PRISM | Head On Photo Festival


Daniel Arnaldi

University of Sydney, Herbert Smith Freehills Law Library

Exhibition Dates:

28 April 2016 to 30 May 2016

Exhibition Description

To look at a cloud is often to look into a world where impressions suggest themselves like persistent dreams and memories, you see what you think is there, what your memory is telling you it is, rather than just seeing what is there.

To study clouds without this filter may not be possible without the use of some apparatus, revealing the innumerable details of shape and colour that are otherwise hidden, with only subtle changes of hues and light.

Clouds are by no means a new subject of study by the photographer, there are many such “staples” of subject matter that photographers have been studying since the birth of photography. Doors, windows, stairs, chairs, trees, rocks, any one of these and more have taken photographers on long, meandering searches for whatever they’re seeking. It really doesn’t matter what it is, it’s the exploration of seeing that drives them.

When I was studying photography I came across the work of André Kertész and one photo in particularly was a revelation to me, it's title “Lost Cloud”. The photo itself was a pretty straightforward city landscape, no sign of life, looking up to the sky showing us part of a high rise and off to the side of the building is a single white cloud. With this simple image, and very insightful title I was introduced to the idea that something so simple can be an access point into a much deeper world of existence and human condition.

As I was editing these images for the show I realised they reflected the process that I've gone through and by extension a process that everyone going through a transformative phase might experience, they have been broken up into 3 subsets each one with its own title to reflect the various stages of such transformations.

The beginning of an awareness often coming in the form of a shock, violent, fiery, spectacular but also foreboding and threatening.

An uncomfortable stage where we have to come to terms and process new information that can sometimes be difficult. Feelings of isolation, depression, melancholy can be part of this process, sometimes all you can do is just ride it out, the colours in this particular series have been intentionally chosen for this effect.

As the name suggests a more energised stage tempered with focus, clarity and calmness. The blues invoking a feeling of tranquility while the more defined structure of the clouds still expressing strength. In all these photos clouds are still wide open to interpretation by the viewer, I hope that you let these photos be an entry point into your own inner journey of reflection, memory and emotion.

About the Artist

Daniel Arnaldi’s work explores the human condition through portraiture, landscape and still life using the medium of photography to illustrate the range of inner states of our consciousness. 

He has been a finalist and semi finalist in the National Portrait Prize, Olive Cotton Portrait Prize, Moran Photographic prize to name a few, and has been exhibited in many regional and national galleries.

Exhibition Space

Dates and Times

28 April 2016 to 30 May 2016
Artist Talk: 
Wed 11 May 2016, 6:00PM

Open Hours

Opening Hours: 
Monday - Thursday:
8:00 am-10:00 pm
8:00 am-8:00 pm
9:00 am-5:00 pm
10:00 am-5:00 pm