QCP is taking the works of twelve Australian photo-media artists to Photo LA (15 – 18 January 2015) and Photo Contemporary (1 – 3 May 2015). This series of focus interviews gives an insight into the selected artists.
How did you first become interested in art and photography?
My Dad took me to a surrealism exhibition when I was quite young and it blew my mind. Up until that point I was always making something, but I had no idea that art could be provocative or even revolutionary. I think this was the first time I seriously considered becoming an artist. Later, Dad gave me his Pentax Spotmatic and I began processing the film myself, and printing in a very small darkroom. It wasn’t until much later that I decided to formalize this interest at university, where I was introduced to a whole new world of photographic practice and theory. Now photography is essential to how I engage with, and think about the world, and the process of making work is just an extension of questions that I have about the world(s) around me.
What work are you showing in LA?
In LA I’m exhibiting works from Fibro Coast, a project produced in collaboration with my partner Alan Hill. The project takes its name from the humble structures that were built as simple holiday homes up and down the Australian coastline using fibro-cement sheeting. In the era before motels and resorts, fibro holiday homes by the beach were important places of leisure. Their simplicity and informality shaped the way that generations experienced the Australian coastline, but they face an uncertain future as development interests inevitably win out over heritage. Fibro Coast celebrates the uniqueness of these spaces as functional and minimalist forms, while examining the bigger social changes taking place in their midst.
What are your plans for 2015?
After Photo Contemporary Alan and I are planning to make new work for Fibro Coast and begin working on a small publication. We were recently invited to visit an incredible ‘Fibro’ holiday home in Victoria so we plan to revisit this space and others on the Australian coastline as part of the project. We are also in the process of revisiting another project, The Central Queensland Project, with a focus on the impacts of the inevitable cycles of boom and bust in the region. I’m also finishing my doctorate that will culminate in the work Apart and A Part. The project is a collaborative work with individuals who grew up in institutional care in Australia in the 20th century and is the culmination of four years of research and collaborations.
For more information about Kelly Hussey-Smith and the LA program, please visit the new QCP International website and Kelly Hussey-Smith’s website.
Banner image: Kelly Hussey-Smith