FENCES – WOUTER VAN DE VOORDE

The new, old black and white series by one of our favourite Australian photographers.

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Australian photographer Wouter Van de Voorde has been working on a new series of images focusing on a trusty building material and it's ghetto quality. Wouter works out of Canberra and this is his first time shooting black and white and we love the results.

Fences, 2017
 
This 2017 body of work is called Fences, it illustrates the first year I took to producing black and white photographs.
  
I had never considered using black and white photography until I was granted access to use the darkrooms at the Australian National University in Canberra.
In that year I went from knowing relatively nothing about the whole process to being really passionate about spending time in the dark with chemicals.
I still feel like I have a long way to go in my exploration of this medium, but so far it has been really satisfying to see the boxes filled with prints pile up next to my desk. In this series there are a great number of prints which have been printed on expired paper, this makes the process of wet printing rather tricky as the results are often hard to control, lack of contrast, changed developing times,... This however produces prints which are very hard to replicate, each print is very unique. I am also a big fan of the tonalities of these expired papers, this aged look adds to the overall expression of the individual images. The images in this series are either shot on large format 4x5 camera or with my trusty medium format. 
 
Fences and being fenced in is a recurring theme in this series, I have a strange relationship with fences. In Australia it is very common for homeowners to fence in their backyards with a steel (Colorbond) panels, this renders backyards into ghetto like enclosures. I too made the mistake of jumping on the Colorbond wagon and have been nursing a pet hate (read: obsession) for my backyard fence ever since. The only good thing about this material is that it is rock solid and fire resistant, handy in bushfire prone areas... Through this experience I started seeing the beauty in other more organic fences which seem to respond more to the elements. 

- Wouter Van de Voorde

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