The Black Rose


Trent Parke, the Art Gallery of South Australia

Art Gallery of South Australia, Black Rose

Followers of the visual arts in Adelaide are very fortunate to have Trent Parke, the only Australian member of the highly prestigious Magnum Photographic Agency, as a fellow resident. Even more fortunate to have had Trent’s “The Black Rose” at the Art Gallery of South Australia in its once only exhibition. Seven years in the making, the Black Rose encompasses, in the artist’s own words, “everything I have learnt about photography” but also represents a huge part of Trent’s personal journey. We were further fortuitous in meeting Trent at one of the Gallery’s Departure evenings.

Trent Parke, the Black Rose

He was more than happy to chat about the commitment of taking a beach shot every day for a year (something I know about too!) and praised the sharp, clear Adelaide light. He also let us in on some of the secret stories (sorry this is art, so I should say ” hidden narratives”) behind series of pictures that even art critics did not glean. It is widely known that the untimely loss of Trent’s mother was a major theme in the Black Rose, death being one of its metaphorical meanings. One of the pictures is of a single strand of her hair found posthumously in the family home in Newcastle, and there are many childhood scenes, although represented in Trent’s noir, dreamlike highly symbolised style. The exhibition ended today on Mothers Day.

My own Black Rose,

This is my “black rose.”

See #glenelgbeach365 here.

6 comments on “The Black Rose”

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