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Rooms for guests and ghosts

Selected as the artist in residence for the Sofitel hotels, Robyn worked over three weeks in February to produce this fascinating collection entitled Guest Relations.

A camera obscura is an ancient device that can be made out of a box. All of the light is blocked out and a tiny hole is punched in one side. Inside the box (or in this case the room) where the light is let in, a ghostly upside-down image of the outside world appears. Robyn has used this to great effect in her work, taking visions of the city surrounding the hotels, projecting them through a specially made diopter lens, and bathing the hotel rooms and guests in gentle otherworldly light.

There are no tricks – just utilising the earliest and simplest form of photography to produce spectacular cinematic results.

Robyn came to photography through a background in art history where she first became interested in the possibilities of the camera obscura. Working as a roadie in Brisbane, Robyn started taking traditional photographs to extend her practical knowledge. A guitarist in a band offered her the use of a dark room and her career as a photographer began.

All of Robyn’s photographs are for sale at the Stills Gallery. The images she has produced come in a large format at one metre by one-and-a-half metres. The viewer will see clouds racing across the floor and buildings hanging from the ceiling. The people in the photographs (torch-lit during exposure) are not models and they bring their personalities to the rooms, in a sense creating their own narratives.

Guest Relations has been extended to Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.

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