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Borderland

Untitled-by-Aaron-BradBrook,-from-BorderlandsThe winner of the Perth Centre For Photography UNCOVER Award in 2012, emerging photographer Aaron Bradbrook is about to open his first solo exhibition, Borderland.

Somewhat refreshingly, Aaron Bradbrook refrains from self-mythologising when asked about his background and what led him to pick up a camera.

“There’s no underlying magical story of my grandfather giving me a camera or anything,” he assures us. “I just had this burning desire to just know more about photography. The curiosity always sat with me and when I left high school I went to uni, studied something completely different and then dropped out. Then, a couple years later I said, ‘You know what? Photography has been on my mind.’ It’s something I’d been itching to learn about, so I just jumped in and I enrolled at ECU, doing photography and journalism. So I took the plunge and really enjoyed making photographs and try to evolve myself as a photographer.”

That drive to keep growing creatively led directly to the body of work he’s about to unveil to the public for the first time: Borderland, a series of photos unfettered in terms of creativity, but constrained spatially, in that they were all taken at the one location. “It started off as me trying to evolve and find my own style as a photographer,” Bradbrook explains. “I’d done some documentary-style work in the past and enjoyed it, but this was a chance for me to start getting more personal and creating the photos that I want to make.

I wanted to really let my hair down and tried to be super-imaginative to create these things and just adhere to my own creative freedom and not be limited to anything. Once I started this work it wasn’t for anything – it wasn’t a commission or something, it was just to make it. It was just to find my own voice, to find my own style as a photographer.”

Paradoxically, the self-imposed locational limitations allowed Bradbrook to really stretch his imagination, forcing him to look at the mundane from new and exciting angles. “I limited it all to being in one house, this one house where I used to live in Mount Lawley. It was supposed to be one body of work and all the images would have one common factor of being locked in this house. Then I really started to play with the ideas of dreams and imagination and what a house means – how the house fits into it and how being enclosed in a house space really fits in with dreams and creativity and imagination. That’s basically what the show’s about. A lot of the images come from total creative freedom. There’s no clear answers as to what the images are – that’s totally up to the viewer to make that link.”

Borderland opens at the Perth Centre For Photography this Thursday, September 26 at 6pm and runs until Sunday, October 27. For more information, head here.

TRAVIS JOHNSON

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