Sustaining a singular aesthetic over the course of 20 years, Don Cameron's series ‘Communion’ observes, selects, interprets and expands the photographic medium to the boundary of sculpture. Through the prism of architecture for memory, sacred structures and primitive survival machines; these three categories of opposite objects have been researched, photographed and curated together—their meanings blurred through framing and obfuscation. Composed like totems sited on the littoral between land, sea and sky–Cameron has rendered these modern architectural relics as pure sculpture in desolate landscapes, isolated from the present; dislocated from the past.
I wanted to geographically encounter the journey to these remote and far flung places to experience the sensation of entering into a form of communion with these mysterious concrete forms, and crystallize these emotions as image.
At face value the series becomes an autobiographical ritual that describes an alternate travelogue–an action impossible to undertake in the current climate. Moving beyond objective documentation, Cameron uses photography as an artistic and poetic medium to obscure the function and expose the character of each building and explore the similar mental states they encourage—that of protection, salvation and deliverance.
The series seeks to convey the feeling of being alone in the world–confronting something mysterious that asks more questions than it provides answers. A mise en scène that exists in subject and setting–that conveys something eternal.
The viewer is compelled to experience the aesthetic–the form, mass and texture of these eroded yet enduring structures. Black and white photography graphically etches the buildings against cloudless skies without sentimentality. Cameron transcribes the image as object by controlling all aspects of the finished works–including the design of 3 frame profiles in bronze patinated brass that symbolically tacit each buildings intended function in a coded way.
The decision to present the prints un-glazed avoids reflection to amplify immediacy, enabling the viewer to engage directly with the subject as though standing before it.
Presenting that which we’ve never seen or experienced but somehow recognize, the series evokes the sensations felt when confronting these elusive structures and crystallizes this emotion as object. These extraordinary works provide fascinating and rare insight into the private obsessions and concerns of Australian director and designer Don Cameron in his first art exhibition.