Eddie James, Highly Commended 2023 GradFoto
The Ballarat International Foto Biennale presents the GradFoto 2023 exhibition, showcasing twenty-one finalists from ten universities across Australia and for the first time, New Zealand. This award celebrates the artistic excellence of graduating students, open to emerging contemporary artists and graduating students from selected Australian institutions whose artistic practice uses photography as its primary medium.
Three Highly Commended entries were awarded for their work.
Eddie James for their series Sedimentary Equilibrium, 2023. International judge Virginia Woods-Jack said, ‘It is exciting to see cross-disciplinary endeavours executed so well. You are challenging viewers’ perceptions of the photographic medium whilst asking them to reflect on their role as stewards of the planet in a resolved manner. Congratulations, and I look forward to following along with your practice.’
About the series
Sedimentary Equilibrium delves into the intricate relationship between humanity and the environment, particularly through the exploration of quarrying and mining. The project employs diverse mediums—large format photography, Polaroid, installation, and performance—to unravel the emotional and metaphysical impacts of excavated spaces. It seeks to expose the simultaneous exploitation and sustenance derived from the Earth, challenging viewers to reflect on resource-taking and recognize the interconnectedness of human welfare and planetary health.
This cross-disciplinary endeavor aims for an immersive experience, moving beyond surface observations to offer a more personal understanding of the consequences of human actions. By examining quarries and mining sites in Tasmania, the project contextualizes the global impact of excavation on landscapes, cities, and the human psyche. Through installation, Sedimentary Equilibrium aims to convey themes of connection and disconnection, crafting a narrative that brings the impact of human interactions with these spaces to life.
The project’s significance lies in its potential to stimulate critical reflections on our role as stewards of the planet. Sedimentary Equilibrium challenges viewers to explore the voids created by extraction, encouraging a dialogue that extends beyond the exhibition space. Ultimately, it invites contemplation of the unseen, sensed, and felt aspects of our relationship with the Earth, urging us to summon the equilibrium necessary for a conscious understanding of our interdependence.