Monthly Archives: March 2013

Timor-Leste: Moving forward, looking back exhibition coming soon!

My exhibition Timor-Leste: Moving forward looking back will be opening 3pm on Sunday May 19th at Art Est. Art Gallery and School in Leichhardt.

The exhibition at Art Est. Art Gallery and School in Leichhardt, in association with the Head On Photo Festival, will feature two series: the first is Coffee: From Tree to Cup, a digital photography study of the long and labour intensive process of coffee farming. The black and white medium format images of the second series, titled Timor Remember, have been framed as single images and in triptychs, encouraging the viewer to consider the development of the country and its architecture, history and culture.

Please download the flyer below for more details, looking forward to seeing you all there!



Timor-Leste: Moving forward, looking back exhibition flyer

Timor-Leste: Moving forward, looking back exhibition flyer

Thinking outside the square (literally)


Conor Ashleigh © 2013 All rights reserved. Triptych 'enslaved markadu'

Conor Ashleigh © 2013 All rights reserved. Triptych 'enslaved markadu' as part of the Timor tolu series.

Preparing for my upcoming solo exhibition Timor-Leste: Moving forward, looking back has prompted me to think outside the box.

When Chris reached out to me to discuss curating a show of my work from Timor-Leste I was deeply humbled, but also unsure what to expect. As a freelance photographer I meet and work with a varying range of clients, despite this, working directly with a curator on a solo exhibition of my work is uncharted territory.

Timor-Leste is a country I have taken particular interest in as a human and a photographer. Since my first visit to the small island nation in 2005 I have watched from a distance as the nation has trundled along the path of independence. Timor-Leste has had its moments no doubt, namely the 2006 crisis which surfaced ongoing tensions. Overall however I do believe its fair to say that since independence, the democratically elected governments (supported by the United Nations missions as well as other humanitarian organisations) have sought to find responses to the needs and overcome the challenges many Timorese still face.

Working through the work.

Working through the work.

Over recent trips to Timor-Leste I have taken time out from my usual work shooting with digital cameras and colour in mind, to use a medium format camera with black & white film. I have adopted this materials in an attempt to more subtly explore the people, landscapes and urban spaces that feature in my upcoming exhibition. It was in South Sudan in 2011 that I previously used medium format black & white film to produce work I was really proud of. The triptychs that I created in South Sudan (such as that featured below) are a result of an error of the camera not winding on film correctly. This error however became one of the most beautiful mistakes I have ever seen and the following triptychs were created. These large scale (160cm wide) mounted prints were exhibited as part of my solo exhibition Our World Unseen in 2012.

Photo- Conor Ashleigh © 2011 All rights reserved. A photograph from a triptych series from South Sudan.

Photo- Conor Ashleigh © 2011 All rights reserved. A photograph from a triptych series from South Sudan.


Working with Chris through a large edit of the photographs we were both drawn to certain pictures and in individual sequences. I have found that part of the beauty of editing work with another person is the value of perspective. For my work I have regularly been the only person involved in the entire process from shooting to exhibiting. I have no doubt this can narrow my ability to see the work with a fresh perspective and also challenge the overall concept and message. Working with someone else during sequencing is now what I believe to be the most valuable part of this entire process, a poor edit can limit the entire scope of a body of work, how its understood, interpreted and eventually valued.

Timor tolu is the title of the series which will include a series of 10 triptychs and 4 single pictures. Timor tolu is one of two series that will make up my solo exhibition at Art Est Gallery opening on May 19th as part of Head On Photo Festival.