The B/W photograph of the Taradale Viaduct used on the Bridging the Miles exhibition invitation is the image that made Katherine Seppings a joint winner of The 5th Annual Taradale Community Art Exhibition.
Of Flooding Rains:
(Mt Alexander Shire 2010-11)
An Exhibition of Photographic Works
by Katherine Seppings
Shelf Life Gallery Taradale
Wine and Produce Main Road Taradale
18th March – 29 April 2011 Opening Friday 18th March 7 – 9pm
11 – 6pm Friday Saturday Sunday or by appointment
Of Flooding Rains
Stormy skies, saturated landscapes and numerous flood events were documented by Katherine Seppings in Mount Alexander Shire 2010-11. Katherine’s photographs are a moving record of the flooded waterways on 4 September and 27 November 2010, and 14 January and 5 February 2011, at Campbells Creek, Castlemaine, Chewton,Vaughan and Yapeen; of Barkers, Campbells and Forest Creeks, and the Loddon River. She has also produced an intimate study of the force and flow of the water itself; movement too furious to be stilled by the human eye, these images captured through the camera appear more like paintings.
A selection of images from Katherine Seppings’ photographic documentation of the Bendigo fires and the entire Kilmore East – Murrindindi fire path: the destruction and the havens.
Katherine’s involvement with the subject of Bushfire began on Ash Wednesday, 1983, when living at Humevale (near Kinglake). Her concerns for safety in a Bush environment during summer contributed to her mother, Joan Webster OAM, writing, and Katherine illustrating, The Complete Australian Bushfire Book, followed by The Complete Bushfire Safety Book.
Katherine has also established Community Fireguards in the Mt Alexander Shire.
Glimpses of ordinary life in extraordinary places.
A woman in Kathmandu sweeps the pavement, while a man in Nicaragua rests for a moment on his broom… children play on cobbles in Morocco and on the streets of London a man and a woman are about to kiss…
The photographs in Street Life are glimpses of many moments in many places – walking down a road somewhere and going ‘click’ because of the way someone placed themselves in a landscape or appeared and then disappeared down a street.
‘Wherever I travel I walk the streets to observe ordinary life, to learn about people and the culture of the place. I take in life through all my senses – the feel of the day on my skin, the smell of food, the sound of language and music, the details of texture and colour, of shape and form, of the way people move in and out of a particular space; how life is made up of work, rest and play, and of requiring food, conversation and also dance.
Whenever I photograph life on the streets I try to remain as insignificant as any other passer-by, but often I’m just as observed, be that because I am a stranger to the neighbourhood, exotic to the culture, or because I carry a camera. If so, I engage in whatever communication we can share, if only a smile. Sometimes that evolves into food and conversation and even dance.
I love to travel, I love to walk and I love to dance. It is good for the soul.’
Heaven on Earth
‘These images speak to a place inside us all, where we share an understanding of values, of what humans value in the world. Each was a moment when I had contemplated on the light and the subject as if it were a piece of heaven on earth. Photography is ‘drawing with light’ and in these shots I felt blessed with the way light fell.’ Katherine Seppings
Sometimes light falls on a landscape so beautifully that for a brief moment it appears like a bit of Heaven on Earth. Sometimes the view is breathtaking; sometimes peaceful and serene. These evocative images capture a strong sense of the spirit of place and of the changing seasons. Katherine’s eye for composition, her awareness of light, colour, texture, ambience and attention to cultural detail engages the viewer with an intimacy that inspires one to travel.
Across the Divide
Art and Heritage converge within the aging walls of Tutes Cottage, in a photographic exhibition that will take you on a unique journey through Central Victoria’s Goldfields. More than fifty stunning images by photographer Katherine Seppings are an exploration into the continuously emerging Australian character.
‘Katherine has demonstrated a longstanding passion for and knowledge of the cultural and natural landscape and history of this district. She has unusual analytic, verbal, artistic and organisational skills, reflected in notable publications, photographic exhibitions and community involvement over 25 years.’ Angela Munro, Economic Development Officer, Mount Alexander Shire
‘Katherine Seppings’ work is very similar to the tradition of landscape art, depicting the rural idyll that developed in the 19th century against a backdrop of great political and social change.’ Amanda Jean, Heritage Adviser, Mount Alexander Shire
Katherine spent time in France between 1994 and 2001 and lived for a year in a small medieval village in Southern France. She has a deep and on-going love of the country, the culture, the language, the architecture and landscape, and thinks of France as her spiritual home.
Castlemaine at the Crossroads
By the end of the 20th Century, much of Castlemaine and district still contained the mystery, the charm, and the scars of its Mount Alexander Goldfields Heritage. There is a sense that history is still alive here, that through the remnants we are still connected to the past and therefore can understand the human struggles – what it must have been like to come here, the losses to the original inhabitants, the churning over of every inch of the land, the structural and vegetation legacies which remain.
But something deeper than our 150 year colonial past is evoked within us. An ancestral home, the culture of our ancestors comes alive along old winding roads, in rustic lanes, a hedgerow, a briar rose in the middle of the ‘dry-stick’ Bush, bulbs at the foot of stone ruins, or the colour of light through an old oak.
Now, as we move into the 21st Century, the entire region faces the dilemmas of progress and change, bringing communities together to focus on defining the character of Castlemaine and surrounding villages, in order to preserve both the uniqueness of place and the quality of life both residents and visitors desire.
Around the World
Bendigo Regional Arts Centre – Lanyon Room and Foyer
‘The photographs in the foyer show landscape, figures and architecture from Australia, Turkey, Mexico, France and Nepal. One of the most beautiful images is a sea of grass in St Andre de Najac, in France. It is worthwhile visiting the Arts Centre to see this one photograph. It is a powerful work which captures the essence of nature… Many of the visitors who have already seen this exhibition have been students studying photography in tertiary institutions in this region. The universal view of all of them has been that the photographs are among the most important they have ever seen.’
The Photographs exhibited by Katherine Seppings at the Arthouse Exhibition, Castlemaine State Festival, were of Nepal.
Katherine Seppings began producing a range of handmade photo cards of the Mount Alexander Shire.
Back Streets of the World
‘As a photographer, I love to wander the back streets of cities, towns and villages, away from purpose or intention, where each step presents a new scene or new scenario, and not really knowing where I am going, always sensing, always watchful, I discover things I have never seen before, never touched or felt before. I find myself in shadows on the walls, I step through doorways into other worlds and the journey all depends on what I believe in. Nothing is the same as it was.’ Katherine Seppings
New York Graffiti
Katherine Seppings lived in Chinatown, New York City, for several years during the 1990s. On her return to Australia in 1998, she compiled a photographic study of graffiti from the Lower East Side of Manhattan, much of which was in the process of being ‘cleaned up.’
‘Parked Art’ was officially opened by Katherine Seppings. As a member of Castlemaine Artists Incorporated, she was an exhibitor in the show.
Characters of Castlemaine
The discovery of gold in Central Victoria during 1851 led to a dramatic mass world migration. Thousands of people descended upon the tranquil hills and streams of Mt Alexander, overturned the earth in search of riches, and transformed the bush and early pastoral country into the cultural landscape of today. The devastated natural environment of the goldfields remained relatively unchanged for more than a century.
Then, in the 1970s, on the fringes of a dwindling population, artisans began to move in and around Castlemaine to make their homes. Initially, some squatted in Bushland and constructed houses made from earth and stone; others recycled windows and doors from the miner’s ruins, resurrecting hand made bricks and old timbers carved and painted, from the tips, from abandoned hotels, houses and stores, creating energy efficient building techniques and inventing environmentally sustainable ways of life.
The hippies, artists, writers, potters, musicians, mud-brickers and stone masons who began an Arts and Crafts movement and gave this Central Victorian region its artistic reputation, did so by existing in an affordable location, by making do, and by dedicating life to art. Creativity and ingenuity thrived, despite of, or perhaps because of, the harsh and often unforgiving climate and ravaged terrain.
In 1986, the Characters of Castlemaine photographic exhibition captured the essence of people and place in this district at this time when people came in search of peace in a restless age, people who sought an alternative lifestyle without a conventional job, and who desired, above all, quality of life. The exhibition included more than fifty of Castlemaine and district’s best known ‘characters’: an intriguing collection of individuals in their own environments. The exhibition received nationwide recognition and acclaim for both subject matter and pictorial merit.
Women of Castlemaine
A photographic study by Katherine Seppings of women and their diverse contributions to the Castlemaine community. Held at Buda, Castlemaine.
Drawings and Paintings
Katherine Seppings exhibited and sold pen and ink drawings, watercolour and oil paintings, in more than fifty collective art shows in Victoria.
Katherine’s drawings and paintings were also privately commissioned.