ISHS – Reaches even higher!

Inner Sydney High School completed by Hansen Yuncken in Surry Hills

Three years ago, when I first photographed the site of the Inner Sydney High School on the corner of Cleveland and Chalmers Streets in Surry Hills, it was a series of traditional brick classrooms built in the late 1800’s. Now thanks to the high tech building efforts of Hansen Yuncken, it is a magnificent contemporary campus amid heritage architecture, and an example of a new direction in public education.

Under construction in 2020
Inner courtyard in 2021

Apart from the classrooms, the school features an enviable array of facilities including media rooms, fully-equipped kitchens, science labs, woodworking rooms, a sky-high basketball court, library, lecture halls, assembly areas and loads of cool spaces to hang out and be educated.

Corner of Cleveland & Chalmers Streets in 2018
The new school rises behind the heritage buildings
ISHS mid-construction, 2020
Completion view, 2021
The old meets the new at the dynamic campus of ISHS

Head shots at KPMG

I arrived at the 38th floor of Tower III at Barangaroo, the Sydney offices of the international consulting group KPMG. I had been asked to take corporate portraits of the team. These shots are being used as part of an upcoming tender for a project. The look was for an uncomplicated and clear representation of the people involved.

We set up the shoot in one of the many meeting rooms at KPMG offices. We constructed a white paper background and set up two strobe lights to photograph each person, under the competent guidance of Emma (Senior Personal Assistant) who managed the logistics of the shoot. It was hard not to be distracted by the amazing view from the window.


Mushroom Records renews Woolloomooloo premises

The Mushroom Group has recently updated its Sydney headquarters, a hub for the best musical talent this country has to offer. As Australia’s largest independent music and entertainment group, its history is unrivalled. Although the recent death of legendary founder Michael Gudinski was untimely, he had the opportunity to see the renovations almost complete.

I was commissioned by Prime Projects to plot the initial phase of the refurbishment with the intention to complete a more detailed portfolio of the building when the fit-out is fully operational and the art collection has been installed.

The Mushroom Group continues to be at the forefront of Australian music, producing iconic collaborations which in the past have included “Living in the 70’s” by Skyhooks, “True Colours” by Split Enz, such signings as Hunters & Collectors and Machinations and under Mushroom Records label, the who’s who of Australian rock and pop – The Angels, Jimmy Barnes, Nelly Furtado, Renee Geyer, Kate Ceberano, Kylie Minogue, Yothu Yindi…and the list goes on.

At Multiplex, a new generation takes it sky high

Multiplex decided to update their banner imagery using photographs taken at their soon-to-be completed construction site at the skyscraper on the corner of Bridge and Phillip Streets in Sydney.

I took photographs of various employees from different fields of construction, be it engineering or project management. Throughout the building, from the street level to the 40th floor, I photographed the Multiplex crew in their lofty work environment.

New fit-out features my landscapes on the walls

I recently shot interiors for Xenia Constructions who have recently completed a new fit-out for the Sydney offices of MSCI, an American finance company with its headquarters in New York City.

In the process of completing the photography of the fit-out, I became aware that the architects still required suitable imagery to hang on the office walls. In response, I offered a portfolio of my own photographs of different Australian landscapes which I thought would fit the company brief.

The architects decided to select a series of my images to reflect the natural beauty of Australia, including photographs at Watsons Bay in Sydney, the Wimmera Mallee in Western Victoria and outback shots of the Northern Territory.

The photos were printed and mounted by Emergent Designs in Botany Bay. We chose to use an acrylic floating mount where the work stands free from the wall, as seen in the following images.

©johnmcrae
Australian scene, shot on the road between Alice Springs and Uluru
Watsons Bay on the coast of Sydney

Should you wish to discuss any ideas of revitalising the visuals in your working environment using my original photography, see contact form.

MMXX – Matthew Mitcham Annual Portrait

MMXX

Pigment inkjet on cotton rag, 112cm x 78cm, Edition of 9, (2AP)


Since 2008, every year I have taken an “official” annual portrait photograph of Matthew Mitcham, Australia’s gold-medal Olympic diver, award-winning cabaret performer and television entertainer, in my studio in Sydney.

Facing the camera with a direct, unflinching manner, each consecutive portrait is added to the growing series of similar portraits, which commenced when Matthew was only 20 years old, before his rise to Olympic fame.

Each portrait is taken under similar conditions, plotting the changes in his physical appearance and growing self-assurance. This particular 2020 portrait marks a bumpy year for all of us, facing the pandemic. It is only fitting Matthew is masked and “Covid-safe” for this one. MMXX marks the 13th portrait and the 13th year in this ongoing series.

I thank Matt for his support in continuing this series, in allowing a very public view of his “personal time-line”. Matt married Luke just over a year ago in Belgium I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to photograph their wedding (see blog post: Matthew Mitcham Marries). They spent a good part of 2020 here in Australia but only a few days ago Matt and Luke have left our shores for the UK.

The complete sequence can be seen at :

https://www.johnmcrae.com/exhibition-work/annual-matthew-mitcham-portraits/ 

The series is printed by the artist in an edition of 9, with 2 artist proofs, and is available for purchase.

Contact John McRae mb: 0419619161 e: john@johnmcrae.com

Smoking ceremony for the new construction at Meadowbank TAFE

Meadowbank TAFE is expanding. Hansen Yuncken are responsible for the construction of the new facilities and at the start of the building project a smoking ceremony was performed in accordance with Aboriginal customs, respecting the traditional owners of the land, the Walumedigal people of the Eora Nation.

Part of the welcome to country ceremony
Some of the ashes are thrown on the building site and remain there. The rest are kept for future ceremonies at subsequent sites.

Hansen Yuncken executives participated in the ceremony together with representatives of TAFE, the architects, local politicians and others. I managed to capture of few shots of various employees at the site office.

The building site of the future addition to Meadowbank TAFE

Linda’s new corporate profile

Linda Karkafi is highly experienced in delivering successful communications strategies to executives from Australia’s leading financial institutions.

She has recently started her own communications consultancy practice called Commcentric. I have been helping her create imagery for her web site profile.

Rebecca Wilson – launch of her Kate Kelly biography

Our friend Rebecca Wilson – artist, writer and gold miner – has spent more than a decade researching the troubled life Ned Kelly’s (famous Australian bushranger) younger sister Kate.

Her 400 page biography has just been published by Allen & Unwin and we attended the book launch at the Gang Gang Gallery in Lithgow in mid February.

Bec happily signed copies of her book in Lithgow

At the same time the Gang Gang Gallery exhibited a series of narrative paintings and story cards based on Rebecca’s ongoing investigation into Kate Kelly’s colourful story.

Jonathan Turner and Maree Azzopardi with Rebecca’s portraits from the life of Kate Kelly

Concurrently Rebecca’s solo exhibition, Myth Making Heroes and Villains, at BRAG (Bathurst Regional Art Gallery) looks at stories and legends from central NSW, featuring some of the more forgotten characters of Australia’s colonial past.

PROTEST BABY!

Prior to Saturday’s official Mardi Gras Parade at the Sydney Cricket Ground, a grass roots protest march made its way along the traditional route down Oxford Street.

In 1978 the first Mardi Gras was primarily a protest for gay and lesbian rights with the involvement of the transgender and Aboriginal communities. Yesterday’s protest shows that there is still more work to be done in respect to homophobia, transphobia, mandatory detention of refugees, indigenous rights, decriminalisation of sex work and heavy handed treatment by police.

The spirit of protest, vigilance and social change is at the core of Mardi Gras but it is still a time for celebration and dressing up.

One of my favourite placards carried by a protester was: “The only good cop is a stripper in uniform”