Thursday, March 20, 2014

True North Festival

This year I was invited to be part of the True North Festival. This is local festival run by the Darebin council. It is on from Friday the 21st of March until Sunday the 23rd of March.
I am blown away to be one of four artists selected to take part in an exciting event called: 'cARTography…mapping the creative process'. 
One of my photographs will be placed in a shop front window in Edwards St, Reservoir along with some text describing/mapping my 'creative process'.

For those of you who can travel to it easily, pop down to Edwards St, Reservoir this weekend and especially check out the shop window at 2 Edwards Street (yes, it is all about me!). For those of you across the seas and distances, here is my image (which will be presented as a 20X30 inch print) and some text on my process:

                                                         "certain/uncertain #18"

cARTography....mapping the creative process

by matthew schiavello.

The creative destination, how did we, how did I arrive here?

Sometimes our destination is reached as a result of a well thought out and planned process. We select the destination, we map it all out and we follow the plan. Sometimes we make
adjustments along the way, sometimes we don’t.

Sometimes, we kind of know where we want to go and we head off with little or no planning. We hope we may get there and sometimes we aren’t too fussed if we don’t.

More often or not for me, I tend to realise I have arrived somewhere without meaning to. I chuckle to myself and wonder how I managed it. 

My most favourite destinations have never been planned.

My photographic works are like this. I sometimes go out with an idea of what I will try and do, but this generally falls by the wayside and before I know it, I have arrived someplace other and someplace much better than I could have imagined or planned for.

With camera in hand I walk about city backstreets and photograph whatever catches my eye and my attention.  Sometimes I don’t know why I like what I see, sometimes I am
confused as my mind attempts to find worth and meaning in what I am photographing. When this happens I tell my mind to be quiet as I try to appreciate the beauty in what I see. I ask, is there something wrong or shameful in not knowing why you like something?

I digress, for I am meant to discuss how my style of abstract photography became so? How did I unintentionally arrive at this destination?

I guess the answer lies in how I arrived at who I am, without a map and also unintentionally. I grew up in the housing commission towers and estates in Collingwood and its
surrounding areas. We were poor and had little but our imaginations to keep us entertained. In the stark greyness of the towers and estates, we had to look for the beauty that was
around us, which was often hidden or overshadowed by all else.  

In my late teens I stumbled across a phrase by Pierre-Jules Renard- “Look for the ridiculous in everything and you will find it”.  I asked myself, what if the word ‘ridiculous’ was replaced with another word, would the same ring true? What if that word was 'beauty'?

Could we find beauty everywhere? If I had found it in those cold dark grey commission towers, surely I could find it anywhere else if I looked?

Here I am many years later, with my eyes still looking for and still finding the beauty in what lies around me.  Those neglected and vandalised spaces that are seen as an eyesore and
abhorred by many, are often a treasure trove of beauty for me and my camera.  But enough of me, where do you find or see beauty?

all work © matthew schiavello 2014


  1. Don't stop looking! Congratulations! So thrilled for you. Wish I could be there to see your work in person!

    1. Thanks W&S! Shame you can't be here... You missed a great opening night.. the local mayor was there and pronounced reservoir the local way (not as in a water catchment) ;-)

    2. oooo, rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous I see :-)