Albion Private View in Bristol.

Once again we have managed to convert an unloved, flypostered, abandoned space into a glorious Shed gallery space full of beautiful art with sales on the night for Pete Hackett, Benjitas and Jeanne Goodridge.

Thank you so much to Fiona Roberts for her cup cakes, Tom Hard, Bob Healey and Andy White for coming along with their friends and family and all the warm wishes from those of you who couldn’t make it but I’m sure we’ll see each other over the coming weekends.

A huge thank you to Charlie Caldecott, the gallery manager and curator the serene Hibernia exhibition in the bottom gallery which includes a thought provoking video installation by Paddy Doherty addressing the divide between Protestants and Catholics in a gentle, simple but such an effective way. Ben Arnett, Dominick Cullen,  Liza Mahony, Lloyd Owen, Emma Wilson also have paintings included in the show.

The Period of Grace gallery now shines likes a beacon of contemporary but affordable art in the heart of Bristol with prices starting at just 40 pounds for a limited edition print. The gallery opens from 11am – 7pm Wednesday to Sunday. Looking forward to seeing you there over the next 4 weeks!

Just south of Adelaide…. Christine Santostefano

Every railway holds a story. A story of people, of places, and of changing times. A story ingrained within the vein-like tracks that run throughout the land. Just south of Adelaide, there lies such a railway – The Cockle Railway.

The first public railway line in Australia, connecting the towns of Victor Harbor and Port Eliot, was built to transport export and import wares between ships and the mainland. To transport these goods from large American and European clippers, a horse drawn tramway was built across the Causeway to Granite Island.

Christine Santostefano - The Tramway

Christine Santostefano - The Tramway

The area was originally settled in 1839 by an Englishman, Ridgway Newland. Like the steel rails, life was tough and customarily unbending, but carried people to places they never dreamed of. Early industries – whaling, fishing, and trading – were related to the sea. Evidence of these lie between today’s cafes, galleries and cottages. Like cabling from a crane, once vital to whaling.

Christine Santostefano - Steel Cabling

Christine Santostefano - Steel Cabling

Or the many salt-rusted pieces of iron scattered along the sea front.

Christine Santostefano - Rusty Bolt 2

Christine Santostefano - Rusty Bolt 2

Travelling along the coast offered panoramic views across the Southern Ocean. Sea-green tinted water, pristine sand beaches and pods of dolphins.

Christine Santostefano - The Southern Ocean

Christine Santostefano - The Southern Ocean

Looking inland, in stark contrast, were farmer’s parched paddocks, complete with freshly bundled hay. At best, rain is a sporadic yet eagerly anticipated visitor.

Christine Santostefano - The Cockle Railway - Duke of Edinburgh Engine 2

Christine Santostefano - The Cockle Railway - Duke of Edinburgh Engine 2

Nowadays the steam engine, The Duke of Edinburgh, is near retirement, only managing appearances during warmer months. The Cockle Railway is writing a different story as it carries excited children on seaside holidays, and older steam-buffs hoping to be romanced by the old life.

Christine Santostefano - The Cockle Railway - Duke of Edinburgh Engine

Christine Santostefano - The Cockle Railway - Duke of Edinburgh Engine

Christine Santostefano, passing through K.L.

Recently, I stopped for a few days in KL (Kuala Lumpur), the capital of Malaysia, whilst en route to Australia. It was my first time here, and so we set out to absorb the sights and tastes (and hopefully not too many of the smells) and experience a little of what was on offer!

Just outside KL, nestled amongst the lush mountains, are the Batu Caves – natural caves formed from limestone. Many of the caves house shrines to the various Hindu gods, to which people bring an offering of fruit. The resident monkeys know this, and target the bag carriers before they reach the temples at the top of the 272 steps. They launch a running attack, rip open the bags and make off with their spoils! From what I saw, very little fruit actually made it to the temples….

Christine Santostefano - Me? It wasn't me......

Christine Santostefano - Me? It wasn't me......

Christine Santostefano - Partaking of the fruits of labor!

Christine Santostefano - Partaking of the fruits of labor!

The Hindu God, Murugan, portrayed as a 140ft high golden statue, is both impressive and unmissable! It was unveiled in 2006, took three years to construct, and is the tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world. Climbing the steps in 32 °C and 90% humidity was no easy feat!

 

Christine Santostefano - Murugan Statue

Christine Santostefano - Murugan Statue

Christine Santostefano - Murugan Statue 2

Christine Santostefano - Murugan Statue 2

Because of the ‘jungle’ environment, butterflies and insects are plentiful and beautiful. Showcasing the vibrancy and subtlety of colors displayed in nature, this next photo is completely unedited – no tweaking at all! At first, I was disappointed to notice that upon closer inspection, the butterfly was less than perfect. But the more I looked at it, I realised the imperfection was what allowed its beauty to be seen – a lesson well worth applying to life!

Christine Santostefano - Colors of Nature

Christine Santostefano - Colors of Nature

What I especially love about this next photo, is how the texture is felt by your eyes. Also the exquisite design and detail held within the insect’s wings.

Christine Santostefano - A Study of Insects 2

Christine Santostefano - A Study of Insects 2

Check out my collection, ‘A Study of Insects’, to see more butterflies and insects.

This last photo is an image that struck me as both amusing and bemusing. Every good city has its Chinatown, and KL was no exception. It was here that I discovered a local who was roasting and selling chestnuts. ‘What’s so unusual about that?’ I hear you ask. ‘After-all, it is only a few weeks before Christmas?’ Valid points…….if you live in the Northern Hemisphere and are feeling the effects of winter. Technically, KL is in the Northern Hemisphere, but in reality it is an Equatorial country. Add to this the afore mentioned weather conditions of 32 °C and 90% humidity and you begin to see my point!

Christine Santostefano - Roasting Chestnuts

Christine Santostefano - Roasting Chestnuts

Christine Santostefano’s favourite Shed images.

Whilst perusing through The Shed, there are many images that take my attention. Here are a few of these.

I love the geometric lines that swirl you into in Tom Hard’s photo – Spiral Staircase at the Vatican – and find the offset centre pleasing to the eye. The figure offers a focus secondary to the endpoint of descent, and one cannot help but wonder as to his purpose and mission.

Tom Hard - Spiral Staircase at the Vatican

Tom Hard - Spiral Staircase at the Vatican

At first glance Dandelion Seeds, by Colin Tracy, appears a little abstract. But upon closer inspection, the seemingly random forms take shape. Their intricate designs are seen against the barely focused background, providing the perfect base.

Colin Tracy - Dandelion Seeds

Colin Tracy - Dandelion Seeds

This next image from Paul J Triller plays with my mind, and creates more questions than answers. Am I looking at a memory, like Alice peering through the looking glass? What is he remembering? How did life’s journey bring him here? Is his face turned to the window to soak up the warmth, or is he contemplating what was, or could have been?

Paul J Triller - At the Mill-Ironbridge

Paul J Triller - At the Mill-Ironbridge

I grew up in Australia, seemingly a world away from Europe, and was pleasantly surprised to find this image by Rachael Talibart at Albion in London. Several titles are familiar and resided on my parent’s bookshelves. There is a something enticing about old, obviously loved books with their worn paper covers; something that is sadly lost in today’s plethora of online e-publications.

Rachael Talibart - Medicine for the Soul

Rachael Talibart - Medicine for the Soul

Being someone who photographs what is already created, I am in awe of those who possess ability to create from scratch. And so this brings me to this piece by Chelsea Davine. I love the rustic mineral tones of this image. The flecks of gold highlight the warmth of the earthen browns.

Chelsea Davine - Harvest Moon

Chelsea Davine - Harvest Moon

Christine Santostefano our Artist of the Week.

We asked Christine Santostefano to talk to us about her photography:

A week exploring the Jurassic coast, culminating in a chance encounter looking for a gallery that exhibits sheds. Instead, I found The Shed. True story – we were following signs to see these English ‘sheds’. Being originally from Australia, a shed is considered an object of beauty.

Christine Santostefano - The Row Boat

Christine Santostefano - The Row Boat

I’ve kind of fallen into photography. A product of the digital age – no film processing costs meant more photos taken, and instant viewing of the image gave instant improvability. Browsing through family photo albums, the change from film to digital is evidenced by the end of printed memories. Beginning with the Canon Powershot A85, then the Canon Powershot SX1 is, and now a Nikon D90.

Christine Santostefano - Cheeky!

Christine Santostefano - Cheeky!

I guess entering the profession of Medical Imaging as a Radiographer, when the smell of darkroom chemicals was familiar and digital X-rays and scans were early prototypes. As technology developed, so did the application of Medical Imaging and our ability to see deep inside one’s body. Doing the brain math to see multiple two dimensional images as a three dimensional volume. Manipulating images to optimise diagnosis, whilst being careful not to create non-existent pathologies.

Christine Santostefano - Tea lights

Christine Santostefano - Tea lights

A  Year 12 physics project on photography, involving a roll of black and white film and hand developed pictures. Images that included double exposures so a flower was seen side-by-side with an orchestral double bass. Arcs trailing behind stars during the earth’s rotational orbit. A Chemistry experiment using my father’s camera attached to a microscope and determining the growth rate of crystals.

Christine Santostefano - Crystal Wine

Christine Santostefano - Crystal Wine

I have many photographic memories.  Capturing still images of my childhood on an instamatic camera. My neighbour sporting her new roller-skates. My sister proudly displaying her Christmas presents. My baby brother, now crawling too fast to snap a posed photo. My Aunt’s horse on their rural property in remote New South Wales. Waiting for crowds to dissipate and reveal an unhindered view of the National War Memorial. Family slide-show nights as a kid.

Christine Santostefano - Ice cream anyone? Maybe not....

Christine Santostefano - Ice cream anyone? Maybe not....

Photography fulfils so many different roles.  Encouraging friends and family develop self-belief. Drawing out beauty from an unlikely subject. Showing a different perspective. Feeling texture through your eyes. Documenting a journey or telling a story. Blending the technical and creative.

Christine Santostefano - Great-grandmothers house, overlooking the Old Harbor at Watchet, Somerset

Christine Santostefano - Great-grandmothers house, overlooking the Old Harbor at Watchet, Somerset

I guess continuing the path above, I am destined to create images.

View Christine’s Shed profile.