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BSG Artist Profile: Taylor Parham

Taylor Parham. Image courtesy of the artist.


Taylor Parham notices the little things. Perfectly capturing the atmosphere of empty urban spaces growing quieter as the end of shifts roll around, Parham's photos invite the audience to consider more closely the world around us and what happens in those unappreciated moments while we sleep.


What medium(s) do you work with, and why have you chosen them? 

I work with photography, mostly digital but transitioning into some more film of late. I’ve had an interest in photography since high school as my father has been a photographer in some capacity all his life. As someone who feels creative but is unable to put that creativity into a painting or a sculpture or whatever, I found photography and using a camera to be the ideal medium.


Can you elaborate a little more on your making process — how does your artwork get from initial concept to exhibition stage?

My initial concept is a simple one, photographing a familiar location at an unfamiliar time, and as such my process of making is equally as simple. Throughout the day I’ll often stumble across a building or a location in my travels which might have potential, I’ll make a note, scout around a little and make time to revisit it outside of ‘normal’ hours. From there it’s just a matter of taking the time to photograph and get things right on location. I don’t want to spend a lot of time processing the photos; I want to document the building as is so the less I need to do in post the better. The part of the process I find most enjoyable is working slowly and methodically on location to get the shot, not sitting at the computer adjusting sliders.


Who or what are the biggest influences to your work?

My influences vary quite a bit, it’s far from photographers who influence and inspire my own work. The paintings of Jeffrey Smart are one of my biggest influences. Photographers like Mark Kimber who I’m lucky enough to be a student of have influenced this body of work in particular. Plenty of films and cinematographers, too many to list, but the composition, perspective, lighting, all that achieves the creative visuals and feel influence my process. But beyond who my influences are the urban environment itself will always be my biggest influence, I’m encouraged any time I find a new location and immediately excited about the possibility of photographing it.


How does where you grew up, or where you live now affect your art? 

I document ordinary locations in and around Adelaide and so where I live affects my art directly. Adelaide has always been my home and so there will permanently be a connection attached to the city and suburbs. I observe firsthand the change in the city, from new apartment blocks and connecting highways to smaller more temporary changes like a billboard left free of adverts or lights left on overnight at a basketball court, the city provides me all I could want or need to photograph, I just need to find it.


'1.12am', Taylor Parham, 60x90cm


What’s next for you after your time at Brunswick Street Gallery? What upcoming projects are you working on now? 

I return to University to do begin a Masters in Contemporary Art. While I continue to work on documenting the city at night I’m looking forward to pursuing a few new ideas for future bodies of work. I am also very excited to undertake a Helpmann Academy Mentorship with a very talented photographer Alex Frayne throughout the first half of the year, which will afford me the opportunity to learn from someone I admire and provide another avenue to create work that might be out of my comfort zone.


am/pm by Taylor Parham runs until 5 March 2019.


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