|Les Irwig Photography
Biography & Artist Statement
Contact & Purchase Information
Biography & Artist Statement
Artist statement for pictures on show at the
Australian Museum Shop, 1 William Street, Sydney
until 10 September 2017
9.30am to 5pm daily
to coincide with the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition.
Click on the Australian Museum tab on the left to view the work.
All artwork consists of archival photographic prints. Each artwork is signed and edition limited to 4 prints, plus Artist Proofs.
Some images of the previous SEA BREAK, SEA and BUSH exhibitions can be viewed by clicking on those tabs.
About the pictures on show at the Australian Museum
The long limbs of an Angophora tree beckon you to enjoy a misty morning in the NSW bush.
Edition 4/4 mounted in white float frame with acrylic front; overall size 90x124cm. This is the last of the edition-limited pictures available for sale.
'... and a grey dawn breaking'
The title of this work refers to a line in John Masefield’s poem, Sea Fever.
I think of this photograph as an ‘Extract’ of the Sea. It may appear abstract but that is only in comparison to photographs in which the water appears frozen by high shutter speeds. It is these latter photographs that I regard as abstractions, though they are usually seen as reality in our screen-and-image-saturated world. A photograph made in camera, as mine are, rather than being digitally created later, cannot be abstract according to Ansel Adams who chose to use the word ‘Extract’.
Edition 1/4 mounted in white float frame with acrylic front; overall size 70x105cm
Les’s photographs reflecting the spirit of the Australian beach and bush have received many awards including ‘highly honoured’ in the prestigious Windland Rice Smith International Awards run by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, USA in 2008. The image is published in their Nature’s Best Photography book which includes the top 100 photographs out of 20,000 entries. Les was the winner of the 2009 $6000 Murrurundi Photographic Prize. One of Les’s pictures was chosen for exhibition in the NSW Parliament in 2011 as a finalist in the NSW Plein Air Photographic competition.
His images were selected for exhibitions of the Australasian Nature Photographer of the Year collection at the South Australian Museum and inclusion in the Australasian Nature Photography Book published by the South Australian Museum and CSIRO in 2009, 2012 and 2015. Les has had several group and solo exhibitions and his work is held in collections in Australia, England, South Africa and North America.
He lives in Sydney, where his work is inspired by his family, the sea and the surrounding Australian bush.
Solo photographic exhibitions since 2006
• 'Spring' Yuga, Glebe Sep-Oct 2006.
• 'Preludes' Freeland gallery, Paddington Feb-Mar 2007.
The only photographer in a combined exhibition with three ceramic artists.
• Freeland gallery Dec 2008 - Jan 2009.
The only photographer with several ceramic artists.
• 'Bush Spirit' Chifley Tower May-June 2011
A joint exhibition with an African abstract painter
• 'webs water woods' Martha's May 2012
• 'SPRING!' Aurora Place Sep to Nov 2015.
• 'SUMMER!' Aurora Place Oct 2015 to Feb 2016.
• ‘NURTURING NATURE’ Willoughby Council Foyer Exhibition Space. June 2016
• SEA BREAK. The Sneaky Grind, Avalon 1 July to 13 Aug 2016
• Les’s work has appeared on the front cover of books published by the Australian Government and by Blackwell publishing in the UK.
• Examples of his social documentary work are being used by Artslaw to illustrate legal issues in photography in public places, e.g.
Artslaw Street Photographer's rights and
Artslaw Children in the creative process
Examples of Competition successes since 2005
• Willoughby environmental photography competition, NSW 2006.
2nd and 4th prize.
Several photographs were purchased by Willoughby Council and one was also selected for outdoor environmental display, Ferndale Park.
• Windland Rice Smith International Awards: Nature’s Best Photography,
Smithsonian Institution, Washington, USA 2008
Selected as ‘highly honoured’ and appearing in the Nature’s Best Photography book, which includes the top 100 photographs out of 20,000 entries.
• WetlandCare Australia National Photography competition 2009
• Murrurundi Photographic Prize, NSW 2009
Winner, first prize $6000
Winner, Murrurundi Arts Council’s Choice Award
• NSW Parliamentary Plein Air Photographic Prize finalist 2011.
Exhibited at NSW Parliament.
• Warringah Art Prize.
Selected for exhibition Warringah Creative Space, Sep 2015 and Sep 2016.
• Nature Photographer of the Year
Selected for exhibition at the South Australian Museum and inclusion in the Australasian Nature Photography Book published by the South Australian Museum and CSIRO/Australian Geographic in: 2009, 2012 and 2015.