Mark Kimber’s work radiates drama and atmosphere. He creates scenes that suggest mysterious, epic, narratives and often engage the unpredictable qualities of analogue techniques. Heightening photography's capacity to manipulate truth, he explores its relationship to the malleable realms of memory, illusion and fantasy. From intricate, handmade dioramas to life-size sets inhabited by actors, his images evoke a half-remembered, dreamlike quality.
Kimber was born and lives in Adelaide. His work has been presented in notable exhibitions within Australia and internationally since the early 1980s, including MAMA Art Foundation National Photography Prize (2016); CACSA@70: The Contemporary, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (2015); Penumbral Tales, Flinders University Art Museum (2015); Songs from the Heart: Bredaphoto International Photo Festival, Netherlands (2014); Photo LA, 2013 & 2014; The NEW NEW: CACSA Contemporary, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia (2010); Phantasia, Australian Centre for Photography (2008) and the Australian Embassy, Paris (2009). In 2012 he was awarded the South Australian Living Artists Monograph, which resulted in the hardback publication Mark Kimber (Wakefield Press, 2012). His work is held in public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of South Australia, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Artbank, Parliament House Collection, and the Queensland Centre for Photography.
/ MARK KIMBER
/ DECEMBER 6 - DECEMBER 22, 2023
“A Portuguese word for a sense of something lost and longed for”
Proust’s quote, "Perhaps the only real paradise is a lost paradise," serves as a fitting reflection on this work that employs the 150-year-old Tintype photographic process, an archaic and painstaking form of photography, involving creating images on a coated metal plate. The process produces unique, one-off images to confront the pervasive issue of plastic waste. The work contrasts the unhurried, meticulous singularity of the Tintype process with the swiftness and ephemerality of digital imagery, fostering a juxtaposition between the photographic “moment” and a less hurried act of contemplation. The Tintype asks viewers to contemplate the intrinsic worth of every plastic item, urging a shift in perspective from disposability to sustainability. Through the meditative lens of the Tintype process, this exhibition creates a bridge between the past and present, inviting us to re-evaluate our relationship with plastics and the environment.
Using Tintype as my medium I have sought to painstakingly craft one-of-a-kind images that repurpose discarded plastic objects into sculptural forms. This deliberate and “slow” process offers a stark contrast to the instant gratification associated with digital photography and underscores the significance of savouring moments in an era of disposable content.
This body of work employs the tradition of still life, reimagining and transforming discarded plastic objects into new sculptural forms. Through these repurposed plastic sculptures, the work invites viewers to reconsider the disposability and environmental impact of single-use plastics. Around 20% of glass containers are recycled although glass is 100% recyclable, while less than 5 % of all plastics are. Everything is a simulation it seems, - befittingly all the flowers I’ve used in this work are plastic.
Through my efforts to subvert the familiar, disposable nature of plastic products, and their “invisibility” (it is only what is contained within in these plastic forms that concerns us, the “shell” being regarded as fundamentally “inconsequential”) in relation to market consumption, l have sought through my interventions to invite others to perceive these everyday objects in a novel light.