Bec Parsons: Lone Dove. Nishi Gallery. Until December 21.
Although she has 12,500 Instagram followers, I was not familiar with Australian photographer Bec Parsons prior to visiting this exhibition and researching her background on the internet.
Parsons grew up in Burradoo in the NSW Southern Highlands and, like me, has loved taking photos since childhood. She is an accomplished fashion photographer, a favourite of the Australian fashion industry, her images having graced the covers and pages of most major fashion publications.
Asked to describe her photography style, Parsons says, "I like to reduce things to their most basic and timeless elements".
In an essay written for the exhibition catalogue, we read she "has built an international career around her sensitive negotiations of the ever-elusive space between photographer and muse.
Her timeless, minimal aesthetic is highly regarded, and has seen her at the forefront of the resurgence of analogue photography in fashion. The photographer's output is considered to radiate with a rare collaborative dynamic."
So, what is this exhibition about? Parsons joined young model and champion equestrienne Lauren Devaney, and her family, at the Music Meadows ranch in Westcliffe, Colorado.
She was there with them twice - in summer and in winter - seeing Devaney in the context of both fast-paced rodeo competition and lonely ranch work amidst the dramatic landscape.
The series pictures Devaney, her wider family, their horses and the uniquely American landscapes their lives occupy.
This is the exhibition associated with Parsons' latest book, Lone Dove, which is available at the gallery.
It switches between documentary and personal images, simultaneously offering both an intimate and a broad scope reading of what is, for most of us, a group of unusual lives.
The exhibition seeks to challenge what it means to be a young woman, a model, a horsewoman, a sister and a daughter.
Having never been any of those things, I needed to think hard about the story I was examining.
The fact that none of the works are titled means nothing is added to the visual images we are viewing beyond what each of us see in them ourselves.
I have limited experience of riding horses, as a child in several parts of rural Australia, and certainly not in rodeos or on a Colorado ranch. In fact, I've not seen the Colorado landscape other than in photographs.
The closest I've been is to Nevada and Arizona, where the landscapes can also be dramatic.
Nevertheless, I can appreciate the joy and challenges that accompany riding and have no doubt that exploring the great outdoors with your camera on horseback would be exhilarating.
These images are diverse. They reveal aspects of the sweeping landscape and minor elements of the ranch. They show us something of Devaney doing a variety of things - on horseback with and without a saddle and lying nonchalantly in the grass.
They show us a young man holding a rabbit before a magnificent landscape with snow-capped mountains and, in another shot, cradling a dog inside his jacket. We also see snow on the backs of horses standing under trees.
One great joy for me is that the images are analogue, shot on film and exhibited as C-type (chromogenic or silver halide) prints.
Most of us today shoot our images digitally and make inkjet prints of them - or no prints at all! So, when analogue work is exhibited that, in itself, is a reason to go and take a look.
The 57 prints in the exhibition range in size from A5 to A0. The largest ones are very powerful; the smallest have an intimacy that draws the viewer in to look.