Creative People

Tom Blachford's 'Midnight Modern IV'

This afternoon we preview the latest and final instalment in Melbourne-based photographer Tom Blachford’s long-running project ‘Midnight Modern’.

Opening at Michael Reid Sydney later this month, ‘Midnight Modern IV’ explores some of the outer reaches of the Modernist movement of architecture – bathed in moonlight.

Elle Murrell

‘Midnight Modern’ IV by Tom Blachford is on from January 31st to March 3rd at Michael Reid Sydney. Pictured here is ‘Abrigo Corner IV’. Photo – Tom Blachford.

For Tom, the Modernist homes of California stand as shrines to hedonism, cocktails and the sun! ‘356 Cielo, 2018’. Photo – Tom Blachford.

Shooting by the light of a full moon, he captures an alternative perspective of this series of iconic properties. ‘Blackpool, 2018’ Photo – Tom Blachford.

‘The images act as portals in time,’ tells the photographer. ‘1040 Ciello III, 2018’. Photo – Tom Blachford.

‘Jennings House II, 2018’. Photo – Tom Blachford.

‘Jannings House I, 2018’. Photo – Tom Blachford.

‘Futuro I, 2018’. Photo – Tom Blachford.

Elle Murrell
19th of January 2018

Prominent local lensman Tom Blanchford recently returned to his much-loved California to shoot the last in a four-part art photo series, entitled ‘Midnight Modern IV’. The new exhibition comprises 10 large-scale images championing dreamy Modernist architecture, alongside some pretty covetable cars and idyllic pools too!

Shot entirely at night (as with the rest of the series), there is a mysterious, nostalgic edge to Tom’s artistic captures. ‘For me it was alluring to show a dark side of the town so famous for its sunshine. The moonlight adds a dimension to things that is almost impossible for us to experience with our own senses,’ Tom tells in his promotion for this show.

The photographer also muses on California’s unique geography and how the state’s climate gives rise to a distinct, deep blue sky; a midnight blue and moonlight, which he finds to be ideal for his long-exposure technique. ‘Each image in the series, captured only by moonlight and devoid of people, creates a stage that invites the viewer to script their own narrative behind the walls of these amazing Modernist masterpieces,’ he adds.

Preceding series locations have included iconic properties such as the Kaufmann Desert House, Edris House and Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate. This time around, look out for the ‘alien landscapes’ of John Lautner’s visionary Sheats Goldstein Residence, and The Black Desert House by Oller and Pejic.

As Tom’s exposures distill any number of imagined tales into a single moment, it’s as easy to believe that these iconic properties had been documented in the 1950s rather than present-day. Just as the photographer intended, this only adds to the intrigue: ‘the images act as portals in time, where it seems these moments exist in both places at once.’

‘Midnight Modern’ IV by Tom Blachford
January 31st to March 3rd
Opening Night, Saturday February 10th
Michael Reid Sydney
Mezzanine Level, 105 Kippax Street, Surry Hills, Sydney

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