Erica Hurrell does more than just ‘shoot from the hip’, she incorporates imaging into the jagged flow of her life. You have to use the ungainly word ‘imaging’ because her photography is more than just individual stills taken with a camera, and more than just videos grabbed with a handcam. It’s a staccato of images that can be reconfigured in any number of ways — projected, printed, bound, screened — whilst retaining its aesthetic unity. These intense images, with their pungent colours, distorted sounds and ragged laughter, are all plucked from the immediacy of her life: her family and friends, and their families and their friends. Living in the outlands of Canberra they puncture their boredom with moments of high speed intensity, or briefly reinvent themselves in a camp karaoke performance, or lovingly deliver doses of tender pain to each other, before sinking back into the mundanity of the day to day. Erica participates in it all, even encourages it, realizing that her camera is ramping up the stakes of all this bad behaviour. But it’s worth it for these intimate, ultimately beautiful images.
Martyn Jolly is head of Photomedia at ANU School of Art