Kim Guthrie is a compulsive photographer. He documents his encounters with the people, objects, scenes, signs and settings that he encounters daily in his surrounds and travels. Guthrie explains:
I’ve spent most of my career to date being overlooked and ignored because the world admires popular culture and my worldview is an un-popular culture — things the general population don’t usually aspire to or are used to rejecting, because of social bias. I spent the 1980s living on the margins of society addicted to heroin and developed a mutual respect for outsiders and the marginalised. My photographs are a work-in-progress, an ongoing self-portrait informed by my own aesthetic filter: my art training, composition, art historical references, colour relationships, and my personal history. It’s low-fi with no Photoshop gimmickry or artifice, just the trust of the ‘strangers’ I encounter and ‘things’ as they present themselves to me. Some things have a particular magic that compels my image-making. I share a love for and affinity with the regularly ignored people and things in society — the honesty and resilience of ordinariness, diametrically opposed to a fatuous celebrity culture. To the rest of the world, we are exotic — a unique melting pot that is our distinctive cultural identity, our Australian-ness. After a lifetime immersed in the language of visual art, I celebrate the uncelebrated as culturally significant.
By extension Guthrie’s broader practice can be seen as a cumulative self-portrait in which the true subject is hidden behind the lens.
Kim Guthrie’s ‘My vanishing act’ series is on view in ‘GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art’ currently at the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) until 11 October. The accompanying publication profiles the latest innovations and achievements by some of Queensland’s leading visual artists.