Join CCP and Kate Ballis as they discuss her fine art photography career, from formative experiences working alongside noted British fashion photographer and artist, Miles Aldridge, to exploring her exhibited Infra Realism series. Learn how Kate’s previous visits to Palm Springs and resulting familiarity with the desert and retro-urban landscape culminated in her vivid new interpretation of the site–a mysterious realm between reality and the surreal.
Represented by Garis and Hahn, Los Angeles, and ARTITLED Contemporary, Netherlands, Kate Ballis is a renowned Melbourne-based fine art photographer. In recent years, Ballis has staged solo exhibitions in Australia, the UK and USA, presenting bodies of work that, while being wholly grounded in reality, feel other-worldly.
Her photographic career began in parallel to a four year stint working in media and entertainment law. A 2013 meeting in LA with noted British fashion photographer and artist, Miles Aldridge, resulted in an opportunity to work as his assistant in London, and it was this formative experience which provided the push to fully commit to a creative career.
For the inaugural CCP Photo Fair, Ballis presents a selection of five works from her recent Infra Realism series. The works are placed somewhere between reality and the surreal; lucid dreamscapes which are familiar in form, yet subvert the usual colour and scale we rely on to interpret the visions around us.
Palm Springs, Ballis’ ‘second home’, provided the artistic muse. Having spent eight visits photographing its wild and wonderful deserts and retro-urban landscapes, Ballis sought to reinvigorate the way she, and we, viewed the location.
Shot using a converted digital infrared camera with lens filters, Ballis intentionally subverts a technique that infrared photographers often use to make photos ‘more realistic’. She explains, “healthy plants emit infrared light, and through my viewfinder I can see a glowing world that makes plants pop out from their surrounds.”
Infra Realism is also the focus of a recent monograph published through Manuscript. Comprising more than 100 colour images photographed over the course of several trips, Infra Realism offers a never-before-seen take on some of North America’s most iconic destinations–a world where sometimes barren landscapes become a lush oasis, where succulents and palm trees thrive, and synthetic grass can be identified through the viewfinder and revealed for all to see.