An image of Visions of childhoodAn image of Visions of childhoodAn image of Visions of childhoodAn image of Visions of childhoodAn image of Visions of childhoodAn image of Visions of childhood

Peter Charuk

(Australia 1951 – )

Visions of childhood

Location
Not on display
Further information

In the 1980s Peter Charuk took photographs with a cheap Diana camera, creating deliberately blurred images. The colour bleeds and simple subject matter reflected the artist's desire to remember and capture fleeting images of childhood.

‘Visions of childhood’ – a hand-bound album of 12 paired black-and-white photo-etchings and the same images shown as diptychs on the wall – is representative of the period when Charuk was exploring photographic processes. As part of this experimentation he used a toy camera as a way to best encapsulate the events and images of childhood – merging form and content in an appropriate way, so that the photographs appear to have been taken from the viewpoint of a child. Like 'first efforts' – my first camera, my first photograph, the sort of memorabilia that ends up in scrapbooks and albums recording the past – the series has none of the sharp, adult ‘matter-of-fact' fullness one expects of documentary photography. Charuk used phrases to title each image, ‘Tarzan calls on the radio’ and ‘Going to Luna park’, however these lead to further imaginative extrapolations rather than providing any narrative explanation.

Peter Charuk was born in Sydney and studied photography and printmaking at Sydney College of the Arts. He has lectured extensively since the 1980s and currently works with digital and interactive media. ‘Visions of childhood’ was included in ‘Reconstructed vision: contemporary work with photography’ at the AGNSW in 1981.

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007

Year
1980
Media
Album, Photograph
Medium
hand-bound album: 6 leaves, 12 photo-etchings (2 images per sheet)
Dimensions
26.0 x 34.5 x 0.5 cm album closed :
a.1 - Saturday afternoon at the movies; 9 x 9.3 cm; image
a.2 - Toy figures in front of houses; 9.1 x 9.3 cm; image
Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)
b.1 - Flattening pennies on the railway line; 9 x 9.3 cm; image
b.2 - Water pistol fights at the fete; 9 x 9.3 cm; image
Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)
c.1 - Playing war games on the Bridge; 9 x 9.2 cm; image
c.2 - Lollies from the corner store; 9 x 9.2 cm; image
Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)
d.1 - Taking a ferry ride to Manly; 9 x 9.3 cm; image
d.2 - Making marks on a wall; 9.1 x 9.3 cm; image
Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)
e.1 - Tarzan calls on the radioe; 9.1 x 9.4 cm; image
e.2 - Going to Luna Park; 9.1 x 9.4 cm; image
Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)
f.1 - Reading Phantom comics; 9 x 9.3 cm; image
f.2 - Crashing into the fence; 9.1 x 9.3 cm; image
Sheet; 25 x 35 cm; sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. [inside back cover of album], pencil "Peter Charuk 1980".
Credit
Purchased 1980
Accession number
97.1981.a-f
Copyright
© Peter Charuk