Toni Harris, local artist, winner of the 2021 Rutherglen Tastes of Art Photography (creative) prize, and Arts Rutherglen committee member talks about her art practice, current work and upcoming exhibition in the Ballarat Foto Biennale.
Why do you make art?
We all have a talent /passion that we think or hope that we are good at. Some people are good at sport, some writing, some music etc. For me art is my way of expressing myself against what it is I think I am good at.
What informs /influences/inspires your artwork and how is this expressed in your art?
My main expression in art is photography. For me it’s all about the magic captured by being in the right place at the right time – looking out for those wonderful little moments with the means to capture them, and the happiness found when you do.
What are you currently working on?
I have a commission and an exhibition that I am working on now. The commission is for a very proud grandmother who wants images of her grandchildren but done in a very modern style. This includes lots of colour, splashes, scratches, and layers worked in Photoshop to give the portraits a very, edgy feel. The brief came from the lady and she included images that she had found online that she really liked. My challenge was to match the style and intent of the images she liked and work this in with the portraits of the grandchildren.
What themes/topics/events/ideas are inspiring to you/your work at the moment?
I love black and white as it brings the image right back to its essentials, form, texture, content, and composition I also use a high-quality rag paper for printing my material as I think the texture gives the images an added dimension. It is with this printing style that I am currently working on for my exhibition in Ballarat. Its subject matter is quirky moments that I have managed to capture while travelling overseas which is my biggest inspiration and muse. I really love candid street photography and a lot of my current work is reflected in this.
What projects/events/opportunities do you have coming up?
My exhibition called “A Monochromatic Perspective” will be exhibited at the Ballarat Foto Biennale in August 2021. The venue is one of the Fringe exhibitions set up in a restaurant called “Red Peppa” .
Address: 34 Sturt Street Ballarat.
Dates: The exhibition opens on the 28th of August and closes the 24th of October 2021.