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photograph a sure thing for ciemitis
Andrei Buters | January 24, 2009. The Perth Voice


Ellis House, Bayswater, isn’t usually the location for memorable contemporary photography but a breakthrough solo exhibition, the lowest ebb is the turn of the tide, from local visual artist and photographer Jillian Ciemitis is changing that.

“It represents the ebbs and flows of our lives”, Ciemitis says.

“We’ve got ups and downs and this is emotive work. When you get to the bottom, that can often be where things start happening.

“Its a metaphor for life.”

Ciemitis focuses on the emotive physical characteristics of four Perth luminaries: Jazz musicians Troy Roberts and Matt Taylor and visual artists Vicki Chisari and Kevin McCabe.

The work is reminiscent of a contemporary Decarava – one of Ciemitis’s influences

“Roy Decarava, he was an old ‘50’s jazz portrait photographer, it’s all very  dark and moody and jazy.

“He was an African-American photographer and everything he did was just wonderful.I’m a great fan of his work.

“I think [jazz musicians are] great to work with because they’re used to performance – they’re used to that role. Because I want to get behind the surface, to see something from a deeper level they were all very good at doing that.

All subjects personal friends and her work with Roberts won the Adachi Sister City City Exchange award and the first prize in the City of Belmont’s photographic awards.

“The studio is my favoured area, it’s like a blank canvas for me. When I go in, it’s a very intimate space and I love the way things can come together.

“It gives you the chance to look at it as an artist ... I love to just observe.”

Tide will run through to February 8 at Ellis House, 116 Milne Street Bayswater.

Ellis House is open Thursdays to Sundays from 10-5pm.

Reproduced by permission

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