RYAN PONSFORD

Photographer working in River Studios


What appealed to you most about your studio space when you first saw it? 

I liked the fact that it was malleable, I could change what I needed to suit my work. I also wanted to be working amongst a group of other artists and creatives. 

How have you made this space your own? 

I have put up three large plaster panels that allow me to pin up prints that I’m working on and also to hang finished works for clients and gallery’s to view. 

What do you create or make in your studio? 

I make large scale contemporary photographs using techniques and ideas that are fast becoming what might be considered ‘traditional’ Including large format cameras, film and a focus on the quality of the print. I photograph animal specimen from the Melbourne Museum’s collection, skulls, fabrics and objects that would have interested the Vanitas still life painters. 

What is your favourite item in your studio at the moment (or in the whole building)? 

At the moment it’s the anatomical model of a human skeleton that stands in the corner. It’s for a piece I’m about to start working on. I love the qualities of the surface of the object. I always become obsessed with the surface of the thing I’m photographing. I spend hours poring over the images in detail making sure that this idea of the surface comes through in my work.


About Ryan

My work explores notions of photography in contemporary art, the memento mori and the relationship between society and ecology. For me creating the work is a form of exorcism, a kind of catharsis or attempt to, not necessarily understand but perhaps accept my own mortality.

I’m interested in the photograph as object, the beauty and tactility of the print. This idea is something we’ve almost lost as a society. We are so obsessed with the instant gratification of the digital image that we’ve forgotten the power the physical photograph can have. I want to push and stretch the photographic print as far as I can, make it sculptural and intensely tactile.

The prints I make are large, minimalist Voids that are juxtaposed against fine, detailed objects. These objects are reminders of beauty and fragility, of time and mortality.