Waiting, Katoomba Mist
The latest exhibition in the Big Little Gallery is by Tracy Ponich who answered a few questions about her evocative ethereal works.
What is your background and how did you become a photographer?
Tracy: I was born in Canada, but I’ve also resided in the USA, Europe and South East Asia. Now I’m settled in Australia. I have a photographic studio in Katoomba, called Feathermark, where I carry out post capture work and print my photographs. As well as photography I work in marketing – a career in corporate Sydney turned freelance. Freelance work means that I can disappear with my camera and take on photography projects, for the last couple of years they’ve been in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands.
In Canada I studied and taught art history at the University of Toronto which gave me plenty of opportunity to travel. I always had a camera in hand during these years. Inevitably photography turned into a more serious commitment, but I would say that my style today is due in part to those years studying historical works of art, particularly masters of light and shadow.
What are the main influences of your work and this series in particular?
Tracy: There are certain photographers that inspire me to pick up the camera. If you’ve seen my photographs it won’t be surprising that they all work in black and white. Their work stops me in my tracks, draws me in. There’s a raw emotion or poignancy about them that I love. Flawless technique that lacks those qualities is of no interest to me. For my photographs in the Big Little Gallery, a grouping called Forecast: Mist, it was particular moments in the Mountains – misty and evocative and mysterious – that pulled me out in the early hours. There is more to see on my website: www.feathermark.com.au.
Can you tell us a little bit about the sustainability initiatives you support?
Tracy: My practice, Feathermark Photography, is carbon neutral. This is due to many things, including solar energy, almost zero waste, and a plug-in hybrid electric car when I travel to locations away from my studio. I choose local suppliers whenever possible for a lower footprint and to support small business in the community.
Carbon neutrality is important to me. I’ve had my footprint measured twice now so I understand the numbers – my impact. I offset aspects of my work (e.g. materials, printing and framing processes, travel) with certified carbon credits. Through Feathermark I support Australian forest conservation and global biodiversity projects. For the Big Little Gallery works and associated processes I chose carbon credits from the CIKEL Brazilian Rainforest (REDD) project which works under the Forest Stewardship Council certification (FSC).
To give back to the environment more directly, I also fund the planting of trees through the not-for-profit organisation Trees For Life. I fund trees for each exhibition, and plant one tree for every work sold or that leaves my studio. It’s a small contribution toward managed, sustainable reforestation in Australia. Largely it grows due to my customers – 477 trees to date. More to go.
What is special about living and working in the Blue Mountains?
Tracy: Lifestyle, an excellent community of artists, endlessly inspiring natural beauty. Those misty days.
Tracy’s work is available for sale. Contact the artist directly.
Tracy Ponich, Feathermark Photography
m: 0447 799 975