Man & Vauxhall Victor a Portrait of Ian Bunzli

An osmotic process occurs as the portrait evolves and is distilled and imbued with a humanity and surreal majesty…

In 2002 I set up our studio in East Brisbane and began working across the road from the house where Ian Bunzli parked his 1962 Vauxhall Victor. The car had been in the family since new, Ian’s dad bought it and later Ian became custodian. For about four years Ian and myself would exchange a quick greeting on the street and every now and then catch up for a roadside chat. For a long time I’d thought of photographing Ian with his Vauxhall Victor, but always was too busy, and the timing never seemed right. It took a nervous Ian to setup the photo shoot, he approached me and it turned out we’d both been thinking the same thing for quite some time.

Most of my work is never what it appears. The building in the background was my studio at the time, in the image the building was replaced with an earlier version of itself when it was new, about 100 years ago. All of the instruments were shot separately then styled to bind the portrait of man and car together. I’ve never been one for heavy handed vignettes blackening the edges of images, here the vignetting is subtle and introduced through selective backgrounds and the car interior, all via cutting and pasting. For example the rear seat was made larger and the trees behind had some extra foliage added.

Here’s a quote from a press release when the image was first launched. An osmotic process occurs as the portrait evolves and is distilled and imbued with a humanity and surreal majesty that anyone can empathise with. Later, some close to Ian were amused at how the distilling and imbuing of Ian might have occurred – “distilled and imbued …. with a surreal majesty”.

The image was published in the limited edition art book by Ivory Press titled Horizons in 2008. A book about travel. Man & Vauxhall Victor a Portrait of Ian Bunzli is the first image to illustrate the section titled The journey, with an accompanying essay by Alvaro Mutis. In his essay Mutis writes about a train, lovers, bluebirds, the demise of the train and it’s subsequent decay. All reminiscent of the effects time have taken on the family owned and loved Vauxhall with a special place in the heart and mind of the Man and Vauxhall Victor himself, Ian Bunzli.

John Whip the cyclist is another Brisbane identity, you might enjoy reading about his life on the bike at Velo Aficionado


Retirement Bliss 2007

Retirement Bliss

Retirement Bliss was included in the finalist exhibition for the Moran Art prize in 2008. “This image was shot with the camera resting on the 1970′s high pile carpet, the low wide angle serves to highlight the sparsely furnished room. I spent two days with this couple, so by the time I took this shot, I was rewarded with the wry smile and the old man and his shadow had forgotten I was there. Proud and happy, after a lifetime of hard work and devotion to family, this image tells a story repeated throughout Australia.”

Shot in Inverell northern New South Wales, February 2007.

Defiant Survivor

PORTRAITS

  A cancer survivor, these near death experiences on the sea seemed to be all part of the plan. Keith arrived on my doorstep with stories of near death at sea, exposed to the elements in giant storms when no one else was sailing. Cashing in and setting himself up for the lifelong dream of [...]

Read The Full Article

Haroldton Faux New England Landscape

LANDSCAPE

The “Haroldton effect” is so complete it’s as if you’ve been transported to a far flung corner of England. The Australian landscape transformed into a faux European scene. When shooting  this series of New England landscapes I deliberately chose  locations and views which obscured the Australian bush. This was easily achieved at Kelly Plains adjacent [...]

Read The Full Article

Founders Creek

LANDSCAPE

The creek is not forgotten, stories abound of lost souls, ghosts and murder. “Founders Creek” could easily be called the creek with no name. I’ve conducted a poll of local residents and no one seems to know  if the creek running through their town has a name. Yet the creek is not forgotten, stories abound [...]

Read The Full Article

Edwards Lane

LANDSCAPE

Bald knob is the nearest recognisable landmark on the road which leads to Dangars Falls, if you weren’t looking for it you’d barely notice the tree lined corner. Silver birch, pine, and hawthorn at the intersection of Dangarsleigh Road and Edwards Lane. In the 1960′s and 1970′s I used to visit the house across the [...]

Read The Full Article

Platform Road

LANDSCAPE

The plant that is universally used for thorn hedges is the white thorn, hawthorn, or may-thorn (Crataegus Oxyacantha). There are three varieties of it. “This plant, branching out into innumerable ramifications, and armed in all directions with strong thorns…” The Platform Road corrugations are unrelenting along the graded dusty dirt road linking the New England [...]

Read The Full Article

The Boxer

PORTRAITS

The Boxer is the focus of a simulated reality where the Boxer represents the “everyman”. In the early nineties I’d traveled to Birdsville with fellow photographers studying at the Queensland College of Art, for the annual Birdsville races. Jimmy Sharman’s Boxing Tent took up a commanding position adjacent to the Birdsville Hotel. Ever since that [...]

Read The Full Article

The Oxley

LANDSCAPE

The Hipstamatic images didn’t excite me when viewed individually, yet put them together as a disjointed long thin view of the Gostwyck creek bed and the never ending view appeared. The Oxley highway in New South Wales between Walcha and Wauchope is a narrow strip of bitumen which attracts motorcyclists like moths to a flame. [...]

Read The Full Article