Destination / In Residence

Break free: Tim Swallow captures the art of living

On creative maturation and losing inhibitions. Photographer Tim Swallow talks us through his new solo exhibition, We Live Today, launching at Paddington’s Deutscher and Hackett from September 19-22.

How are you feeling about the opening of your upcoming exhibition, We Live Today?
I’m feeling great at the moment. Almost everything has arrived and I have a good team helping me out so fingers crossed, no hiccups.

What was your main inspiration behind the show and the name We Live Today?
The bones of the show is inspired by being present and embracing a natural form, free of care or inhibitions.

How has your day-to-day lifestyle influenced your creative process, what’s the routine?
My routine depends on my photo shoot bookings, however I always try to balance my busy work life with yoga, surfing and socialising. Adventuring into the wild with good friends has always influenced the way I shoot. There are so many variables on the road when shooting, it’s great to take advantage of what mother nature throws your way.

“I feel like I’ve matured a lot as a creative and learnt from past experiences when shooting for an exhibition.”

It’s been four years since your last exhibition, what’s changed for you as a creative? What was the motivation behind hosting another?
I … feel like I have more composure this time round. Everything is flowing nicely and I’ve been able to pull a few favours, I’m glad the good karma is rolling full circle.

Can you tell us about any artists that have inspired you with your creative practice?
There are so many incredible creatives I’m inspired by both past and present, it’s hard to pick one in particular. I currently live in Sydney with Claudia Smith and Alan White. Claudia is a very calm and diligent person, and Alan is somewhat of a mentor and father/friend figure. I’m blessed to have people like that around me on a day-to-day basis, it’s great energy to be around.

The title We Live Today seems like a natural follow on from the title of your last exhibition If We Die Tomorrow, how would you describe the connection between the two?
Yes, this show is a follow on from the last. I’m hoping in four years time to have another one with a new concept (I’ve already thought of the name). As mentioned before, I think this show is more refined and mature. I think the world changes so much in such a short amount of time now. The years passed have been a good time to reflect and correct.

“The motivation comes from producing something pure and free of advertising.”

“I shoot mostly on film which usually creates motion blur and I love that – nothing is static or staged.”

You definitely have a unique style of shooting which is always received enthusiastically. How would you describe your method of capturing the vision?
I like to literally run with talent and explore different angles. I like to be in the photo and capture what is naturally happening.

Your work seems to impact and ignite something inside of everyone, regardless of their age/demographic. What do you think that something is?
I try to take the viewer to a foreign and unexplainable place. Somewhere that feels blissful and halcyon. Perhaps this sparks a little something? I’m not sure. My goal is for the individual to interpret each image for themselves.

What can we expect to see from you in the foreseeable future? What’s next for Tim Swallow?
I wrote a short film 18 months ago set in rural Western Australia so I’m hoping to get back into that and place it into production.