Ritual is a protocol, a guide, for that most fundamental of human needs: meaning. But when protocol loses meaning, snubbed out by the distractions of life, it is merely repetition. Baptism becomes bath, marriage a party with rings. And so on the Western world ambles, away from what was once the light, out into the secular unknown.
One wonders, in this state, if bath can become baptism – if, on meditation, the mundane can take up meaning and repetition become ritual. This is the margin I seek to explore: the contemporary quest for purpose, rite in the Australian landscape. Ritualism delves into the shared desire to understand our existence and our mortality, the purpose ritual holds in explaining moments of life, to mark them and imbue them with meaning.
Based in Sydney, Tamara is a member of the Oculi photographic collective and currently works as a staff photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald. She has been a finalist in various photographic awards including the Moran Contemporary Photography Prize, the Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award, the Head On Alternative Portrait Prize, the 5th Leica/CCP Documentary Photography Award and the Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture. Tamara has also been awarded two artist residencies by the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery in the remote historical gold-mining town of Hill End in NSW.
She has exhibited her work at the Australian Centre for Photography (ACP), the Museum of Sydney; Stills South and the Art Gallery of NSW. Tamara’s works are held in both public and private collections and she is represented by the Charles Hewitt Gallery in Sydney. More of Tamara’s work can be seen at www.oculi.com.au