Contemporary Australia’ by Nick Bassett, explores an important facet of our urban character by using images of Australian native flora as visual metaphors of the iconic Sydney Harbour New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
The flowers burst forth, on paper and in our minds- Australia, Sydney, millions of people by the harbour
I’m a Sydney-based based photographer and I divide my time between shooting commissioned work for clients and my own art projects. Photography is my biggest passion because it combines all of my other interests: nature, colour, light, humanity, travel, creativity and self-expression.
I’m very fortunate to live across the road from the beach and the coast walk, so I’m able to connect with nature very easily.
I grew up in the Blue Mountains so this series is very much a return to my roots and to the natural beauty that I grew up around as a kid. I developed a great love and passion for the natural environment and especially flora because where I lived there is an annual garden festival which is so exciting to visit.
I lived in New York for a few months in 2010 and coming back I felt an enormous drive to create a very personal series that was linked to my own identity as an Australian.
These images are all shot in a studio, on a black background, using studio lighting and a macro lens. I spend a lot of time in the studio to get the shots right so I don’t need to retouch them later on.
Celebration, Part 3, 2012
Giclee print on Canson Barya paper, mounted to alupanel & white boxed space framed, signed edition of 8 & 2 AP’s
100.0 x 100.0 cm
About Michael Reid Gallery
Situated in the thoroughbred, vineyard and coal-belt of the Upper Hunter Valley, in the small but significant town of Murrurundi ( 1,000 people ) , the gallery is 330km north of Sydney (four hours drive) on the New England Highway and 45km north of Scone at the very crown of the Upper Hunter Valley
The art gallery Michael Reid at Murrurundi strives to showcase the best in contemporary Australian and Aboriginal art.
Over the last five years the gallery has exhibited solo exhibitions from Adam Cullen; Noel McKenna; Brian Robertson; Lucy Vader; Deborah Williams; Jasper Knight; Chris Langlois; Robert Jacks; Sally Gabori; David Bromley; Adam Lester; Crispin Akerman- to name but a few
Michael Reid at Murrurundi has risen out of the ruins of an early 1840s convict barracks.
Bobadil House and the early barracks (now Michael Reid at Murrurundi) were built between 1840 and 1842 from locally quarried sandstone for the A.A. Company surveyor Henry Dangar.
Originally named the White Swan Inn, later known as the Woolpack Inn and then as the Mountain View Inn, and later in the 1870s it was renamed as Bobadil.
Family lore has it that the barracks, reconfigured as horse stables some time in the late 19th century, were hit by lightning in 1948.
The fragmented walls that remained were taken to the ground, the foundations re-dug, the stone cleaned and reassembled. The roof has been re-built from a design taken from early 20th century photographs of the stables and internally the sandstone flagstones have been re-laid.
About Nick Bassett
Despite growing up with a camera in hand, Nick’s photography interests were slowly bubbling away until 2002 when the career path took off at full steam.
After discovering David La Chapelle’s conceptual portrait photography, he resigned from full-time work to pursue a degree in Visual Communication at the University of Technology, Sydney majoring in photography. Inspired not so much by La Chapelle’s images themselves, but by the multi-layered ideas and messages behind them, Nick set about learning the language of visual communication.
In a parallel career, Nick has also worked in printing and print-finishing for almost 13 years, allowing him to build up a vast wealth of knowledge in printing and finishing that he has applied to his own artwork.
Nick printed his two large-scale solo exhibitions himself and continues to apply the same exacting standards in overseeing the highly specialised printing and finishing of his work today, maintaining a high degree of control over the entire process from start to finish
Design Visual Communication (Photography Major)
University of Technology, Sydney. 2003-2006.
ICONS. Carriageworks, Sydney. March 2010
ICONS. Carriageworks, Sydney. Feb 2011 (Re-exhibited for Sydney Festival).
POWER MOVES, Carriageworks, Sydney. March 2011
‘Contemporary Australia’. Michael Reid at Murrurundi. March 2013.
ICONS is a photographic series of raw, real, up-close-and-personal and honest portraits of true hip hop artists. It is really the antithesis of what modern hip hop culture has become all about; diamond-studded bling, flashy personas, money and fame.
“ICONS in March 2010 was my first solo exhibition and it was great to see it all come together after a deceptively huge amount of work. The images were taken over many years, some from magazine commissions and others from personal shoots, but they all have the common theme of being raw portraits of hip hop icons. I have always set out to take portraits of these icons in a way that shows the person behind the fame and their public identity.”
“Hip hop has become such a show of greed and capitalism, which is so far from where it began. The term ‘artist’ has taken a back seat to shallow headlines of wealth and fame, and through ICONS I aim to undo this thinking. I’m a fan of many of the ‘Golden Era’ artists and pioneers of hip hop, who represented a very different attitude towards the culture. I’m keen to take it back to the true meaning of hip hop culture, a true form of expression.” …… Nick Bassett
POWER MOVES 2011
Nick’s second exhibition – specially commissioned action photography that captured the form, movement, personality and technique of hip-hop artists – literally covered the whole space at Carriage works, a warehouse-sized arts space in Sydney with 16 images 2.5 metres wide, each suspended from the ceiling, the exhibition was to become a bold statement in itself.
POWER MOVES is a photographic series which studies the form and sculptural quality of Breaking, or B-Boying as it is otherwise known.
One day long photo shoot , 9 dancers (only 7 of which made the cut) and over 4000 images taken to get a dozen or so photographs to exhibit.
Shot in a controlled studio setting, Nick Bassett has captured a highly talented group of dancers right in the split-second moment of their signature moves. The series is a study in form, physicality and skill, not simply a documentation of the moves or how they are performed. “With this series I was really interested in studying and isolating the amazing forms created by these dancers and the incredible strength and technicality that they apply to their moves and the physical sculptures that are created”.
Carriage Works really lent itself to the culture these photos draw inspiration from – raw, urban, exciting.