March 2017 feature artist Darmin Cameron
Darmin Cameron is the Artist of the Month for December at Nimbin Artists Gallery. Darmin has been exhibiting his photographic giclee prints for some years now, so regular visitors to the Gallery may be familiar with his work, usually renderings of trees or water scenes in rich greens and blues.
He describes himself as an impressionist photographer, which he means this in a very literal sense. His artistic story goes back to his childhood in Scotland, where he spent a great deal of his time with his photographer artist father, spending many of his weekends in the darkroom. This was the school where he acquired his love of everything related to photography - including the aesthetic possibilities and the technical details.
A turning point in his life came when he visited an exhibition in Rome, entitled The Lens of Impressionism: Photography and Painting Along the Normandy Coast, 1850-1874. This exhibition explored the vital connection between photography and impressionist art, revealing how the early development of photography wove closely into the Impressionist art movement. It came as a thunderbolt to Darmin, who with his love of photography and art was ready to see how the impressionists attempted to capture the 'new' way of perceiving that was revealed by the camera. The crucial element in this meeting was the realisation of the importance of light. Darmin works from the concept that all of our visual perception is a matter of light reflected off different surfaces. What we see is the result of the interplay between the quality of light, the way it falls on surfaces, the different properties of the surfaces (colour and texture), and how we process all this into images. In this way seeing is a creative process where the viewer assembles and interprets all of the visual data which presents itself.
Darmin's subject matter is mostly natural scenes, views of trees, water, seascapes, and recently birds in their natural setting. The quality of light at the moment of taking the shot is critical - he describes how he goes out 'image hunting' almost exclusively in the first hour or the last hour of daylight, saying that the intensity of light is most apparent at these times. He then engages with his subjects in an attempt to capture their appearance as the shadows of the night either clear in the morning or deepen at night. Any one of the images in Darmin's display is a selection from hundreds, it's only for a fleeting moment that the perfect image can be caught, and he cannot tell this until he gets back to his studio and reviews the images from a field session. Having chosen an image, he furthers the dramatic effect with a certain discreet digital enhancement, in such a way as to emphasise the rhythms of light that are picked up by the tree trunks in a forest, or the waves of the sea under a sunset sky.
On show this month you will see some fine examples of Darmin's art, as well as some smaller archival prints of the same and other works. Definitely worth a visit and a look.
Peter Warne Nimbin Artists Gallery.