As the handmade stands are firmly holding their place in the manicured lawns of the attractive Wat Damnak (pagoda) eagerly anticipating to bear our works of art as of tomorrow for a month I am scratching my imaginary beard and reflecting on photography and motivation in general.
“Beyond Borders” will showcase the work of five artists from five different countries and their view on the world, what they see, how they see it and how they choose to interpret it through their eye and lens. It is a great mixture of photography styles, different stories and takes on what is happening around us, near or far.
Taking off in Cambodia over the flooded plains around the Great Tonle Sap (Kimleng Sang) the viewers will travel above the subcontinent and witness the first light on sacred mountains and over breathtaking valleys of India and Sri Lanka (Holly Barber), touching ground in the sand blizzard of Western Sahara and learning of the fate of the inhabitants of the refugee camps there (Stephane De Greef). We will then move on to Europe and breathe the fresh summer air and walk on damp forest carpet made of moss (my part) and finally be touched by the hands of humanity (Valentina Chiodi).
Having ones work shown – on large prints – is a great kick, especially when all goes to plan. With great help of others and well co-ordinated team of our own we have made it (I dare say) to the deadline with only a couple of stumbles along the way but that was expected.
The main aim of this pilot exercise is to make photography more accessible to the general (Cambodian) public and try and peel off the “label of seriousness”. It can be fun. Photography SHOULD be fun. Everyday is a school day and we learn as we go. I always hated the term “serious photographer”…. What does it mean? Does it mean that the person with the camera frowns all the time? No need for that. It’s meant to be fun and without much attitude and ego the connection between you and your subject shows, there is no denying that.
When photography is not just a hobby but also a job, motivation is important. I am proud to announce that I have joined the ever growing colourful community of the Fifty-Two Frames where weekly challenges are keeping participants on their artistic toes. I love it. Having tried this myself and failed due to lack of self-discipline, I am grateful that the machinery will force me to perform. If not, I am obliged to give Yosef one million dollars… hmmm only joking! Watch this space!
So, let it be a great year – many stunning images are waiting for us just around the corner!
Below are sample images from the upcoming exhibition at Center for Khmer Studies at Wat Damnak, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
anna bella betts
Never still, always on the move, looking for the perfect capture... Cambodia is currently my home, presenting endless opportunities....
In this blog you will find no profound wisdom.
Just accounts of daily life, sometimes about photography, often about wine, occasionally about travel adventures and sometimes about nothing at all.