New Australian Plants and Animals is a body of work that examines the experience and position of non-indigenous Australians of multiple generations on the migrant-indigenous axis. The work consists of photographs made using a hand-built camera one metre long with a lens borrowed from a pair of reading glasses. The use of a single element lens creates an aesthetic similar to what is experienced in the human eye.
By isolating the ocular part of vision, the work looks at a preconscious phenomenon and re- introduces us to an unknown relationship between our physical selves and the physical world that our cultural instruments have no way of measuring.
I have applied this effect to that of Terra Australis on the colonial psyche as I believe there are parallels between the ocular part of vision and this process. Both are hidden from our consciousness and both are immeasurable yet significant in terms of influencing how the physical self interacts with the physical world.
About the Artist
Mike Gray is a photographic artist from Perth, Western Australia. Through the application of differing photographic styles he produces bodies of work that focus on unique themes. These are primarily concerned with responses to his own experience, immediate environment and relationships.
Some of the themes he explores include applied machismo, uncanny suburbia and the continuing invention of Australian identity through its connection to the land. Mike Gray has exhibited work in a number of galleries across Australia and internationally.
The accolades he has received at selected exhibitions included City of Joondalup Invitational Art Prize Finalist, Joondalup (2013); Momentum, Perth Centre for Photography, Perth (2013); Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Award, Finalist, Gold Coast (2012); City of Swan Art Award – Prize Winner, Midland (2011), City of Joondalup Invitational Art Prize Finalist, Joondalup (2011); City of Joondalup Invitational Art Prize Finalist, Joondalup (2010); and Kaunas Photo Festival 08 – Grand Prix Finalist, Kaunas (2008).