Working with an 80-year-old box brownie camera, Alice Blanch is fascinated with how light and film work together to capture landscape and the environment. “I am attracted to the chemical reactions that take place and the serendipitous nature of working with film,” she says. “Each camera has a different personality, I really like that unknown element.”
Blanch has recently installed an exhibition at Burra Regional Gallery to accompany the touring exhibition Ray of Light by Sydney-based photographer Robyn Stacey. Blanch’s work titled A Shifting Stillness was created during a 2017 residency in New Zealand, a period of time which allowed Blanch to connect with the natural environment.
She comments, “I will go on a residency for 2 or 3 months and do a lot of walking. I go to the same place over and over to find a feeling from the landscape, the weather, the clouds and the wind.” She is fascinated by the layers of human intervention into the landscape and undertakes research into the First Nations and European history of a place.
This desire to capture the layers and presence of a place is inspiring her to expand in to other mediums. “My practice is changing,” she says. “I’m moving towards image and sound, making sound recordings, poetry and sculptural works.” Blanch has a strong desire to immerse the viewer of her work within the landscape, seeking to create a stronger and more visceral sense of connection with nature.
At the same time as she explores new directions, Blanch is maintaining a busy exhibition schedule of her photography in 2020. In addition to the show in Burra, her series Gentle A Path is showing at the UniSA Yungondi Building in an exhibition presented by Guildhouse and in September she will show new work at Praxis Artspace in Bowden. Blanch is driven to capture the feel and the mood of a place saying, “There is an element of peace and calm in the work.” In developing the mood of an exhibition she says, “I aim to create a space where people not only enter a gallery, but they cross a threshold.”