The Other Art Fair, presented by Saatchi Art, is the leading artist fair for art lovers and collectors to meet and buy direct from the very best emerging and undiscovered artists - who may go on to become the next big thing!
The Other Art Fair began in London in 2012 and since then has expanded to other cities around the world including Bristol, Sydney, and New York. This year will see the very first Melbourne edition of the fair, and the 100 best emerging artists featuring in the exhibition were selected by a panel that included acclaimed artists Patricia Piccinini & Kathy Temin, Mossgreen Gallery director Lisa Fehily, and ACCA curator Annika Kristensen.
To celebrate Melbourne's innaugral The Other Art Fair, we joined our pals at Melbourne Arts Club & sat down with photographer J Forsyth, one of the artists featuring at The Other Art Fair, to ask her some questions about her work.
Where do you make your art, and how long is the process for you? Is it a slow burn and you find yourself working on pieces over a long period of time, or when inspiration strikes, it's all done and dusted relatively quickly?
I take my photographs during the daily travels of life. I find I need to take photos of something that catches my eye straight away because when you return it always looks different. I am not super organised with getting film developed so sometimes it's months or even years before I see the shot again. So in that sense it can be a real slow burn. It all depends on mood; mood changes what you see and I can’t force it, if I don’t get an instant feeling for something, I don’t want to waste my time. I find when I try too hard to force it, I feel really uneasy when I get the film back because that forced feeling I was experiencing when I took the photo returns.
How does living and working in Melbourne influence your work?
When I was in high school, I grew up on the Mornington Peninsula which is not really my kind of place for photography. I used to take the train into the city and walk around most weekends to shoot the building and city life on black and white film. Once I finished school I spent six of the next twelve years travelling, and the feeling of the new, of exploring and adventure... the excitement created by those feelings is what fueled my work.
But now I have returned to Melbourne, I find the changing landscape of Melbourne’s inner suburb streets captures enough of my attention. But when I do leave Melbourne on a road trip or whatever, I take a lot more photos, not missing the opportunity to shoot the buildings and spaces I pass, knowing you can’t go back to that place in that moment.
Who or what do you turn to for inspiration on days when creativity just isn’t flowing?
I’ve learned to just leave it alone. I work commercially as a photographer and that can take all your creativity at times, and when you’re getting paid you do have to force it so with my creative work, if I am not feeling it? I'll just wait until I am.
What is your favourite piece of work of yours and why?
At the moment it’s a tie between Farm House and The Commission Flats. Both taken on cheap point and shoots, and both only 1 frame.
I took the Farm House shot before a friends wedding. The simplicity of the chair and the light caught my eye and the combination makes me feel really calm and emotional at the same time.
The Commission Flats was taken on my way to work on a sunny summer morning. I love the commission flats around Melbourne, I think they are truly beautiful. On this particular morning, the sun was beaming down and the contrast of the blue sky and green field made me feel excited about the future of our city and hopeful for the world. I get to experience the feeling I felt that morning every time I look at the photo.
You can read the full interview with J Forsyth over at Melbourne Arts Club.
The very first The Other Art Fair Melbourne opens this Thursday 4th May and runs until Sunday 7th May, and will be held at The Facility - 2R Chelmsford St, Kensington. Find out more at the official website below!