Photography

Reflections: A photo series

I’ve been out shooting footage for a short film about urban Melbourne in recent weeks. As I hit the streets to capture the essence of the city, I had the opportunity to capture some stills in the process. It’s been great to look for interesting new scenes in the urban landscape. I’m always looking at new and interesting ways to document my surrounds. I was drawn to the abstract qualities of the reflections from buildings in the CBD and it’s inspired to me to start a new series.

Here’s the image that sparked my enthusiasm! Stay tuned.

 Urban reflection - Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

Urban reflection - Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

'Picturing Footscray' - Photography Exhibition

Picturing Footscray is an open-entry photography prize that focuses on Melbourne's unique inner-west suburb of Footscray.

Established in 2016, Picturing Footscray invites photographers of all capabilities to explore the streets of Footscray.

This was my first time submitting for the competition. I used to live in Footscray and still visit frequently to take photos.

The opening night was held at VU Metro West, in a salon-style exhibition. There was an incredibly diverse range of images that celebrate the essence of this unique melting pot. Jesse Marlow, renowned street photographer was this year's judge and he presented the 3 winners. I've been inspired by Jesse's street photography since moving to Melbourne, so it was a highlight for him to be there on the night.

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 My entry for the competition is in the centre above.

My entry for the competition is in the centre above.

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 Jesse Marlow presents awards on opening night.

Jesse Marlow presents awards on opening night.

Tailors Mark - Autumn/Winter Shoot

These images are from a recent shoot with Tailor's Mark, a boutique tailoring company in Prahran, Melbourne. I had the pleasure of working with them on their Autumn/Winter shoot to advertise their suits and shirts for the season. They wanted to combine some corporate street shots in the CBD, as well as a more casual vibe that captured the atmosphere of Autumn. We chose Carlton Gardens which is beautiful at this time of year. Thanks to model, Ben Temby.

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Changelings - Press Shots

Just recently, I had the opportunity to collaborate with the talented musician 'Changelings'.  We first worked together late last year and he approached me again to produce some new press shots for his upcoming album. We are both really pleased with the results, and Webb Bridge in Docklands proved to be a great location for the shoot.

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'Urban Impresssions' - New series

I'm drawn to the surface of the urban landscape and the overlooked beauty of elements that combine to produce a contemporary canvas. These fragments and details attract my eye and I feel the irresistible urge to record them. From drawings on cave walls to graffiti tags in alleyways, humans have marked their environment from the beginning.

Whether a political statement, an artistic expression, or the tag on an individual, the walls of our cities reflect the layered history of it’s people and a moment in time. Through human intervention and degradation, these layers become a collective collage of the citizens, forming a dialogue between city and people.

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By use of the photographic lens, I aim to frame this communication, creating juxtapositions to draw comparisons and thereby create narratives based on social and political commentary. I’m equally intrigued by the abstraction on the walls of the city, both reducing it to impressions and revealing the accidental collisions of texture and intention which exist in cities at every scale.

I aim to celebrate the aesthetic of impermanence and imperfection and to reflect on a moment in time in a constantly changing landscape. I aim to challenge the viewer to look at their surrounds in new ways and highlight the beauty in the decay.

I AM NOT INTERESTED IN SHOOTING THINGS NEW, I AM INTERESTED TO SEE THINGS NEW.
— Ernst Haas

The Typeset - Melbourne

In recent months, my friend and fellow creative, Leanne Franks and I started a new project to share our passion for typography and sign painting. We're collaborating to chart out the type and signs of Melbourne's yesteryear. Not only are we drawn to their aesthetic qualities, but they also provide interesting clues about the city's quirky past and social history.

The image below for example, is a recent discovery of a ghost sign in Carlton North, "DeWitts Otis Tonic Tablets". The name was an early twentieth-century product for "making your nerves stronger and your blood richer", released amid the post-WWI pharmaceutical boom.

You can follow the project via Instagram at @thetypeset, and join us as we continue to discover more hidden gems around Melbourne. Enjoy!

 Ottis Tonic Tablet - Ghost sign, Melbourne

Ottis Tonic Tablet - Ghost sign, Melbourne

 Tarax ghost sign, Melbourne

Tarax ghost sign, Melbourne

 Newmans, ghost sign - Melbourne

Newmans, ghost sign - Melbourne

 Vintage Coke, ghost Sign - Melbourne

Vintage Coke, ghost Sign - Melbourne

Urban Fragments

This image is one from my ongoing 'Urban Fragments' series. Capturing the rich urban landscape of Melbourne's streets has become a consistent source of inspiration for my work. I'm drawn to the layers on the street walls, the accidental collage of torn street posters, the texture and the typography all provide so much visual interest that is so often overlooked. I love the contrast of the pink and yellow against the strong black and white type. I hope you enjoy it too... 

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'TREND' Exhibition - Presented by RAW Melbourne

On Friday 10th of June I was selected to take part in the one night only exhibition, 'TREND', presented by RAW Melbourne. RAW is an independent arts organisation for artists and focuses on spotlighting independent talent to the public.

Every second month they hand-select and showcase approximately 40 artists in film, fashion, music, visual art, photography, performing art, hair and makeup. Naturally, I was very excited to be approached to showcase with so many talented artists.

Another awesome thing about RAW is that once you've showcased in your hometown, you can then showcase at any RAW city, anywhere in the world in places like New York City, San Francisco, London... and beyond!

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This was quite different to other group shows I've taken part in, as it wasn't you're usual white wall gallery exhibition. It was good experience deciding how to best display and hang the works. I created urban signage and designed some self-promotional postcards to accompany my display so that people could take away a little piece of my work, as seen below.

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All works are available as limited edition prints, framed and unframed. Email lesley.bourne@gmail.com for more information on pricing.

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Urban mixed media experiments

I've been experimenting with some hand-made urban collages. Taking inspiration from Melbourne's vibrant streets, I've been exploring the possibilities of using my photographs as the source material for new mixed media works. By printing them out and cutting them up, I'm able to open up to a new, meditative way of working and the results have been very rewarding.

Here are some works in progress that explore layering, with a focus on type and texture like that of the torn street posters that surround us every day. There is so much visual interest and history to be found in the layers of the street walls.

I have enjoyed exploring decollage techniques with these works too. There's a fine balance between adding elements and taking them away. It also creates unexpected results when peeling back the images in this way, creating some playfulness to the work. The type is illegible and therefore becomes part of the design, rather to be read. I'm excited to explore this direction further and share more experiments with you soon...

Street photography, Melbourne

I've been trying to challenge myself with my photography lately and experiment with more with shooting film. I seem to be more thoughtful about my composition and lighting, and I can anticipate the 'moment' better which brings a true sense of achievement. Here are a few images I shot around my neighbourhood in Brunswick and Northcote.

Diagonal collages

I have been experimenting with some hand made diagonal collages. The idea with these is that you pair images that look like they belong together. Some are visually matched with their content, while others are paired in a more conceptual way. I really enjoyed the process of exploring the new meanings that are created when the images are recontextualised.

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Celebrating the ordinary

I've started a new photographic series documenting Melbourne's urban surrounds. The focus is on the visual fragments surrounding as all on a daily basis, but are often overlooked or ignored. These details attract my eye and I have an irresistible urge to record them.

Melbourne in particular, has a very rich urban landscape of street art, posters, signage and architecture. The torn poster for example, in itself is not all that interesting, but occasionally the elements come together in a way that I find pleasing. This series aims to zoom in on the details and celebrate the ordinary. Here are a few new images shot around Brunswick. Enjoy!

Urban Fragments

Welcome to my new blog! This is my first post and I am very excited to launch an exciting new project. For the past few years I have been fascinated with the urban landscape, and as a result focused much of my photographic work on this theme.

Since moving to Melbourne almost 2 years ago, my eye has become finely tuned on the plethora of stimulating texture, street art and architecture surrounding me. Working between collage and photography, the urban surrounds fuel my creativity within both mediums. The accidental collages of torn posters and the abstract formations of the power lines provide some very inspiring source materials to work with.

These often overlooked and neglected things are a constant inspiration to me and I feel an irresistible urge to record them. As a result, I have decided to begin an ongoing documentary of these abstract designs and fragments that reveal hidden layers, exposed once again to unlock new meanings.... Enjoy!