Arts Can Do – Shanghai

Well…..It’s been a while since my last post.  However, I am writing from Shanghai!

What a blast this place is, just what the doctor ordered for a change of scenery and what a change of scenery.

I am here on an art residency program sponsored by ACAF (The Australia China Art Foundation), based in Melbourne and Shanghai and run by a wonderfully inspired Chinese lady called Yashian Shauble.  I am over here in Shanghai for one month and I am teaching photography to disadvantaged kids and 3 different schools.


So for I am loving it!  The children, as you can well imagine, are amazing.  Even though it is, at times, exhausting working with young kids, they take so much……but they also give back so much more.  This exchange is beautiful and you never really mind.  Although, I don’t think I have the stamina to have chosen teaching as a profession.  I have a lot more respect for those worthy professionals now!!


Below are some shots of various classes.  I’ll keep posting as I go along.  This will be the first post of many….or so I intend!  LOL

5L8E5843 5L8E5837 5L8E5836 _MG_9436 _MG_9363 L1130117 _MG_8875 _MG_8760 _MG_8751 _MG_8610 _MG_8545 johnmcrae_ACD  _MG_7844 johnmcrae_ACD  L1130117 _MG_8526 _MG_8529

Matthew Mitcham and Medals

Matt Mitcham dropped in to my studio the other night… hand was his latest stash of medals.  The best one was the gold, of course and Matt was deservedly happy and proud of his achievements.  I decided to snap a few shots……..


_MG_2384Looking good!  Congratulations Matt!




Fabien & Adil in Jerusalem
Fabien & Adil in Jerusalem

“If I am not for myself who is for me?  And being for my own self, what am ‘I’?  And if not now, when?”  Hillel 110BCE – 10CE

Shooting on the Sails of the Opera House

johnmcrae _MG_9933


There I am, right up there with camera in hand!  Finally, got the thrill of shooting Courtney Act (Global Ambassador for Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras) perched on the highest sail of the Opera House.  Amazing experience!  With limited time and tight technical restrictions you were more concentrated on getting the shot than taking in the remarkable view.  However, it will be something I’ll remember for a long time to come.  Courtney was the consummate professional and, as always, a joy to work with.  Thanks to everyone involved in making the shoot happen, particularly the amazing staff at the Opera House for pulling all stops out to facilitate the shoot.

On the Sails of the Opera House

I had the best start to the morning, this morning.

I had to be at the stage door of the Opera House at 6.30am.  Myself and a couple of comrades prepared ourselves for an exceptional climb.  We were to view the location of a proposed shoot.

After weaving our bodies through the internal structure of one of the sails and along it’s spine, we squeezed through the last trapdoor to ascend upon the highest sail of the Opera House.  As you climb out, the view almost takes your breath away.

It took a couple of minutes for the realisation that, “I’m on top of the sail of the Opera house…..outside!”, to sink in.  How fabulous!!

Here’s a shot (below).  I can’t wait for the shoot date!

What a wonderful way to start the morning.....
What a wonderful way to start the morning…..

“Manage” à Trois

Following on from the last blog entry….here’s the final result.  David Rhys and Jeremy are cleverly rendered into poster format by the talented Richard Hughes (Designer)

Someone tell Caroline where she can get a pair of those shoes!


You Can Never Have Enough Shoes, Belts, Hats…..etc

Had a ball working with Decoda and Rhys and Jeremy on their up and coming extravaganza at ARQ, The New Trinity Show.  It was fun to see Decoda schlepped in cases of all kinds of possible accessories!  You can never have enough, hey!  Happy to say we got some great shots out of the exercise.

johnmcrae_ARQ IMG_6520 johnmcrae_ARQ IMG_6498 johnmcrae_ARQ IMG_6526 johnmcrae_ARQ IMG_6541 johnmcrae_ARQ IMG_6548

Norrie’s Portrait picked up by the Guardian

Norrie is deservedly in the news, and I’m happy to see my portrait of Norrie May-Welby picked up by the Guardian newspaper, appearing on the home page of the Australian version of the Guardian’s web site.  This portrait also made it as a finalist in the 2011 National Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.


Congratulations Norrie

Happy to hear of Norrie’s big win.  Congratulations…..I can’t imagine how gruelling the fight must have been.  As they say….all’s well, that ends well!

I had the pleasure of photographing Norrie May-Welby for SX in 2010 (Photo below)

Neither man nor woman