Wed 14 Oct 2020

This week on State of The Art, Annika chat with local music photographer Jess Middleton about her exhibition Youth and Interaction.

It’s not lost on photographer Jess Middleton, the irony that her current exhibition Youth and Interaction, is all about freedom and closeness to others at a time when these simple interactions are off limits.

Now showing at the Dirty Dozen space in the normally bustling Campbells’ Arcade under Flinders St Station in Melbourne, Youth and Interaction was installed the day before Stage 4 came into effect and now sees little to no-one.

Taken at various gigs in Melbourne, the collection of black and white images collaged onto black depicts gestures and interactions that seem now so carefree.


“I could never envisage showing this exhibition at such a time of heavy restriction.  I’ve found some comfort in the fact that the meaning of the exhibition is delivered more strongly because of the circumstances which surround it. It’s kind of poetic in a way.  Maybe that is actually how it supposed to be,” says Jess.


The exhibition is made up of 12 large black and white striking 1.5m x .75m, aluminum di-bonded prints hang suspended in the 12 white display cases.  Suspended in this way, they serve as a reminder of our memories suspended, while the actual images (which are repeated in different alignment from blur to complete focus) follow a recollection of times in our mind of freedom, fun and closeness with friends and strangers. Lit by blue fluorescent tubes, the images challenge us to reflect on our warmest memories and the tension that exists between now and those times.

“I hope that people may view it online and actually in person before the show closes and more importantly, I hope that people can see themselves in the work while finding some warmth in their own memories”


Jess Middleton is proudly supporting Launch Housing by donating 50% of profits of sales from the show to help end homelessness. Head to Jess' website for more information.


Tune in for State of The Art every Wednesday morning from 8am on The Breakfast Spread for the latest arts news.