Artist of the Month - November David Charles Collins
A year ago
Portrait, David Charles Collins
QUICK FIRE ROUND with David Charles Collins
- what was the first photography book you bought?
I think the first photography book I purchased was 'The Photo Book' published by Phaidon, despite the questionable cover it's a great survey of photography, definitely a must have for all image lovers bookshelves! But the first photography book I 'acquired' was the Diane Arbus book with the photo of the twins on the cover. It was in the collection of books the art teachers in high-school kept in the art rooms. The work enchanted me. I had never seen anything like it, one day I saw a student cutting images out of the book and I was horrified it was being defaced so I commandeered it to protect it from further damage. I still have and treasure it.
- what is your favourite colour?
My favourite colours are green and burgundy. I used to tell myself I loved green because it reminded me of nature and burgundy because of its richness, but I think the real reason is that they were the colours of the saddle blankets of my two favourite horses I had growing up.
- who are your photographic influences?
My earliest photographic influences were actually film directors. Movies by Bernardo Bertolucci, Frederico Fellini, Derek Jarman, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Sophia Coppola all informed my earliest photography. As I studied photography more thoroughly I was influenced by people like Bill Henson, Pierre et Gilles, Jeff Bark and Tim Walker, photographers who create worlds in their work.
- what is your favourite museum?
I love the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. It has such an inspiring permanent collection and they always put on great curated shows. The exhibition I saw in 2013 about the male form in art has informed a lot of my work in BOYS! BOYS! BOYS!
- if you could buy any photograph which would it be?
The 'Identical Twins' by Diane Arbus. Like I said it made an impression on me and unlike other photos which I've loved then gone cold on, this one is a constant favourite. Despite being composed and directed it's also undeniably sincere, communicating something genuine. This combination is almost impossible to get right and for me this image nails it!
- your favourite holiday destination?
I love adventuring anywhere in nature. I'm always excited to get away from the city where I can be in awe of the natural world. But if it's somewhere to relax I love the southern coastline of Western Australia, where ancient forests meet the Indian Ocean, I find it so peaceful and inspiring..
- if there is one living person you could photograph who would it be?
Photography is how I connect with people and I treasure the experience because time with loved ones is so precious. So honestly any of my family members, I live on the other side of the country from them and I miss them, I would love to spend time photographing them. But if it had to be a celebrity I would choose actress Eva Green. She is such an incredible performer and communicates so much with her eyes. She is also transcendently beautiful.
- what is your guilty pleasure?
I love fragrances, scented candles, colognes, incense, flowers in the home. It's something so frivolous but there is an alchemy in scents that can do so much to create a mood or form an impression. It's like a kind of magic.
- what is your favourite city?
I love Naples in the south of Italy. I always find it an exciting, fascinating city. It has an ancient, rich history and feels so alive. Situated amongst volcanoes, it feels like it never sleeps, always slightly on edge. I've been lucky enough to work there several times on projects with fellow artist Andrew Nicholls. He’s so knowledgeable about this amazing city, we always have fantastic adventures.
- which charities do you support?
One organisation and charity which is close to my heart is AUSPELD, supporting people with learning disabilities in Australia. Personally growing up with dyslexia, I'm painfully aware how education and schooling is tailored to the majority and can often alienate and disclude anyone with learning disabilities or who require alternative teaching methods. This has a huge impact on mental wellbeing and limits future opportunities for people who may require a different approach to education. Thanks to the wonderful support of Dyslexia SPELD (the West Australian branch of AUSPELD) I was diagnosed as dyslexic. Because of this changes were made to my learning methods and I was able to not only complete schooling but go to University to study art and photography. One of my amazing sisters now works for them and it makes me so proud to see her helping and changing kids' lives who would otherwise be left behind.
Beyond Blue is also another wonderful charity to support. Now more than ever, accessible help for mental health and scuicide prevention is so important. This charity is just a phone call away for anyone struggling and has a lot of helpful resources to get the help you or a loved one may need.