Inspiring photographer, journalist and Svaneti guest house owner Tony Hanmer is to have 16 of his photographs featured in a group exhibition titled “Rust,” which opens on Saturday 30 September, 7pm, at The Exchange Gallery (address below).
Tony says: “My first show in over a decade. Delighted to be back exhibiting, with strange new worlds on view and more to come!”
Alongside Tony’s photos, the exhibition will also feature textiles and paintings by Nika Khabelashvili and Iru Meladze, all under the umbrella of one theme: Rust, from Corrosion to Beauty.
Tony has been sharing his most recent photography journey with us through his weekly blogs for GEORGIA TODAY. He has a unique eye for details, seeing in the most mundane objects, play of light and shadow, and simple landscapes, dragons, dancers, animals, people and outworldly forms, from which he weaves stories and legends.
This year he became enamored with rust. It started with a February visit to a steel materials stockyard in the city, on the edge of Tbilisi’s Eliava Bazaar. At the time, Tony wrote: “We had looked around to find one which wasn’t roofed, demonstrating a certain divergence in the steel sellers’ and my own preferences: They want to minimize rust on their product (forming as a result of rain and snow), whereas I want to photograph the rust and am not interested without it. We found what we were looking for, and then returned so they could video me taking my shots, part of a documentary film they are making of me as an artist.”
“Because I can find beauty everywhere, it was not hard to be delighted. The alien worlds and freakish landscapes were sights I have never seen before, just lying out there in the open for anyone who will (or can) notice and be dazzled,” he said.
He took these captured images home to process on his computer, increasing the saturation and contrast, “making them pop,” and converting some into black and white.
He returned to the steel yard again in June.
“I first looked at the topmost sheets of new steel wherever I could find them: it had been a few months ago that I was last here with my film crew, so I could reasonable expect some sales to have revealed at least one new layer on each pile. In this I was not disappointed. The color ranges and literally unimaginable forms lay spread out around me, and I started shooting, simply using my camera’s 18-55mm kit lens,” he wrote after the experience. “It’s really just a matter of composing a scene in the rectangle of the viewfinder, eschewing formal centered-subject balance for something more interestingly off-center. Although all of what I’m seeing is abstract, it either suggests something concrete or represents a purely alien scene, which suits me fine.”
“I’m not out to document reality but to find or make beauty everywhere I go,” he tells us. “Even something as entropic, mundane and undesired as corrosion from moisture on ferric surfaces can be transformed into little planes of existence which sparkle with imagination.”
Be sure to go and see his works at the enchanting exhibition on display throughout the month of October – it is guaranteed to open your eyes to something new and unexpected.
The Exchange 109 Aghmashenebeli Avenue, Floor 2, Tbilisi Gallery open Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 7pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.