Oscar O’Shea is a filmmaker and photographer whose work we greatly admire.
We first met Oscar about two years ago. He had just landed in France from Australia with the rest of the Fairy team, and was filming what would soon become one of the most authentic, independent surf videos in recent years. With the wild bunch living next door to us, we ended up spending several weeks rolling together for the daily surf missions/night strolls, and what a fine time it was!
We’ve kept in close contact with Oscar since his return to Melbourne, and boy has he kept himself busy on all fronts! Aside from directing numerous music videos, he’s worked on several epic photography projects, such as his recent photo book Carnival documenting Australian horse racing culture. If it’s your first time hearing about it, we strongly encourage you check it out.
Oscar has also launched MOM, his new studio in partnership with fellow filmmaker/photographer Lawrence McCrabb, through which they’ve been releasing book projects, producing videos, selling merch and more: « Both myself and Lawrence are photographers and filmmakers and have always struggled with getting our work further than our friends and the people who follow us on social media. It all felt really stale and frustrating so we wanted to create something we could put our work through that would lend a level of trust to our projects and be able to promote them impartially. This is something I see almost all emerging artists and creators struggle with and it has been great being able to get peoples work out through a non personal entity. MOM is primarily an art book publisher at the moment but we have just released our first short film and are starting to concentrate on the film production side of MOM as well. In saying that it’s also being left as something that’s very unspecific, it’s nice being able to just create stuff and have a platform to give it context, whether that’s a book, film or just some merch or sticker or something. »
Oscar recently released his latest project. RUBBERNECK is a colorful exhibition of street-photographs shot over the past few years in Melbourne, but also in the USA, Japan and Europe. Shot entirely on colour 35mm film, the series is a fascinating portrait of what modern city life looks like. It’s a raw and intriguing collection of photographs, and we love the fact that each image carries its own little story.
« I have been shooting for RUBBERNECK for about 2-3 years and haven’t shown a single photo to anyone, it’s been really cool sitting on works I’m proud of, instead of just blasting it on social media where everything disappears and lacks impact. I’d say 90% of the show is shot in the Melbourne CBD, with a few images from Europe and Japan. Everything was shot on 35mm color film with a flash. I wanted all the images to kind of exist within the same parameters. I like a series, book or exhibit to not be too mixed up when it comes to style, format and method. Otherwise I find it too hard to take in images, I get overwhelmed. If you mix together different types of cameras and films it can make it hard to assess the content and subject of an image, it’s nice to see everything through the same lens and just assess how the image is composed and what the image is actually capturing, rather than entering a new approach and world with each image. I put a lot of thought into the curation of the show and wanted to create my own version of a city within the gallery, filled with as many interesting characters as I could capture. Every image captures a moment in time in environments all of us spend most of our days inhabiting, I hope it can create a thought provoking and imaginative experience, whilst being easily relatable and visually litteral. »
The exhibition just opened its doors at St Heliers Street Gallery and will be open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 8am to 5pm until the 18th of this month. If you happen to be in Melbourne, we highly recommend checking it out and grabbing a print before they’re all gone!