the Sydney Opera House or to the theatre. These people affect our lives greatly.

This series focuses on at least 40 Australian composers of classical music, jazz and sound art who are represented by the Australian Music Centre. The AMC has endorsed me for their 40th anniversary celebration which will be an online exhibition viewed nationally. The importance of this endorsement is the access it provides me to Australia’s composers. I will be photographing the 40 composers nationally as the AMC is a national organisation; I have photographed 16 in Sydney so far without having any funding source. Soon I will need to travel to other cities to photograph.

View the progress of this project on Facebook Here

There is something about the liquid transitions in depth and sharpness which has its own beauty in imagery. The creative process is an inexact one. I believe it is a good fit to photograph these composers and sound artists with a medium which often provides an unpredictable result.

Judy Bailey

As I have mentioned, instant film is becoming very difficult to source. Here, I have obviously mixed the two processes of analogue and digital together.

It is important that I complete this series soon as the type of instant film I use is slowly becoming more difficult to source. The black & white high speed film I am using for this project is being imported from New York City. It is no longer being manufactured anywhere in the world.

Julian Day Photographed on Discontinued Film

Historically, these composers and sound artists are of an era. Many are of a generation that learned different ways of creativity. I want to photograph these people while I can and while they are still here.

It is my intention to explore a series of this style of portraiture with composers, not only for having a continuous record of faces which fit together well in a series, but to use unpredictable materials that create the opposite result to digital precision. On one level these portraits are just head shots, but I think interesting and unique ones. They are studies and perhaps an exploration of something being lost. Maybe they can be like songs.

Here are a few more samples.

Carl Vine

Sally Whitwell

Nigel Westlake

How the funds will be used

I have been awarded a matching grant from Creative Partnerships. 

Wages (5 weeks): $2,500.00 
Instant Film: $500.00
Travel: $2,000.00
40 High Resolution Scans: $6,800.00
Crowd Funding Rewards: $2,535.00
Postage: $821.00
SubTotal: $15,156.00
Minus matching grant: -$6,328.00
Minus in kind support: -$2,500.00

Total From Pozible Campaign required: $6,328.00

Thanks to Creative Partnerships Australia’s MATCH program, every dollar you give to this campaign will be matched dollar for dollar provided I reach my campaign target of $6328.00.

This project is also endorsed by the Australian Music Centre.

Some of my other work

I have been photographing professionally for almost 30 years. In January 2015 my award of a Masters by Research in Design was conferred after a few years of research into the merging of digital platforms. Always a still photographer, I did this research to expand and adjust my analogue style of capturing imagery. I have begun to understand how my work connects and layers with additional media, especially video. As portrait photography has been my speciality, most of my subjects have been photographed on location and in environments. My client list has consisted of a variety of clients including multinational advertising agencies, graphic design agencies, magazines and record companies.

My Professional Website

Challenges

The only obstacles I can foresee aside from not achieving my funding goals will be the problem of professional schedules. This problem is usually solved with persistence. I am allowing plenty of time to complete this project. There is a solution to every problem. I have been doing this all my working life.

Part of Collection

Project Team

Jim Rolon

Sydney, Australia

I have been photographing professionally for almost 30 years as an award winning photographer. In January 2015 my award of a Masters by Research in Design was conferred at the University of Technology Sydney after a few years of research into the merging of digital platforms. Always a still photographer, I did this research to expand and adjust my analogue style of capturing imagery. I have begun to understand how my work connects and layers with additional media, especially video. As portrait photography has been my speciality, most of my subjects have been photographed on location and in environments. My client list has consisted of a variety of clients including multinational advertising agencies, graphic design agencies, magazines and record companies here and overseas.

Contact Information:

Jim Rolon

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