About the artist as a young man…

Steve Munro

Hi,

 

Thanks for taking the time to visit my studio.

 

Here you’ll find a snapshot of my art practice over the last couple of years; if you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me

A current work in progress – a fairly large (121x121cm) portrait at the completed under-painting stage

My cats aren’t usually allowed into my studio, but this is Charlie proving his breaking-in abilities are much sharper than my keeping them out strategy

Who are you and have you always been an artist?

I’m trained as a cinematographer with a sub-specialism in underwater camerawork and have won multiple peer-judged cinematography awards.

 

So, while my career has been about creating the image, that image has only recently become painting

Still from ‘Dangerous Nights’ (Short film ABC 2016; Dir: Stephanie Bendixen; My role: DoP)
Still from ‘Countdown 40th anniversary special’ (Documentary, ABC 2014; Prod: Jeremy Boylen, my role: Master interview DoP with Kylie Minogue)
Still from ‘Prince Harry Invictus Games launch’ (Promo, BBC 2017; Prod: Kath Earle, my role: DoP)

Cinematography is always about composition, colour, chroma, and exposure.

 

And that translates into my art practice as I balance the elements of camera work and illustration to produce paintings of my main subject – the quotidian, or, the ordinary and everyday of life.

And they are playful.

They’re exploring the premise that beauty exists everywhere, in the joy of the everyday, in the bones of the people we love; and it’s about revealing the scars and cracks that exist by being human, to share what isn’t always shown.

 

And to celebrate those signs of existence that reveal a life lived

Morning Coffee with Alfred Meakin, Acrylic Framed, 2020 SOLD
‘Morning coffee with Alfred Meakin’, acrylic, 2020

My ‘being human’ has always been about mountains, climbing, hiking, camping, and exploring…

Me on a 32km day walk around Mt Kosciuszko ridge circuit (Australia’s highest mountain) in December 2017, not long before my body, and my life as I knew it, broke
As before

…until 2018 when, during surgery for what is known as a left orchidectomy (only the second time in my life that I’ve needed medical services), nerves weren’t anchored properly which became ‘post-op nerve trauma causing neuropathic pain’

Still from ‘Mystery mummy’ (Catalyst documentary, ABC 2014; Prod: Roslyn Lawrence, my role: cinematographer (winner, ACS award for cinematography))

During my three weeks of hospitalisation, the doctors discovered I’d also developed a condition called ‘Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA).’

This discovery was just a few weeks before it was due to end my life as it had been about 18 months since I’d unknowingly developed it.

 

So the irony was, having the orchidectomy also saved my life; but the cruel twist is, it was too late to prevent peripheral neuropathy in both my feet and, ultimately, my hands

And so I now have, for life, multiple points of neuropathic pain and nerve trauma.

 

It’s all but ended my career as a cinematographer as I can, at times, scream out in sudden and ridiculously excruciating pain.

 

Never a good look when it’s ‘all quiet on set’

Still from ‘The Rabbit’s Foot’ (Short film as a seed for feature film financing, 2014; Dir: Darren White, my role: DoP )
One of the many photos I’ve taken while filming from helicopters; this is Sydney CBD just above the Sydney Opera House

What do you miss most then, about camera work?

I’ve worked for more than two decades, internationally, on promos and television commercials, documentary (features and series), feature films, short films, and television production.

I was the Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) NSW State secretary for seven years and on the jury for the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) for five. But what I miss most is,

I miss filming from helicopters

One of the choppers I used to film in with a FLIR camera system on the front

One of the absolute best ways to take a photo – sitting on the floor of the chopper with the side door open and sticking my feet out over Sydney Opera House!
Here I’m introducing the last camera work I did – Geoff Hannah: a passion for cabinets – as an official selection for the 2019 Byron Bay International Film Festival (BBFF)
‘Geoff Hannah: A passion for cabinets’ (documentary, 2018; Dir/Prod: Ross Bray, my role: DoP and editor)

So what’s next?

 

I’m resilient, I’ll bounce back from surgical complications and nerve trauma; I’ll keep taking the drugs that make the pain slightly more bearable but fog my mind like a dolphin swimming through mud.

 

And as I’m bouncing, I hope to successfully transition into being a full-time artist

‘Lunch, ruined – Campbell’s Soup’; Acrylic on stretched linen, 2020

‘Ian Fleming’s Mar-Tinny’; Acrylic on stretched canvas, 2021

Address

PO Box 1690

Bakery Hill

VIC 3354

Australia

phone

+61 (0) 434 858 525

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