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An Interview with Andrew Bartholomew

02/09/15

While the majority of the Northern Hemisphere’s upper regions is currently dealing with blizzards rolling in as reliably as the Sunday paper, elsewhere in the world it’s blue skies and endless sunshine (remember that?). Helping remind us that there is light at the end of the tunnel is Australian photographer and graphic artist Andrew Bartholomew, whose bright and angular images feel like the very (albeit abstract) embodiment of summer. His work, often focusing on architecture, offers a welcome counterpoint to the beachy images his continent is well known for. We talked to the 40-something Brisbane creative about what he looks for in a shot, half-true Aussie stereotypes, and what it’s like to live in a place where snow doesn’t exist.

What do you look for when you’re shooting?

When I’m out and about I’m always looking around for something interesting to shoot. Usually it’s architecturally related, but not always. I love to discover interesting symmetry or clean, uncluttered lines. I love graceful curves and large expanses of glorious concrete! I’ll often rope one of my kids into standing near the centre of it to provide some scale.

Describe your neighborhood in three words:

Beachy hipster heaven

What’s an Australian winter like?

Where I live it’s pretty mild. You can still swim in the ocean most of the time. There’s no frost and of course decidedly lacking in snow! It does get a bit cold though sometimes…

Biggest stereotype about your city that’s not true:

That it’s totally tacky and touristy.

Biggest stereotype about your city that IS true:

It’s a little bit tacky and touristy, but not totally! It depends where you go. I live at the southern end of the Gold Coast away from the main clusters of soulless hotels, resort chains, and endless cycles of tourists.

You have 15 Aussie dollars to spend at your local corner store (or do you guys call them bodegas, too?), what do you buy?

We actually would say corner store or convenience store. Anyway, I would definitely buy a chocolate-coated vanilla and mango ice cream for my two daughters and my wife and myself and that would pretty much be $15. If I had a couple of dollars left over I would buy some Hubba Bubba.

Best place you went in 2014:

I went to so many amazing places in 2014. It’s very hard to pick a favourite. But I guess the most fun trip was the two weeks we spent in India, travelling around Rajasthan with my family and some friends. We even stayed in a palace for a few nights! Seeing the Taj Mahal at first light was a definite highlight.

 

Where you want to go in 2015:

We’re planning on going to Mexico (hopefully followed by Cuba) for Cinco de Mayo this year. I’m madly excited about it!

Favorite place in the world:

Playing in the sand, paddling in the ocean and exploring rock pools with my family at our favourite secret beach in Northern New South Wales, Australia. When I’m there--even when there are a hundred worries and fears in my mind--I’m always able to get a bigger perspective and refocus my thoughts. It makes me feel grateful to be alive!

 

Photos courtesy of @surfistatomato via Instagram.