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Featured Artist: Bill Lane

1st August 2017 Featured Artists

Bill Lane is a fine art photographer who has been working with Image Science for many years. He uses light & long exposures to create eerily vacant images, shooting at the changing light of dusk & dawn. His most recent series "Progress Parks" looks at, and comments on, managed nature in commercial developments - and the apparent lack of actual 'park' in these spaces. 

Bill's vibrant images have been printed at large scale on 24 & 44" Canson Infinity Platine.  Platine helps here to intensify their disquieting nature through rich tones and inky blacks. 

'Progress Park' will be on display at Tacit Contemporary Art Gallery from August 2nd until 20th, 2017. 

Read more about Bill's work and inspirations below.

Education and background:
Diploma of Fine Art (Photography) from the Australian College of Photography, Art and Communication (ACPAC) 

Where are you based?
My recent work was based in Melbourne’s west but for the last couple of years I’ve been based on the Mornington Peninsula. 

How long have you been a visual artist for?
I started studying photography in 1986.  That experience exposed me to people, images and ideas that expanded my perspective and fueled an enthusiasm for photography that has yet to abate. 

What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date?
The upcoming release of my first photobook “The Older Industrial Parks Near Newport, Victoria” through The Velvet Cell.  In contrast to the exhibition of the same project the book provides a broader palette in a more permanent form. 

The process of working with the publisher and a writer was challenging and exciting and provided surprising insights about the work. The outcome was very different to what I could have imagined and that is what I always look for in any creative process. 

What are your creative influences?
Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Iain M Banks, Peter Bialobrzeski, Lucas Blalock, John Brack, Edward Burtynsky, Cake, Gregory Crewdson, Guy Debord, Villem Flusser, William Gibson, Greg Girard,Todd Hido, Paul Kelly, Mark Kimber, Claude Lorrain, László Moholy-Nagy, Queens of the Stone Age, Ed Ruscha, Radiohead, Stephen Shore, Talking Heads, Edwin Tanner, Raoul Vaneigem.

What camera/equipment do you use? 
Nikon D800E.

Describe your photographic style and how it has changed over the years.
My photographic style is evocative, instinctive and yet conceptual.  It constantly seeks to draw seemingly opposing impulses to their point of greatest tension. To create images that are simultaneously straightforward and yet obscure.  

The most obvious example of this is the tension between document and metaphor.  One seeks to expose the ideas embedded in the surface of objects while the other attempts to manifest internalised states that are beyond words.  What continues to surprise is photography's innate ability to tread this very fine line.

The biggest difference in how I’ve worked over time is about time.  When I started I was very excited by street photography.  In that genre if you don’t react quickly then the image is gone.  Now my process is much slower.  The exposures are obviously much longer but so is the process of finding an image.  

Most of my recent works have come from repeated visits to the same site days, weeks or even years apart.  Each time the place, the light and my understanding of the place change until I reach a point where I can recognise the image that had always been there.

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition 'Progress Park'.
‘Progress Park’ continues the work I’ve been doing in Melbourne’s business parks for the last few years. Where “The Older Industrial Parks Near Newport, Victoria” focused on one older business park, this work examines the rapid development of the newer parks on Melbourne’s fringes.

Specifically ‘Progress Park’ is an examination of the park in business parks.  In our business parks, nature is both managed and unmanageable.  It is repressed and yet irrepressible.  

Using that as a starting point the project considers how our attitudes about progress are manifested in our approach towards nature. Hence ‘Progress Park’ is an examination of the relationship between technology and nature as manifested within our industrial spaces.

How did you find getting started with printing at Image Science?
I came to digital printing with quite a bit of darkroom experience, which isn’t always helpful.  Digital printing can be very simple or quite complex depending on your inclinations and priorities.  

For me Image Science strikes a terrific balance between providing in depth technical information and being incredibly approachable.  From the start they had everything I needed to fill those gaps between my darkroom experience and my digital naivete. 

What's next?
My first photobook “The Older Industrial Parks Near Newport, Victoria” will be released later this year through The Velvet Cell.  The book builds on my 2016 exhibition and features 35 images from two industrial parks from Melbourne’s west, and an essay by Sean Payne.  The book title reverses Lewis Baltz’s “The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California” and the images present a nocturnal vision of an aging industrial space.

Beyond that I’m developing two very different, and yet related, photography projects that I hope to exhibit in 2018 and 2019.  I have a solid basis for both projects but I’m very excited about where both projects may go from here.

You can follow Bill's work via his instagram, facebook & website.

Bills exhibition 'Progress Park' opens on August 2nd at Tacit Contemporary Art Gallery and runs until August 20th. More info on this exhibition & opening night here.