There’s something oddly pleasant about being bamboozled – a certain thrill in not quite being able to work out what the heck’s going on. That’s how I feel looking at Damien O’Mara’s photographs which present suited and booted and figures in a variety of unlikely locations – next to a power plant say or scaling a fence by an airport runway. They’re immediately odd but much more than visual one-liners, composed in such a way to suggest various narrative threads but committing to none. It’s no surprise to learn that the Australian artist is a filmmaker as well as a photographer as there’s a definite cinematic quality to his images – even the long thin dimensions of the works echo the silver screen.
Damien’s work has scooped him the Aesthetica Art Prize so we can only guess the judges enjoyed being bewildered as much as us.