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Photography student gets the big picture

News story

Tim Palman will be graduating from Curtin with his career in photography well underway.

Curtin Design and Art student, Tim Palman
Photo: Vlad Mercea

Palman’s recent solo exhibition, hosted by Paper Mountain gallery in Northbridge, was a decisive success.

“Two pieces sold at opening night, which was attended by the senior curator from PICA [Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts] and other respected people in the arts community,” Palman says.

Titled Wellard, the exhibition presented the aesthetics of new urban environments on city fringes. The outcome is even more impressive given that a solo exhibition is a rare break for a student.

Wellard examines the modern suburban dream. Perth has so many of these sanitised suburbs popping up that it’s natural to explore the modern human condition contained within these clean surfaces,” he explains.


Photo: Tim Palman

“As a student you’re exposed to many types of photographic practice and genres. I discovered I like using photography as a visual discourse about a sense of self within place. Wellard, for example, began as a photography project at Curtin and evolved into a significant body of work.

“I’m not sure I’d have found the documentary form, and my creative niche, if I’d not switched courses.”

Palman is referring to the year he spent as an engineering student before transferring to Photography and Illustration Design at Curtin.

“Engineering was a subject I found myself shepherded into after high school, but after a year I decided to follow my passion for photography.”

Currently completing the final year of his degree, he is also busy with freelance assignments and is collaborating with artist Brent Harrison on a new exhibition. To be showcased at Smart Casual gallery in Fremantle in August, the exhibition aims to disrupt the entrenched representations of Australian Rules Football.

“We’re looking at the aesthetics of football through inversions of masculinity. I’m very interested in this area as a visual discourse,” explains Palman.

In addition, he is working as the image curator for Negative Feedback, a quarterly photography publication and YouTube channel that promotes analogue photography. He recently visited Los Angeles to collaborate with the channel’s founder, George Muncey. The trip resulted in a video series that documents photographing the Venice Beach Skatepark, and an instructional video, How to Shoot Street Portraits with Tim Palman.

Photo: Tim Palman

After graduating from Curtin at the end of the year, Palman plans to visit London to be more involved with Negative Feedback.

For those who are considering studying Photography at Curtin, he has some advice:

“Pursue your passion. Curtin values practical learning, so it’s easy to be very engaged with your creative work. And keep your eyes and ears open to other opportunities that will be presented to you while you’re a student.”

Graduate snapshot

Name: Tim Palman

Studied: Photography and Illustration Design (Related course: Bachelor of Design (Photography))

Graduated: 2016

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