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Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Russell James Pop-Up Gallery, Customs House Forecourt, Sydney

Photography? I'd always considered it one of the easiest creative arts to master - a case of frame your shot and hit the shutter button. It doesn't take long to realise that amazing photography is harder than it looks - an understanding of composition, of design, of seeing the beauty in the everyday that most of us miss, and combining this with the technical expertise to produce an image that is both startling and unforgettable.

Whilst I'm reasonably comfortable with photographing food, the human form is another plane of expertise I've yet to master. So an invite to the launch of noted fashion photographer Russell James' new book Restrospective was met with interest. Admittedly the lure of canapes may have had just as much sway!

The cube

The party took place on Monday night housed in a pop-up exhibition - a huge inflated cube installed on the forecourt of Customs House.

The cube is slowly inflated

I happened to be in town early on Saturday morning as the cube was being assembled. By Monday night, it resembled a gigantic igloo and was glowing pink.

Launch party crowds

Welcome cocktails

Oh it was a little bizarre standing in a room full of "beautiful people", the leggy models floating past on impossibly high heels. Celebrities? There was a constrained buzz around the much-smaller-in-real-life Kristin Davis, a wisp of a thing whose manager had requested no photos be taken of her past the red carpet. Given she was attending as a friend of Russell and not as a paid appearance, the request seemed reasonable and we complied amiably.

The night saw cocktails, canapes and a huddle of of food bloggers made up of Chocolatesuze, Jenius, Not Quite Nigella and One Bite More. Thank you Darcie from Zing for the launch party invite!

We're quite sure the waitstaff were a little bemused by the waiting army of photographers by the kitchen door, but most were patient and accommodating, and those lamb cutlets? Oh they were good!

Peking duck pancakes

Arancini balls

Lamb cutlets

Mini hamburgers

Scallop ceviche

Roving singer

Beef casserole and mashed potato

The Russell James pop-up gallery is only open until 4pm today (Wednesday) before it closes.

Russell James Pop-Up Gallery at
Customs House Forecour
31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay, Sydney
(opposite Circular Quay station)

Open 7am-4pm (live artists from 12pm-4pm)
Finishes Wednesday July 8, 2009

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9 comments - Add some comment love

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/08/2009 02:42:00 am


  • At 7/08/2009 3:03 am, Anonymous chocolatesuze said…

    ooh LOVED your cube inflatable progression shots! and yes the lamb was my fav mmm lamb

  • At 7/08/2009 8:43 am, Anonymous Howard said…

    wow Kirsten Davis, not a bad guest. The food looks awesome, better than your average finger food that's for sure. Also I think I've seen that roving singer before! She sings at The Loft on Friday nights, interesting concept of walking around the crowd and singing.

  • At 7/08/2009 11:21 am, Blogger Simon Food Favourites said…

    food and drinks look excellent. do you know who did the catering?

  • At 7/08/2009 2:56 pm, Blogger Belle@Ooh, Look said…

    I've always wondered what it would be like to be a minor celeb and be invited to launches. Would you ever feel like declining an invite to have a bowl of soup in front of the tv? With food like you had, NO WAY!

  • At 7/08/2009 6:20 pm, Anonymous Maria T said…

    This explains why my bf and his work mates is overdosing on the free vitamin water! They work nearby and I don't think they even realise there is an exhibition going on! Looks like a fabulous party and love the finger food

  • At 7/08/2009 8:00 pm, Blogger YaYa said…

    Stunning photos, my mouth is watering!

  • At 7/09/2009 2:37 pm, Blogger Betty said…

    Looks like a super swanky do. So jealous you got to meet Charlotte! Love her!

  • At 7/10/2009 3:32 pm, Blogger Just Cook It said…

    Really wonderful shots

  • At 7/13/2009 11:13 pm, Blogger Helen (AugustusGloop) said…

    Hi chocolatesuze - lol. I was lucky I happened to be walking past as they were setting up, and yes, lamb. I looked up the caterer's website and they're described as lamb lollipops! Lollipops indeed!

    Hi Howard - I'm guessing you're a Kristin Davis fan? lol. The singer was great - very cool, clam and collected as she hit the hit notes with wine glass in hand.

    Hi Simon Food Favourites - The caterers were Bay Leaf Catering. The food was very tasty!

    Hi Belle - Haha, I wonder what it feels like to be a minor celeb too! It's funny how there seemed to be a fortnight of functions to attend, and admittedly I did start to pine for a lazy night in on the lounge in front of the telly! I think it's true what they - everything in moderation!

    Hi Maria T - lol. I suppose your bf isn't much into fashion photography!

    Hi YaYa - Glad you enjoyed the pics. It was actually quite fun trying to capture some of the action from the evening - a bit of a different challenge to photographing food!

    Hi Betty - It wasn't overly swanky, but that's a good thing! I don't really do fancy! I didn't talk to Kristin personally, just suddenly found myself three feet away. I did wonder how it must be having to talk to gushing fans all evening, and in the end I didn't have anything particularly scintillating to say!

    Hi Just Cook It - Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!


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