F: Your ‘Ordovician//2,228’ offering is a little removed from the fashion editorial and portrait work you are renowned for… sharing such a personal aesthetic in your most recent exhibition must have been daunting. When did the idea first come into fruition?
DG: Sharing my personal work to the public on such a large scale has always been a very daunting reality for me, hence why it took me so long to do it. It was also my first solo show in 6 years, so there was a lot of pressure surrounding that factor too. I almost considered doing the exhibition under a completely different alias to eliminate some of the anxiety. I'm quite a private person and tend to keep business very seperate from my personal life, but my commercial work in comparison to personal work have very contrasting styles, so I wasn't sure how doing something drastically different would be received by those who don't know me and what I'm about. I've always wanted to show more of my personal photographs in a gallery, but I've never had the right concept that I felt was an accurate depiction of who I am and something that I felt comfortable sharing, until I shot this body of work. I've always said that I tend to live in multiple worlds and I have multiple eyes for photography, and it's definitely more interesting working that way.
F: Combining sound with your incredibly haunting visuals for the exhibition would have created a truly immersive experience, what were you hoping to make the viewer feel?
DG: By using sound, I wanted to emulate the harsh conditions that people can experience whilst exploring nature by creating ascending and recurring heavy tones of abrasive noises, which can make one feel uncomfortable, or at ease (a similar feeling to being in the outdoors). The performance (which featured members of Flatwoods and one of my favourite musicians from Queensland Sam Haven, a line up I curated) was all completely improvised, which was touching on the unpredictable weather patterns that can also be experienced. I've always personally enjoyed attending (and conducting) exhibitions that are more of a physical experience for people to enjoy rather than an event with photos on a wall, I feel as though they have a longer lasting effect on the viewer and makes the work in itself far more memorable.
F: We at Fallow are inspired by nature and feel most creatively rejuvenated after spending time outdoors. Was it serendipitous or did you deliberately set out to shoot the highest peak in Australia?
DG: I can definitely relate to that! Being a photographer I take my camera everywhere with me and Kosciuszko was something I wanted to document regardless, but creating an entire exhibition out of my expedition was certainly unplanned, and I'm really glad it happened so organically. I feel as though that's when I create my best work, too. Once I arrived and started noticing all of the intricate details on the mountain, ideas for something much bigger started flowing. Leading up to my visit there, I'd been dealing with a severe creative block for months, but being in such a brand new environment that I'd never seen or experienced before was such an important breath of fresh air for my palette.
F: Your stunning images of Mt Kosciuszko are now available on your website to purchase. Moving forward do you plan to increase the offering online and will this be in conjunction with future exhibitions or just as you feel the desire to release more personal work?
DG: Yes they are! I'm planning on selling more of my personal work online in the near future, I'm currently in the process of selecting more photographs, and potentially going to put together a small book later in the year as well. I've always loved purchasing prints, zines, books, records and supporting my favourite artists in any way I can, so I figured I should start doing the same, and allow people who enjoy my work to have a piece of myself in their own home. I used to sell my fashion photographs online years and years ago, but selling my commercial work feels very different to selling work that I feel far more attached to. Purchasing physical forms of art from a creator you love is not only a great way to support them, but also a way to feel a connection with that person, too.
Images courtesy of Dakota Gordon