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An image of Visions of childhood by Peter Charuk An image of Visions of childhood by Peter Charuk An image of Visions of childhood by Peter Charuk An image of Visions of childhood by Peter Charuk An image of Visions of childhood by Peter Charuk An image of Visions of childhood by Peter Charuk

Peter Charuk

(Australia 1951 – )

Title
Visions of childhood
Year
1980
Media categories
Album, Photograph
Materials used
hand-bound album: 6 leaves, 12 photo-etchings (2 images per sheet)
Edition
A/P
Dimensions

26.0 x 34.5 x 0.5 cm album closed:

a.1 - Saturday afternoon at the movies; 9 x 9.3 cm; image

a.2 - Toy figures in front of houses; 9.1 x 9.3 cm; image

Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)

b.1 - Flattening pennies on the railway line; 9 x 9.3 cm; image

b.2 - Water pistol fights at the fete; 9 x 9.3 cm; image

Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)

c.1 - Playing war games on the Bridge; 9 x 9.2 cm; image

c.2 - Lollies from the corner store; 9 x 9.2 cm; image

Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)

d.1 - Taking a ferry ride to Manly; 9 x 9.3 cm; image

d.2 - Making marks on a wall; 9.1 x 9.3 cm; image

Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)

e.1 - Tarzan calls on the radioe; 9.1 x 9.4 cm; image

e.2 - Going to Luna Park; 9.1 x 9.4 cm; image

Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)

f.1 - Reading Phantom comics; 9 x 9.3 cm; image

f.2 - Crashing into the fence; 9.1 x 9.3 cm; image

Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. [inside back cover of album], pencil "Peter Charuk 1980".
Credit
Purchased 1980
Accession number
97.1981.a-f
Copyright
© Peter Charuk
Location
Not on display
Further information

In the 1980s Peter Charuk took photographs with a cheap Diana camera, creating deliberately blurred images. The colour bleeds and simple subject matter reflected the artist's desire to remember and capture fleeting images of childhood.

‘Visions of childhood’ – a hand-bound album of 12 paired black-and-white photo-etchings and the same images shown as diptychs on the wall – is representative of the period when Charuk was exploring photographic processes. As part of this experimentation he used a toy camera as a way to best encapsulate the events and images of childhood – merging form and content in an appropriate way, so that the photographs appear to have been taken from the viewpoint of a child. Like 'first efforts' – my first camera, my first photograph, the sort of memorabilia that ends up in scrapbooks and albums recording the past – the series has none of the sharp, adult ‘matter-of-fact' fullness one expects of documentary photography. Charuk used phrases to title each image, ‘Tarzan calls on the radio’ and ‘Going to Luna park’, however these lead to further imaginative extrapolations rather than providing any narrative explanation.

Peter Charuk was born in Sydney and studied photography and printmaking at Sydney College of the Arts. He has lectured extensively since the 1980s and currently works with digital and interactive media. ‘Visions of childhood’ was included in ‘Reconstructed vision: contemporary work with photography’ at the AGNSW in 1981.

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007

Bibliography (3)

George Alexander, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'Tableaux - memento mori - screen culture', pg.313-335, Sydney, 2007, 317.

Gael Newton, Re-constructed Vision: Contemporary work with photography, Sydney, 1981, [illus.]. cat.no. 11

Gael Newtown, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Photography - Australian, European and American', pg. 67-84, Sydney, 1981, 74. cat.no. 15

Exhibition history (2)

Project 38- Re-constructed Vision, Contemporary work with photography (1981), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Jul 1981–23 Aug 1981

Three years on: acquisitions 1978-81, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Oct 1981–01 Dec 1981