Ipswich artist to project award-winning shot at festival
A PORTRAIT photographer whose images will display on the side of an iconic Ipswich building said a chance meeting with a local couple revolutionised his work.
Jason McNamara is one of 11 Ipswich artists whose work will be included in the deLight event as part of re-imagined Ipswich Festival, SPARK Ipswich.
During the 11 days of the festival, artworks by the artists will be projected on the side of St Mary’s Church.
Jason, whose portraiture has won awards across the country, said a picture he shot in 2018 would fit the display.
The portrait won the Stanthorpe Art Prize in 2018 and is of an elderly couple in their kitchen.
“My subjects are called Clyde and Mary and they were going to that church every day,” Jason said.
“They had nearly 10 kids who all went through St Mary’s and she used to play the organ there.
“There is a massive connection between Mary’s family and the church.”
Jason’s style of photography centres around capturing his subject’s backstory in one shot.
“Unlike a traditional portrait where it’s really tight and all about the person, mine is all about the person in their surroundings,” he said.
“An author has hundreds of pages to tell the person’s whole life story and what they’ve done but I only have one page – that’s how I look at it.”
Jason met Mary and Clyde after he saw them walking together.
“I used to see them walking the streets holding hands all the time,” Jason said.
“I finally got an opportunity to meet them on the side of the road and I asked them to do their portrait.
“They said yes and that’s where it started.”
He said the meeting had marked a milestone in his career.
“It was one of those opportunities where I had to keep telling myself not to procrastinate, just to ask them,” he said.
“It has changed my artistic career because of that question.”
Jason is working on a series of images called Diverse Cities, a play on words for diversities.
“I’m trying to capture a whole heap of Ipswich residents but ones you might typically not expect,” he said.
“You’ve got immigrants, oldies, bogans, everything.
“My shots that have won big awards have all been of Ipswich residents.”
SPARK Ipswich will run from July 8.
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