12 Sept 2014 - Iris of the East
Luke Feighery - Iris of the East, 12th September - 16 October 2014
Hails from the Pale; brown bread maker; part-time dictator; world-renowned referee; weather enthusiast; medical student; fair weather photographer; more fun than celery.
I bought my first Digital SLR camera in Melbourne in 2011. Since then, it has become my second most prized possession. These photographs are a small selection of portraits taken over the past three years in Southern Asia. The photos are from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and most recently, India.
The majority of my earlier photographs were taken with a cracked 50mm f/1.8 lens. For a long time, I was intrigued by this lens, by its lightness, durability and shallow depth of field. Although different from my recent photographs, the photos taken with this lens are included in this exhibition as they chart the evolution of my photography.
Over the past year, I have read more about light: how it falls, how it reflects and how it affects each exposure. In the process, I came across the photography of Rudra Mandal and I have learned a lot by studying his work and the work of other photographers. My more recent portraits, taken with a 100mm macro lens, aim to capture with crisp clarity, every hair in a moustache, every crease in a furrowed brow and, in the sharpest of images, the silhouetted reflection of the photographer in the iris of the eye.
For me, there is a personal story behind each of my photographs. I hope that this is the same for each person whose photograph I have taken and I hope for them it is a good story. Everywhere I have travelled, I have done my best to learn the basics of the local language. Each photograph is taken with care and with permission and I always ask the person’s name. This last point has become a point of respect . However, some names are only understood phonetically or unfortunately in some cases, may have been forgotten.
The title of the Exhibition is 'Iris of the East.' I hope it gives you a small glimpse into the eyes and the lives of the people I have photographed: from the vigour and pain of Delhi's homeless people, the tranquillity of a young Buddhist monk or, as William Osler described;
"The poetry of the commonplace, of the plain, toil worn woman, with their loves and their joys, their sorrows and their griefs.”