844km's South - A Photographic Exhibition by Caitlin O'Grady
Opening night: Sat 24 Jun 2017, 6–9pm (All welcome!) Exhibition runs until: Sun 2 Jul 2017
In January 2017, Caitlin cycled 844km's south from Nelson to Queenstown on the West Coast of New Zealand. With help from a support team, she rode to raise money for The Conor Foley Neuroblastoma Cancer Research Foundation. A foundation created at the passing of her cousin, who was only 17.
Only a month after she purchased her bike and began seriously training, she set off on her journey with her analogue camera at hand. Ironically, this occurred two years exactly after breaking her back, in a snow accident hit by a skier on the other side of the world.
“I felt compelled to ride because it’s far too easy to jump in a car and drive down a freeway at 100km’s an hour. Life can be a lot similar. It can flash before your eyes and before you know it, you’re at the end not having acknowledged the many important things that pass you by – girls on the side of the road, selling home-made lemonade for candy money or being able to smell the rain on the road or the fire that warms your toes in the farm house shed. Whilst we rely so heavily on technology, we often miss the simple things that in hindsight can give us so much joy and satisfaction. This was a chance for me to experience a different way of life whilst raising money and awareness for Cancer research.”
844km’s South is a photographic montage of Caitlin’s journey, weaving from city to city, between the lakes and rivers, through the valleys, over steep mountains and across some of the most beautiful glaciers the world has on offer. Caught in torrential rain and thunderstorms – the worst summer New Zealand has experienced in 88 years, her photographs capture the raw beauty of the Island’s nature, witnessing the bleak weather that she cycled through. Let’s just say there’s a reason why they call it “The Wild West”.
Drawing parallels from travelling the slow way, Caitlin highlights this process by hand-printing all the photographs in the Colour dark room – an integral part of the exhibition. Ultimately, 844km’s South, is the final point of her destination.
*Caitlin would like to thank all those who sent their wishes, donated or sponsored her across the globe. A huge thank you to her support crew, especially Greg Cavacavas, Jucy Vans, Jones Cycles, Leknicks, Tribal Cycling, DeMarchi, Vitality Living, Sambazon Acai, Shotz Sports Nutrition, YogaFood, Mandy Mcdonald Arbonne, Jen Reid, Kat Cacavas, Mitch KIbby, Sereena Vertigan, Alana Bruerton and last but not least, her friends and family.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Caitlin O'Grady is a Melbourne based artist. Studying at Photographic Imaging College, Melbourne and The Victorian College of the Arts, Caitlin started her creative career in Photography.
Her personal work began by designing, producing and photographing costumes to convey her ideas that stem from the world around her. Interested in the body, human interaction and external/internal worlds, she has pushed her concepts through differing mediums such as film, photography and sculpture.
Moreover, Caitlin has worked in the TV and film industry overseas, where she found a passion in the moving image, and has gone on to direct film projects.