Master photographer Greg Weight continues to draw inspiration from the dazzling night skies of Central Australia and his latest exhibition is testament to both his deft technical skill and this continued creative connection to the natural world.
“Alice Springs is like the hub of a big wheel, with roads like spokes heading off in all directions. Any one of those roads extends to places that existed long before time began.
The shutter is open and the camera is adjusted to hold focus on a nearby hill or tree and the Milky Way. During an exposure of less than thirty seconds there is enough time for any amount of stellar activity. A shooting star, a meteorite or a satellite carves its path, in a flash of a split second, through the earth’s outer layer of atmosphere. Every shooting star or meteorite hits me like a jolt of consciousness, connecting where I stand to the vast unknown.
Under the Milky Way in the cool chill of a winter night a million stars are scattered like dust as far as the eye can see into the deep indigo backdrop of space. A half moon sits low on the western horizon and like a giant studio reflector it bounces a glow of soft light onto the landscape in front of me.
In these circumstances there is a strong sense of connection with the universe, or to infinity. These works are about that connection.
All of my photographs up until 10 years ago were generated using analogue (film) photographic techniques.
Since then 80% of my own work and 100% of my commercial work has been digital. The progress with digital technology has been astounding, and it has enabled me to create the stunning clarity witnessed in Central Australia during ‘black sky’ circumstances at certain times of the year. The results can be seen in this current exhibition, Celestial Moment. In less challenging circumstances the tonality produced with film remains my preferred option.
I try to encourage people to look at my work and ask bigger questions. The kind of questions a child might ask, like, “Where did the universe come from?”, “Where do all the stars go during the day?” or “Did you put all those stars in that picture?”
“Is that photograph or a painting?” That last question comes close to the mark because I did actually paint the landscape with a light held in my hand during the exposure. The word photography means ‘light writing’.
A technical answer I like to give is, ‘These photographic prints that you are looking at are the most stable photographic images ever created, they are capable of lasting hundreds of years in that frame in normal household conditions. They were produced using acid free cotton fibre paper from printers using the most permanent pigments ever invented’.
In the end my photographs are contemporary artworks because of the fact that they are photographs, not in spite of that fact. They are reminders that we are all very bloody lucky to be here at all”.
Greg Weight, 2016
View Greg Weight’s current exhibition here