David Lindesay’s (Class 2014) exhibition Adam’s Ale opens in Canberra on 3 July at ANCA Gallery in Canberra
David Lindesay is an Australian photographer and visual artist, currently working with the human body and engaging in documentary story telling. An interest in the social and cultural politics of the body has led him to explore contemporary ideas around the ideal male form and, most recently, naturally distorting this ideal by immersing the body in water.
David Lindesay is an Australian photographer and visual artist, currently working with the human body and engaging in documentary story telling. An interest in the social and cultural politics of the body has led him to explore contemporary ideas around the ideal male form and, most recently, naturally distorting this ideal by immersing the body in water. In Lindesay’s documentary pursuits, he is intrigued by the photograph’s ability to tell a story, through which more and more images can create greater context. Lindesay is drawn to explore the powerful narratives that emerge from this process.
He studied Visual Art at the ANU and graduated with First Class Honours in 2018.
We caught up with him recently to ask him about his upcoming exhibition.
Tell us about Adam’s Ale? The show explores the body’s interaction with water. The title, ‘Adam’s Ale’, is an Old English term for water; it also encompasses ideas of the ideal body through the First Man connection to biblical stories of Adam. The works comprise of monochromatic Polaroid film as well as large silk banners flowing through the gallery space. These large scale works invite the viewer to move through the space with the silks in a dance-like manner that pushes and pulls you through and around, while the small, tactile nature of the polaroids provides a different, if not opposite, experience to the silks. My work focuses on the human body, as humans love looking at humans; we’re endlessly fascinating and complex in our bodies and presentation.
How long have you been working on this exhibition? I’ve been creating on this body for 6 months, but have been thinking about the ideas and execution for much longer.
What has been the most fun about working on this exhibition? I’ve enjoyed working outside a university/school environment where I am free to create and test the boundaries of my new skills. Having the time to experiment and try plenty of new things has also been great fun.
What is your favourite piece in the exhibition? Is it possible not to have a favourite? Each of the works is different and offers something all by itself.
Have there been any challenges? Plenty! Working outside the support system of university has been a great challenge. I have had to rely more and more of my own critical thinking and reflection to bring the work to fruition.
What are your goals over the next few years? What are we likely to see? Over the next few years I’d like to exhibit some more, ideally in Sydney and Melbourne, even overseas. I also want to travel to the US and make a documentary series on the 2020 Presidential election and start a PhD in Visual Arts so that I can lecture and teach at a university down the track. I’m aiming to make a book from the US trip, so we’ll see where that takes me. As for other work, I’m keen to work with mirrors and keep playing with ideas of fluidity in the body and its movement through space.
Where has art taken you in the world? Through my art I’ve been on university exchange to the University of Dundee in Scotland which allowed me to travel throughout Europe and explore their wonderful cultural institutions. As mentioned above, I’ll be taking a trip to the US.
Luke has some advice for current students and emerging artists…I’d say never stop making, as you are probably the only one creating what you’re creating.
Get on Instagram or any other creative platform and put your work out there, you never know what opportunities may come from people seeing and engaging with your work, whether online or in person.
Favourite memory at Radford? My favourite memory from Radford would be sitting in the art rooms with the doors open and the Summer air and light pouring in while quietly making and talking with my teacher, Jackie Peters.
Who have been the most inspirational figures for you? From my time at school, certainly Philip Heath and Jackie Peters. He made a great impression on me through my time at Radford, instilling a sense respect and responsibly towards myself and others. Jackie was by far my favourite teacher, she was unwavering in her kindness and support, which is something I’ll never forget and continue to include in my approach to life. We catch up every now and then when we’re in town. Outside school, when thinking about what inspires me in other people, it’s their drive, their commitment to ideas and their thinking. An endless list of figures like the Obamas and artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans come to mind.
Who are your favourite artists? Over the course of my artistic career so far I’ve come across many influences, my favourites of these have been photographers such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Tom Bianchi, and Wolfgang Tillmans; and other artists like Rodan, Ai Wei Wei, and Ancient Greek and Roman sculptors; from all of whom I draw ideas and build new ways of seeing my work and the world around me.