The Black Diamond Gallery, which forms part of the Port Community Arts Centre, is riding a new wave of optimism, as hipsters gravitate towards the opportunities offered by historic Port Adelaide.
With the revitalisation of the nearby Port Admiral Hotel, there is ample justification for making a day trip to Black Diamond’s exhibition, Synthesis, this month.
Synthesis will feature exhibits by community artists from various visual art disciplines, including mixed media artist Kaz Pedersen and photographer Murray White. Kaz, who works in hot glass, pottery and painting says her “passion is for engaging with the community and sharing [her] knowledge and techniques for their benefit”.
Similarly, Murray, an internationally published photographic journalist whose work features on the promotional material for the exhibition, built a career on his fascination with community.
“My bread and butter was shooting what I guess you would call socio-political stuff, where you are looking at society and the effect of politics on it – the way people live. I was mostly based out of Hong Kong for that.”
His curiosity compelled him to investigate and document some of the most extreme, oppressive and dangerous societies, such as Burma and North Korea.
“The harder it was to get into a country, the more I liked it because what you came out with was rarer material.”
His photo, Hiroshima Number One, is reflective of both his long affiliation with Asia and his interest in the consequences of war, ideology, and foreign policy.
“I shot that image in Japan, in the '80s actually, and as you can see it’s almost ghostly, it’s quite impressionistic.”
“I did a series of photos that I created to show how things might have been as the bomb exploded or straight after; it’s a bit of a downer, I guess. So these guys are meant to be like ghosts or wandering souls or maybe survivors wandering through the city looking for family or friends.”
Behind every work on display at Synthesis, there will inevitably be a story, a history, a hidden journey of artistic and personal discovery. Through the art of the community, by seeing through the eyes of others, we can begin to understand the diversity of perception, the subjectiveness of our shared universe.