Meander Valley Gazette

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Eric Manukov, photographer and dreamer

Arts & Artisans, Community, People and PlacesJoanne Eisemann
Photo by Mike Moores  Eric Manukov, a passionate photographer and documentor of people.

Photo by Mike Moores

Eric Manukov, a passionate photographer and documentor of people.

By Lorraine Clarke

HIS LIFE in Tasmania is a far cry from the dizzy heights of international fashion photography, but Eric Manukov has never regretted moving to Launceston a few years ago.

He was born in Sydney, with Georgian heritage, and describes himself as ‘a strange creative child, a daydreamer’ absorbed with painting, art and music, whose first purchased album was jazz rather than pop or rock.

At school, he had dreams of becoming a photojournalist. Eric spent several years as a photographic stylist in the world of fashion, before studying at the Australian Centre of Photography at age 28.

‘Because I had the skill to create an image, my photography took off instantly,’ he said. ‘I could style my own photos. I worked in Fashion and Editorial for many years.’

Over six years, Eric often headed for outback Australia in a camper van to create his first big self-assigned project – Eric's Aboriginal series. He would fly back to Sydney for his commercial work, then return inland to his passion.

Representatives of five separate environments – desert, fresh water, salt water, cold climate and tropical – feature in this stunning photographic documentary that has been exhibited in Europe.

‘I kept going around the country. I met some very prominent Aboriginals. I would live in a community for about six weeks to get to know them, to develop trust and relationships.’

Eric posted photographs on his van or a tree to generate interest in what he was doing, in the remotest areas where some residents had never seen a white person and spoke no English. He travelled throughout indigenous communities, from Mornington Island in the Gulf, through the central desert, to Hermansberg, the home of famed Aboriginal painter Namatjira.

Eric hangs a dark vertical canvas as backdrop to all his portraits, and people are invited to step out of their own environment into his.

‘The person is the subject and context, not the environment,’ he explains. ‘The canvas is used to delete the background completely and remove the time-line. The intention was always to show them as a very proud people. All the photographs were taken of people in traditional tribal totem paint. I wanted to capture these totems before they were lost. It will all disappear. The series is a historical document.’

Eric holds great respect for the subjects of his hauntingly beautiful photos. He knows their names, their histories, and remembers their home lands. ‘I would wait and talk to people, and tell them what I was hoping to achieve historically. Some of the older people knew about the genocides and would not allow photos.’

Earlier photographers have captured the shaming history of our country’s treatment of its first inhabitants, but Eric had loftier aims. ‘The injustice has been covered. I don’t need to show that. I wanted to show how beautiful they are.’

All Eric’s 80 Aboriginal portraits were taken on film, and developed as silver gelatin prints. ‘I am very proud to have photographed them and printed the pictures myself as well,’ he said.

‘I was allowed in. They trusted me. That’s the number one thing I am very, very proud of.’

Pixels Gallery at Deloraine Online Access Centre is pleased to display Eric Manukov’s significant and striking Aboriginal series throughout the month of October.

There will be an evening viewing where invitees can speak with Eric about his photography and the subjects of his Aboriginal series.

Check the Gazette Facebook for the date and details, or call 6286 8216.

Eric’s website showcases all his photographic collections:

The world of macro

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
Fairy Helmets by Jade Hallam.

Fairy Helmets by Jade Hallam.

FOR THOSE who have been enjoying the short walk photos in the Gazette each month by Jade Hallam, you may be interested to pop into Pixels Gallery during November to check out her equally inspiring series of macro images. Jade loves to photograph flowers, but fungi are her favourite. From May to August she is always on the lookout for an interesting specimen. World of Macro, Kooparoona Niara, is on show daily for the month of November at Pixels Gallery in the Deloraine Online Access Centre.

Photo | Jade Hallam

Happy snappers

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann

November 2018 | Haley Manning

THE MOLE Creek Photographic and Visual Arts Group have donated the $200 proceeds from their 2018 calendar to the Trowunna Wildlife Sanctuary. Member of three years, Keith Cole, said the notfor-profit Group enjoy their hobby while raising funds for a worthwhile cause in the community.

“We hope to make the donation to Trowunna a regular thing, as every little bit helps with animal conservation, “Keith said. The Photographic Group share a passion for learning and sharing, with a little bit of good-natured competiveness thrown in. They have regular outings in and around Mole Creek and ‘attend an ‘informal’ meeting once a month. New members are most welcome. Please visit them on Facebook for further information.

Exhibition of French style

Arts and ReviewsJoanne Eisemann
‘Cosy Lamb’ by Steven French

‘Cosy Lamb’ by Steven French


FOR THE month of September a selection of photographic works by Steven French will be on display at Pixels, Deloraine’s digital art gallery located in the Deloraine Online Centre.

Steven French is a semi-retired Tasmanian farmer, photographer and writer. He lives at Whitemore, where his family have been farming since 1865. His grandchildren now make seven generations on the same property.

His photographic career began as a rural photographer working for mainly for Tasmanian Country and Stock and Land. During this time Steven’s photo captions kept getting bigger and bigger until he was writing more than photographing. He finished up being employed for several years solely as a journalist.

In 1978 Steve and his wife opened Reflections Photographic Studio which went on to become the largest photographic studio in the state. Steven is a former runner-up for the Tasmanian Professional Print of the Year Award and took out the People’s Choice Award in the same year.

In more recent times Steven has worked as a photographer/journalist/editor for several glossy publications. During the early 2000’s he was publisher/editor of Tasmanian Life Magazine. In 2010 he photographed and wrote the book Hand Made in Tasmania which was
on the state’s best seller list for several weeks.

Steven’s work has been published widely throughout Australia and overseas. He has had several solo photographic exhibitions and been part of group exhibitions on the mainland. His work has also been hung at the prestigious Menzies Gallery in Melbourne.

Photo | Steven French

Jewels of nature

Feature, Arts and ReviewsJoanne EisemannComment

APRIL 2018

WELL KNOWN local naturalist and photographer Sarah Lloyd (recently featured on Gardening Australia) will share some exquisite photos of slime moulds in an exhibition called Nature’s Miniature Jewels during the month of April at Pixels Digital Gallery.

Sarah has studied slime moulds in the tall, wet eucalypt forest that surrounds her home at Birralee in northern Tasmania since 2010.

During that time she has taken hundreds of photographs. A ‘time lapse’ series that illustrates the remarkable changes the plasmodia undergo as they form fruiting bodies. Photographs taken with a camera on a stereo microscope, show the variety of forms at the macroscopic scale. Photographs taken with a camera on a compound microscope, show the intricate beauty in their microscopic structures.

Pixels Gallery is located in the Deloraine Online Access Centre behind the Library.

Photo | Sarah Lloyd

My wild Tas

Arts and ReviewsJoanne EisemannComment

MARCH 2018

FOR THE month of March, Pixels Digital Gallery will be featuring the work of Robyn Adams. A selection of 30 of her photographs, depicting delightful sights from around Tasmania, will revolve around the room on the six large screens installed by Alistair Carr.

Now living in Meander Valley, Robyn Adams hails from the Sunshine Coast Hinterland of South-East Queensland.

The photographic style of Robyn is characterised by the lack of human elements and its capacity to evoke mythical and sublime associations with the natural environment. She does not use photo editing software such as Photoshop, so her work is strictly ‘old school’.

Pixels is located in the Deloraine Online Centre underneath the library. Open 10.00am - 4.00pm weekdays and 10.00am - 1.00pm weekends. All are welcome.

Photo | Robyn Adams

John's temple of creativity

Arts, FeatureJoanne EisemannComment
John Temple in his gallery in Westbury

John Temple in his gallery in Westbury

JULY 2016 | Elizabeth Douglass

JOHN TEMPLE came to photography after his first successful incarnation as a farmer of angora goats.

His career in the world of wool production provided valuable experience in enabling him to create a successful business as a professional photographer.

And now, all these years later, John can stand in his Westbury gallery, surrounded by his amazingly beautiful images of Tasmania and the rest of the world.

His panoramic views show familiar townscapes as well as wilderness views that most people will never see for themselves, astonishing vistas of colour and form fixed with an artist’s eye.

Behind the scenes at the gallery there is a well-coordinated workshop through which John markets his own images as well as providing a professional design and print business for other clients.

There is everything a photographer needs including a cherrypicker for those otherwise impossible vantage points!

Time spent in the gallery is necessary for running a business, but after 20 years travelling the world and taking photographs, John still prefers the days when he is free to be outside, looking for landscape and light to capture through the lens.

Still using traditional film stock, John nevertheless welcomes the proliferation of digital photography rather than seeing it as an encroachment on his profession.

His optimistic view is that the sheer volume of digital photography disseminated through 'the Cloud' can produce memorably brilliant images also. And producing brilliant images will always be John’s motivation for getting up in the morning.

He strongly believes that after all this time, he has still achieved only a small fraction of what he wants to photograph. The urge to be out there with his cameras remains stronger than ever.

John doesn’t believe he has created his best image yet and intends to keep trying for a long time to come.

Photo | Mike Moores

Have you got a pet picture cuter than Bonnie?

NewsJoanne EisemannComment


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OCTOBER 2015 |

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Email your favourite pet pictures to

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Mike Moores

'Felix in the snow'

NewsJoanne EisemannComment

Mole Creek visual arts

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Keith Cole took out equal first place in the open section of Mole Creek Visual Arts monthly competition with ‘Felix in the snow’.

[udesign_icon_font name="fa fa-camera" color="#000000"] Keith Cole

Meander valley – Get Involved

Events, NewsJoanne EisemannComment

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THE MOLE CREEK Photography & Visual Arts Group theme for their July photography competition was ‘Agriculture’.

Pictured above is the Category Winner, ‘Lone Shearer’, by Karen Miles. Next month’s theme is ‘Community Life’.

Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of every month; 6pm at the Presbyterian Church, Caveside Road, Mole Creek. An exhibition of some of the club’s work is still showing at the Blue Apple in East Devonport.