Last featured on the site in 2017, The Heavy Collective is back with its third issue. Featuring a wide array of photographers such as Gregory Halpern, Jo Ann Walters, Lindley Warren Mickunas, Matthew Genitempo, Nico Krebs, Rinko Kawauchi, Sam Contis, Taiyo Onorato and Zhang Kechun, the third instalment of the Sydney-based magazine carries on the conversations that are “the backbone of the publication”.
Founder Jack Harries says that he made a conscious decision when starting The Heavy Collective to avoid thematic volumes as “a lot of the time you end up being a prop for tropes, or carrying forward trends,” and he finds this structure limiting. But within the photography itself, he says themes found in this issue span subjects such as omens, environmental destruction, reclusiveness, femininity, masculinity, subversion, magical realism, long drives and family.
Though he has no favourites amongst the submissions, Jack tells us that a few highlights are Nich Hance McElroy’s writing on Sam Contis’ Deep Springs, which is “nothing short of brilliant”, Jo Ann Walters and Sara Knelman discussing Jo Ann’s luminous portraits of girls and women taken from the mid 80’s till 2015, and Gregory Halpern and Nicholas Muellner talking omens and symbolism in Gregory’s Confederate moons.
With such a finely curated and thoughtful selection of contributors, coupled with the publication’s name, it would be easy to mistake The Heavy Collective for, well, a collective. But, as Jack explains, that there is group of people behind the project is “a successful illusion”. A one man show for the past five years, Jack says he relies on his own motivation, and the assistance of a few transient helpers – such as his partner who co-edited this issue – to keep everything moving. Working 9-5 as a furniture maker, he manages The Heavy Collective (a website and publishing arm) after work and over weekends. “Running a publication on your own after you’ve come home from a long day at work faces every kind of motivational challenge there is,” he explains.
But in the end, it’s all worth it. This platform that Jack has created has become a place for beautiful engagement between creatives, and that’s what keeps him going. “What is most exciting is to watch these conversations take shape, sometimes between photographers and writers who have never met before and to see new ideas and realisations be discussed,” he says. "When you put two people together you are never sure what might happen, and when it clicks, that is the real reward of running this publication.”
Heavy III is out now.
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.