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A bit of background... Ok more than a bit...

The conundrum of not writing something cliched but with endeavour to strike a chord with you the observer… (coming from a background of advertising I feel I should disclose I am trying to sell you something… (look into my eyes.. look into my eyes). However I can see this amazing community as being profoundly more noble than that!)

I am motivated by experience and memory from the smallest nuance, a fleeting headline or random chaos.

My artistic background began with finger painting and soon evolved to coloured pencils and textas (Oh yea the thrill of that rainbow palette in the plastic wallet on Christmas morning and trying not to use the red one too much or get it smudged with the black or green one). I was given an old set of oil paints at the age of 7 and began my impressionist phase on maisonite offcuts prepared by my beloved father…

High school saw me finding ‘art’ class the only good reason to endure and the only subject I could be bothered doing homework until all hours of the night.

My education continued at the North Adelaide School of Art although I confess to sometimes (ok often) skipping life drawing classes to play 8ball and drink beer at the Kentish Arms (Simon Catford and David Breakey culprits in crime)… I eventually appreciated the wonderful world of typogography and just the passion of creativity albeit with the aim of creating ‘advertising’.

Photography became an awakening, a fiscal vacuum of perpetual poverty… After a few baptisms of fire in graphic design studios and ‘freelancing’ I had the privilege of working for Mr Bernie Van Elsen. Aside from detailing his pagoda roof Mercedes every Friday afternoon and printing several hundred black and white prints in a session, Bernie allowed me into the inner sanctum of large format in camera multiple exposures.

This was in the era of ‘photoshop’ being the corner store you dropped off your roll of film or as a professional the mysterious lab you would give instructions of push or pull and ponder with muttering over a lightbox freaking out if there were scratch marks or other defects on your precious emulsion.The days of preparation in studio or lugging a truck load of flats, 50 yards of black theatrical velvet and 2K lights on location … The yelling, the screaming, adrenalin, all eyes poised for the ‘sweet light’, frantic loading of the sacred Sinar, cocking the shutter in 1/3 stop increments and the group relief of Bernie announcing ‘thats a wrap’. The gathering like a fellowship around the lightbox with all waiting their turn with the loupe scanning every piece of grain structure, the debate of which was the best bracket… no thought of being paid overtime, no thought of the perils of the dark room and witches brews mixed within… I hold cibachrome chemicals responsible in part for my distinguished grey highlights.

With a tinge of regret I took what I had learned and focused back into design and branding particularly with the advent of the internet into consumer culture.

Now I will jump to the present… RELIEVED aren’t you!

I stumbled upon Redbubble and feel inspired by the sense of community, support, creativity and look forward to every tomorrow in what I am yet to create.

If you made it this far… thankyou.

Peter Culley.
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Journal Comments

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