When Jason McQuoid, owner of contemporary art space the Edmund Pearce Gallery flew to Sydney to meet with the unassuming yet highly renowned photographer Derek Henderson, he had no idea he would end up not only hosting an exhibition, but publishing a book.
A year on and Darkness of Noon, the product of a unique collaboration between Henderson and illustrator Kelly Thompson, will be launched as part of the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival.
Photography and drawing are seen to intersect seamlessly, capturing the ephemeral beauty of fashion model Zippora Seven posing naked within the enchanting New Zealand landscape. Darkness of Noon is Henderson’s third book, following the release of his critically acclaimed monographs, The Terrible Boredom of Paradise (2005) and Mercy Mercer (2009), its vast and varied subject matter similarly defined by his trademark “democratic nationalism”, whereby landscape and subject are given equal attention.
“Henderson’s style is all about paring it down and not being too high gloss,” says McQuoid. The seemingly ordinary is captured in its soft, free-flowing form, whilst being infused with a deceptive complexity capable of transporting the viewer beyond the initial beauty of the image, to tell a darker tale that subtly encroaches on the serenity of the landscape.
Henderson possesses a remarkable ability to capture the personality of his models, rather than constructing his photographs in the way he feels they “should” look, and it is this carefully constructed naturalism that has inspired many of his contemporaries. Complemented by Thomson’s precise and sensual illustrative interpretations, the qualities of the photographs are both re-instilled, and punctuated with illuminating new qualities and perspectives. Henderson’s works have been exhibited throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. and published worldwide in publications including Russh, Wall Paper, Vogue, ID and Arena Homme Plus, and this is another exciting opportunity to appreciate the beauty of his dynamic photography in a new light.
The launch will feature a number of images and photographs from the book, book signing, and keynote address by Jeremy Worsman, head of the Jacqui Winter Group. Designed by fashion identity Fabio Ongarato, and independently published by Pearce Press, the book will retail for AUD $65 (Standard edition), and AUD $150 for the limited edition of only 1000 copies, including 150 signed copies.
Darkness of Noon will be launched on Thursday March 14, from 6 - 8pm, at Edmund Pearce Gallery, Level 2, 37 Swanston St. Melbourne.