Worldly street scenes on show at marketta
TO KINGSCLIFF resident Oliver Hamalainen, street photography is many things: an art form, an historical document and a fresh look at the everyday.
Hamalainen was in Paris when he first tried his hand at street photography a few years ago.
He will hold his first solo exhibition, Inhabitants, which brings together two years’ worth of work from around the globe, at the Miami Marketta on the Gold Coast on Wednesday evening.
“The first images are probably from 2014,” Hamalainen said.
After taking photos in the line of his work, the graphic designer said the street photos made for a refreshing change.
“For a while now I’ve been travelling for work,” he said.
“I’ve been taking photos pretty much since university.”
But he only really began delving into street photography in the last few years.
“It’s a different discipline to taking photos for money,” he said. “It’s a way I found I could express myself.”
He soon found joy through establishing a sense of place with his mirrorless, unobtrusive Fuji camera.
“I find the way we see the world quite differently is quite fascinating,” he said.
“The people in the photos, they’re frozen there forever. It’s all recorded in the frame.”
Paris was an inspiring place for Hamalainen to delve into the art form.
“I was spending a lot of time in the galleries,” he said.
“There’s so much inspiration there.”
As opposed to Australia, he said street photography was much easier in foreign countries under the veil of a tourist. Having a small camera doesn’t hurt, either.
“A big camera will… alter the scene and people will react to it too, which is interesting, but it’s not really what I’m after,” he said.
He said experiencing photography in an archival-quality printed form would be a refreshing experience for those in an over-digitised world.
“What’s happening now with digital imagery is it’s all going to be lost,” he said.
“Hard drives don’t last very long, the cloud isn’t reliable and images that aren’t carefully printed and stored will disappear.
“As soon as you print something and bring it into the world and make it real, the context really changes.”
He said the bustling marketta was a fitting space for the exhibition.
“Every photographer dreams of pristine white walls and climate-controlled conditions but it is a good place to display it,” he said.
- What: Inhabitants street photography exhibition
- Where: Miami Marketta, 23 Hillcrest Pd
- When: 5–9pm April 6
- Entry to the exhibition is free.