A documentary about award-winning photographer Trent Parke will explore how the South Australian-based Parke became one of the nation’s most exciting and respected photographers.
Directed by journalist, filmmaker and producer Catherine Hunter, the director hopes the film (Trent Parke: The Black Rose) will provide a lasting record of what she believes is a significant exhibition. “The complexity of the work and the installation meant that it was unlikely the exhibition would travel to other venues,” she says of Parke’s exhibition The Black Rose, which is currently on show at the Art Gallery of South Australia until May 10. “Trent Parke’s series are always years in the making and The Black Rose exhibition is no exception being the culmination of seven years work. “Starting to film a year before the exhibition opened allowed us to observe him as he was still resolving how to make an exhibition from a body of work that included 14 books and thousands of photographs,” she says. Working with Parke, who was born in Australia and strives to create work that reflects the Australian way of life, Hunter says he is constantly learning and searching for answers when creating. “Working with Trent pushes you in every direction, and he is constantly searching for answers through his photography and the photograph is only part of the story,” she says “It is never about making a work of art but rather pursuing an investigation. “Our film had to reflect that process rather than having a preconceived idea of how the film would evolve.” Birthing his career as a photojournalist, Parke learned to appreciate the fast paced environment of sports photography; winning several awards from the International Olympic Committee and World Press Photo Awards in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2005. Moving on to freelancer work, Parke travelled more than 90,000km around Australia to capture the stillness and oddities of life in the outback. Renowned for his creativity and innovative thinking, Parke is the first and only Australian to become a full member of the Magnum Photo Agency. Featuring interviews with Parke’s wife Narelle Autio and Art Gallery of South Australia director Nick Mitzevich, The Black Rose provides an in-depth glimpse into the life of Trent Parke. Trent Parke: The Black Rose premieres on ABC1 on Tuesday, April 21 at 10pm.