We do love it when one of our all time collaborators has an exhibition of his work. Bartolomeo Celestino is an artist worth getting out of bed for (we will leave the getting into bed to Bec (Parsons). What should we expect from his latest show? He explains, “I was born in Canberra, so alot of my early development and the memories that formed my early ideas are from here. It’s a beautiful place, full of wondrous architecture, forward thinkers and space to breathe. My work is about formally and poetically charged sequences of abstract natural constructs as part of a larger meditative practice. I once heard someone say, “because we don’t know when we’ll die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really,”and I was really affected by that. The older my daughter gets, the more friends fall away, the more we age, the more memories seem to vanish too. So here I’m more concerned with how I feel about what I’ve seen, rather than what I’m recording. These places will eventually fade, but the colour, their warmth my reaction will hopefully remain. Ultimately I’m trying to anchor my senses to these places and times, rather than rendering the moment. So even though these are extremely accurate images, I’m manufacturing my own truth. ‘New Documents (all true things are equal)’ takes it’s cues from the 1967 MoMA exhibition of relatively unknown photographers that had a lasting influence on modern photography. Here I’m redirecting the techniques and aesthetics of my peers and influences ‘to more personal ends’.”
And so this show brings together images made in various places that he has ‘revisited over several years that reference my parents migration to Australia’. New Documents it may called but running rich with memories resonant and provocative.