The impact of the pandemic continues to affect many people around the world. Here in Australia, the states of Victoria and New South Wales are currently under lockdown/stay at home orders, to minimise spread of the delta variant, while vaccines are rolled out.
This coincides with the weather stating to improve, as spring approaches. I was hoping to catching up with some friends in the near future to go on a Toy Photo Safari. We were looking forward to taking our LEGO Minifigures and other action figures out into the wild, getting our cameras down to their level, and taking a few pictures. The restrictions currently in place for Victoria and New South Wales are likely to put a hold on those plans for the next couple of months.
The limitations of the current situation came up in a chat with some friends in South Australia, who recently cancelled their real world Brickstameet due to a short local lockdown. And so we have decided not to wait, and take the meetup online.
This weekend, The Rambling Brick, and South Australia’s Brickstameet team are looking forward to working together to host ‘Snap!’ a virtual toy photo safari.
Instagram is full of people taking photographs. Some of them take photos of LEGO Minifigures. Some of the most intriguing of these involve the juxtaposition of LEGO Minifigures with the surrounding environment. Indeed, you can find groups meeting with their Minifigures in the great outdoors spending their time together capturing images and discussing techniques.
But should images be confined to a camera? Or indeed a phone? How often do you actually generate some prints from your Instagram stream?
Brett Wilson, (@Brett_Wilson on Instagram, and part of the arts collective ‘100% Stuck in Plastic’) has taken his legography to the next level. Last weekend, I had the opportunity of attending the opening of ‘a BC of Bricks’ at the A Gallery in Preston, located in Melbourne’s northern suburbs . Wilson has taken some of his favourite Legography works, put them onto paper, and on display. This show is a collaboration between Brett Wilson and Christoffer Östberg from Sweden. Brett has discussed his journey to the exhibition on the Stuck in Plastic Blog, and it makes for an interesting read.
Simply presented, with the aid of pushpins into the wall, the displayed images take on a new life: Their subjects bursting out in the larger format than traditionally allowed by an Instagram stream on a smartphone screen. The juxtaposition of a minifigure into the natural environment is intrinsically strange. The precise shapes and surfaces of LEGO pieces contrast with the fractal nature of the environment, and produce a dissonance that at once both amuses and disturbs one’s soul!
In bringing his pictures up to size however, the technical limitations of telephone driven photography became apparent, and several images were reshot with an SLR. One of these, entitled ‘Walkies’ shows a Gamorrean Guard taking the Rancor from Jabba the Hutt’s basement dungeon for a walk along the beach, just as the sun is rising in the background. The show combined serious, thoughtful images such as this with humorous delights, such as the wheelbarrow race between the Gamorreans and the Tusken Raiders, and the despair of the zombie sailor, still lost at sea. The stories behind these pictures almost write themselves.
On the opposite wall, Östberg’s work particularly on light and shadow, as well as a great variety of photographic techniques. Featuring predominantly Superheroes and Star Wars Minifigures and Vehicles, some images are intriguing. These include the AT-AT struggling though a river, and the stormtrooper covered in bubbles. Others provoke thought on what lies beneath the helmet that’s been captured through the macro lens. There is a lot of interplay between shadow and light, and I find Östberg’s images are of a very different style to Wilson’s.
It is a small, thought provoking exhibition, in an inviting space. The two displays are separated by a table covered in LEGO bricks, to allow your personal creativity to express itself while If legography is an art form that interests you, there is inspiration to be gained from seeing these images hanging on the wall, rather than just looking at a photo stream on your mobile device. It would be remiss of me not to mention that there are limited prints of all images displayed available for purchase.
If you wish to meet up with others interested in this type of photography, look for a #brickstameet near you. Details for a forthcoming #brickstameets can be found at brickstameet.com.
‘a BC of Bricks’ is on display at the ‘A Gallery in Preston’, 2016 Tyler St Preston. Open 4-7pm Wednesday, Friday and Sunday through to the 23rd of October, 2016.