Chloe FraserBusselton Dunsborough Times

The walls of Busselton’s ArtGeo Gallery will be filled with thought-provoking fine silver-gelatin black-and-white prints when Quinninup photographer John Austin opens his month-long exhibition tonight.

Covering a broad range of subject matter, Austin has captured gripping documentation of South West forest activity, ranging from anti-logging protests in the 1990s to fragile habitats and environmental degradation.

Austin’s photographs feature in several collections, including the National Portrait Gallery, the Art Gallery of WA, the Australian National Library, Bunbury Regional Art Gallery and private collections worldwide. His Survey II exhibition has been 24 years in the making.

Survey II exhibition will open at the Art Geo gallery in Busselton tonight.

“It covers the eras I’ve been living in the forest — from 1994 until now,” he said.

“The environmental aspects are as relevant now as they were 24 years ago.

“It’s still a primary concern for us.”

Shooting on large-format cameras, Austin has distanced himself from the digital age and continues to produce silver gelatin black-and-white photography.

He is said to be one of the only photographers in the State to work with the medium.

Austin said his work extended beyond its documentary value.

The exhibition also features a change of tone, with a collection of snapshots which Austin described as an “eclection” in which a narrative is formed from a flow of images

Survey II 1994-2017 is only Austin’s second retrospective exhibition, following Survey I, 1970-1993. “What excites me is the work I’m about to do,” he said.

“I’m able to look at the last 24 years of work and see where I’m going next”.

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