Darcy Tuppen is a fairly new customer to Image Science, but since our first meeting has become a regular face. Just recently Darcy exhibited his work “Another Side to Paradise” with Noonie Productions. We proudly supported this exhibition, alongside Ilford Australia, by printing Darcys incredible images using the new Ilford Gold Fibre Gloss paper – a new paper to the Ilford Galerie Range.
Education and background:
I grew up in regional Victoria surrounded by empty fields and the busy horse racing industry. This sparked a love for the outdoors at a young age where I could climb hills, explore blue-gum forests and sneak into the almost alien landscape that was the local quarry.
I moved to Melbourne to complete my degree in film and photography at Deakin in 2012, and am finding a balance between the city life and weekend ventures to the country.
Where are you based?
I’ve recently re-located myself into the exciting world of St. Kilda, where I can escape to the beach with my trusty skate board to find some peace from the frantic pace of the inner city. It also provides some truly interesting people-watching as I’m always searching for faces which could motivate my next film characters.
How long have you been a visual artist for?
All throughout high school I was always interested in the creative arts, something that was inspired as my older brother would constantly be watching films or producing his own art.
I wrote and directed my first film in year 12 which was my first fully realised project and was received well at VCE Topscreen. This showed me the potential for expression through film and photography. The first series of photos I took that I felt truly proud of was around this time last year, and I’ve come a long way since then.
What camera/equipment do you use?
As an emerging artist/ uni-student, I own a fairly modest set of equipment. I own a canon 6D and my favourite pieces of glass would be a Canon 70-200 f2.8 and Canon 50mm 1.2.
Describe your photographic style and how it has evolved over the years.
If you look at my instagram page, you’ll notice very quickly that mostly all of my photos are taken somewhere within the great outdoors. I have definitely fallen victim to the pursuit of those highly romanticised scenes, the ones that (hopefully) present a scene that seem almost unattainably perfect. I would hate to think that my work might make someone feel like they are ‘missing out’, rather, that these places are out there to be discovered.
The advantages that come with being awestruck are infinite, and the pursuit of those moments is unending. It can be overwhelming, chasing these moments, especially living in a major city, but they are attainable.
If my work can serve as a reminder for anyone, or even myself, that we all have the ability to venture out and discover incredible landscapes, then I’ve done my job. I’m fairly new to this all, but I’d say my style has evolved in that my current work is entirely set outdoors, and that I’ve become more open to photographing people outside of my friendship group.
What are your main creative influences?
My all time favourite director is Cary Joji Fukunaga, who’s recent films have taken him to Mexico, Honduras and the Congo, where the worlds that occur within his films and the reality of life and culture in those countries are one and the same. His stories find the balance perfectly between authenticity, the immense struggles that people sometimes face whilst living in a developing country, and narrative tales of romance and adventure. Secondly, the modern philosopher and futurist Jason Silva provides constantly engaging ideas on the future and the nature of love, technology and creativity. His work acts as a reminder of the power of optimism. It’s people like this who for me, articulate their thoughts through stories and poems.
What do you feel is your biggest achievement to date?
Recently I trekked the second highest mountain in Indonesia with a friend, this resulted in lugging a camera bag, tripod and additional gear to the 3726m summit, all in the pursuit of the photos and film on the way. Reaching the top and not once losing the desire to set my tripod up for a shot at any point, no matter how incredibly exhausted I was, was reassuring that I absolutely love this line of art, and could go beyond fatigue and lack of sleep to get the shot.
It’s an incredible feeling to sleep above the clouds. It’s things like this that remind me that the hardest part is setting out, and the view from a tent at midnight of sleeping towns beneath you is truly worth every minute.
Beyond that, the experiences that I gained whilst my travels in the country of Vanuatu were hands down, the most rewarding to date. Living in a tent for a month being eaten alive by mosquitos and cooking on an open fire every day, I experienced a glimpse into the world of the people living in a developing country. To be able to use my skill set to assist them in any way was immensely rewarding, as it’s difficult to leave such a welcoming environment having given more than you received.
Coming home to the most liveable city on earth, it’s impossible not to view things differently. No other experience has had such a profound impact on me than a month making friends with some of the friendliest, most humble people on earth.
Tell us a little about your upcoming exhibition “Another Side to Paradise”:
The common perceptions of the pacific islands as well as the notions of ‘poverty’ in my experience are all very far from the mark. Countries like Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia are primarily noted for the tourism they attract, while the local people and culture are forgotten. These countries are our closest neigbours, yet they are so often unheard of.
I personally was completely unaware of the levels of culture that still exists in these places. They have mostly missed out on the industrial and technological revolution, but they are anything but ‘poor.’ The villages maintain a level of community that has mostly disappeared in the modern world, and the people are the most accommodating I have ever come across. Another Side of Paradise is a stand alone pop-up gallery to showcase my work during my travels. All of the proceeds go directly to a grassroots NGO that I worked alongside, to help provide clean water tanks and filtering systems for the upcoming droughts.
I currently have no overseas ventures booked, however I am constantly daydreaming of my next escape. I am currently discovering the professional world of weddings and commercial event and food photography to fund my next trip. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside some seriously talented people during the planning of Another Side to Paradise, so I’m certain that we’ll find out next project soon.
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