Cowboy Kate & Sam Haskins

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Mick Fagan, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    In todays Age and presumably the Sydney Morning Herald, there was an article about Sam Haskins having a retrospective, showing images taken over the past five decades.

    Sam Haskins: Portraits and other stories is at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, from Friday Dec the 8th. until April 2007.

    I didn't know we had a National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, another good use of our taxes at work.

    Anyone in the area heard about this, or thinking of going?

    I'm possibly thinking of dropping in to Canberra, to tour the National Gallery, plus the National Portrait Gallery, if in fact it's a different one, over the summer holidays.

    It would be nice to know, if it's worth seeing this Sam Haskins stuff! Otherwise I'll stay in the Snowy Mountains taking pictures.

    Apparently Don Burrows will be launching Sam's latest book: Cowboy Kate & Other Stories: Directors Cut, on Friday the 8th of December.

    Sam now lives in Bowral, wonder of wonders, I knew he had left England, but thought he had gone back to his native South Africa to retire, he must be somewhere around 80 years of age these days.

    Mick.
     
  2. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    To help you decide:
    http://www.haskins.com
    He has a somewhat original view of the female nude, but I don't know if I'd travel a great distance to see an exhibition. "Cowboy Kate" was one of his first books, I think from the 1960s.

    Regards,

    David
     
  3. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    Mick,
    The national portrait gallery is in the old parliament house and there is an "annexe" down by the lake directly below it. The national gallery is different again. I generally make the trip if I think it's worth a look. I think the last visit was for Lewis Morley last year or was it 2004!? Not familiar with Sam's work but I'll check the reviews and give it some thought.
    Tony
     
  4. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    David, thanks for the link. Yes a somewhat original view of the nude. Canberra wouldn't be too far out of our way, however I generally go there only if there is a reason, that could've been a reason, not so sure now.

    Tony, The old parliament house should be a good setting for many things, infinitely better looking than the new house on the hill.

    Mick.
     
  5. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    I'm a great fan of Sam Haskins' B&W work.
    In fact it was a chance encounter with Cowboy Kate in the early 60's that switched me onto photography.
    I was browsing through a book shop looking at books I couldn't afford as an impecunious medical student, when I picked up this B&W book of grainy graphic images - highlights bleeding out into white nothingness, shadows melting into solid blacks, asymmetrical compositions - wow. I hadn't seen images like it before (early 60's - it was cutting edge stuff) and had never thought of photography as expressive art (I used to draw/sketch in B&W as my art).
    Within a few weeks I had found a communal darkroom and was teaching myself how to print. That was it.
    I have several of his books - I love 'African images' too. Great sense of place and design, and terrific use of grain. Similar techniques to 'Kate', not afraid to do the 'undoable' and step outside convention.
    His colour work is very skilled and visionary too - years before Phoroshop remember, this is over 40 years ago. But the B&W is what works for me.

    His website talks of his slide lectures. I went to one about 30 years ago and it was a blast.
    Tim

    PS. where is Bowral?
     
  6. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Interesting information, Tim. Now I'm leaning towards having a look at this exhibition.

    Bowral is IIRC, in the highlands south of Sydney, sort of towards Canberra.

    Basically it is more famous as the place where Don Bradman grew up and learnt to play cricket in. Most people viewing this outside of cricket nations won't know the significance of this. The Bradman Museum is in Bowral as well.

    Mick.
     
  7. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    For what it is worth Mick, I think his work looks much better on paper and large, than on the website. The grain and tonality (or lack of) come over better.
    Tim