Local photographer unveils solo exhibition

Lou Whelan at The Impeded Stream opening. Picture: GREG CARRICK

By Jed Lanyon

Warburton photographer Lou Whelan is showcasing her first solo photography exhibition, The Impeded Stream, at the Waterwheel Gallery.

The Impeded Stream opened on Saturday 15 February and Ms Whelan said she was nervous but excited to have her work on display and for the attention it would receive.

“It was lovely. I was blown away by the response when it opened. I’m not that comfortable on the other end of the lens. I’m used to covering the stories of other people and being quite comfortable doing so.”

In 2017 Ms Whelan turned her previous passion for photography into a career when she decided to step aside from her job as a nurse. She described the journey from that point to now as one that makes her feel happy, relieved and a “little bit proud.”

“It came to a point where I had to give it away. And I thought what do I do with myself now?”

The self-taught photographer shared the title of the exhibition originates from an American poet, Wendell Berry, who questioned, ‘what do you do when you’ve lost your purpose in life?’”

“In the last couple years and in my life there have been impediments and obstructions in particular to my health and how I’ve navigated it… In exploring an artistic career all of this has sort of become my materials and it influences my style.”

Ms Whelan said she was introduced to photography at a young age by her father who had created a makeshift dark room at their home.

“That’s where I really cut my teeth as a photographer. But you get told to go out and get a real job.”

She said her spark for photography was reignited when visiting Kate Baker’s open studio, taking in the smells of the dark room chemicals.

The Impeded Stream will be running until 3 March. For more information about Lou Whelan’s work, visit www.therealwork.com.au.

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