Memory Images (April, May, June) / composed from lead to web
— Veronica Charmont
What actually is an image? A feeling, a daydream, a drawing, a sound, a photo, a film still, a print, a screenshot. If we take a step back and investigate the feeling that compels individuals to capture a moment, to take a photograph one’s reality, what will or can be found? A story, experience, or view of the world? A reference or memory.

This residency is an exploration into the image, starting at the most commonly thought of method of image making (photography). By taking off at this point, the project then takes a deeper consideration into what other mediums or methods can also take the form of, or allude to an image. This may be a written account; a memory of the time images were taken, or even a series of short ambient recordings that capture the surrounding context of the place photographed. Furthermore, the images that will be created through this residency can have no reference to photography at all. They could be a drawing of a daydream, or a song.

To choose to photograph can be to scrutinise the fragments of everyday life, to keep a record or document, or to closely observe how we as people live. However, it also can be used to establish a strong intertwining into the process of image making. Materially, the role of light is paramount to the creation and emergence of the filmic image, and I have spent the last months considering how it can manipulate or change a picture overall, primarily through under or over-exposure. Taking the slight unpredictability of light into account, my process has also included exploring the possibilities that chance and improvisation can create. Image making without a structure or plan has allowed a collection of images to emerge that are unintentionally connected, and this became possible through my own intent to rely on an impulsion or need to capture moments in time.

As this residency continues, I hope to further explore and push the boundaries of image making, and to draw away from traditional modes of thinking about or creating images. I’d like to acknowledge and pay my respects to the Traditional Custodians of the Lands in which this work is and continues to be made on, the Woiwurrung and Boonwurrung people, as well as the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, and Gamaragal. I’d like to recognise their continuing connection to the land and waters, and thank them for protecting these coastlines and its ecosystems since time immemorial. I would also like to pay my respects to all Elders past, present and emerging.

Veronica Charmont is an emerging artist who works primarily with super 8, 16mm film and photography. She aims to explore the illusionary and dream-like quality of the filmic image, with a focus on its ability to deceive the viewer through both mind and eye. The distinct materiality of celluloid film allows Charmont to construct vivid alternate worlds from what is typically considered reality, where the use of in-camera editing, grain, and light transform everyday urban environments into landscapes of the unfamiliar and imaginative. Throughout her practice she utilises various methods of improvisation in image and music, in order to create unpredictable outcomes within moments that cannot be replicated. Veronica graduated with Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2019 from the Victorian College of the Arts and was the recipient of the 2019 Majlis Travelling Scholarship.

Memory Images: An Electronic Image Performance
Sifting through virtual spaces and memories through images, text and sound, current web resident Veronica Charmont reveals her process of gathering, researching and archiving via her desktop.

(Streamed on August 25 2021)

Light Musings —

The power of the sun,

It’s light, in the reflecting pool,

It’s light, on the sea and sand.

People are illuminated by its brightness.

And landscapes come alive.

Time is reflected, through the camera, onto film,

Time is frozen, when image becomes memory,

Every image, is owed to light.

At the beach, we’re reminded that everything turns to dust.

Just like the present, when we try to capture it,

Then, it can only exist in an immovable rectangle,

And can never change, only fade.

Memories however,

They change shape every time they’re re-called.

Like shadows that extend when the sun changes position,

Details are lost, only shapes are visible.
Memory Images
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Good Friday is coming to an end and the evening is arriving with an ever-changing glow of pinks and oranges, that are mixed in with clear blue sky. Groups of families and friends gather together in the water, while others lounge freely on the gold sand. The bays water is calm, moving almost silently back and forth, for the sway of bodies has more effect on the mirrored surface than any wind or current. Though the time for light is nearly gone, the strength of the suns rays are still strong and luminous, and I can feel it’s last warmth on my skin. A woman looks towards the multicoloured horizon, seemingly at peace, as her black border collie races around people and objects on the sand and leaps into the water, eyes trained on one specific tennis ball.

— April 2nd, 2021. McCrae.
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I’m caught with my camera at the beach once again, this time with afternoon light and in another city. The weather is continues to be warm, with light cool winds beginning to break through the tall trees, particularly in the shadows. The light is blinding this time of day, and I feel drawn to the many different figures of the people on the streets and beach. Always watching silently from behind or above. One lifeguard is perched on the edge of the concrete between the sand and path, looking aimlessly in one direction. Another group of people bathe in the sun on rocks, their faces hidden from the light.

— April 19th, 2021. Manly.
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A third beach exploration, but this time I’m caught intwined in the textures that light creates on nature. Shadows form between rocks. There are small patches of orange sand which are surrounded longer stretches of colder, dark grey sand (the absence of light.) The oceans surface glitters and shifts with movement, while its rippling reflection is mirrored on the shallow sea floor. The sea becomes alive with the sun, details within the mysterious water are suddenly more visible, with small fish flitting back and forth quickly, while seaweed slowly sways. This past month, I have thought endlessly about the inherent and magical ability of light, and the role it plays within the photographic image. Without light, images of course would cease to exist, similar to the way in which the human eye cannot see objects in lights absence.

— Early May, 2021. Sorrento and Portsea.