Interview by Rod Hunt
Unbelievably Bad Pic Editor
Zo Damage is far beyond driven. The Melbourne rock photographer is in the throes of a 365-day live music photography project but found time somewhere in her continuum to put together yet another new exhibition called Drive.
It’s being held at Tym Guitars in Brisbane for a week as one of the side dishes served up by the Sonic Masala Fest. Get your eyeballs ready.
UB spoke to Zo just before she flew north for the winter.
What is the theme of your new exhibition, Drive, and how did you decide which images best represented that theme?
Drive is about energy and what inspires and drives people. Not just musicians and music fans, it’s more broad sweeping than that. I wanted to explore the concept using rock photography to represent something bigger and more general. I really enjoy the selection process for all my exhibitions. Having a theme helps. It can be very frustrating, too, especially because I make sure that all the photographs in each of my exhibition are different. It’s been an incredible experience so far. All my previous exhibitions have been in Melbourne. I’m pretty fucking stoked to be going to Brisbane with Drive. Thanks to Sonic Masala Fest and Tym Guitars for this amazing opportunity.
This year you’ve already presented two exhibitions of your work, Proof and Eve, curated another, Digs, and you’re currently shooting at least one live band a day for your 365-Day project. What drives you to work so hard?
This year’s been pretty nuts for sure. I’m right into pushing myself, playing with ideas and seeing where they lead. Keeping things interesting is really important. Next year is my 10th anniversary of being published and I really wanted to do something different to take me into that. I started the 365-day live music photography project to challenge myself and my work … to push and evolve both personally and as a creative artist. The project is taking me places I would never have dreamed. I’m learning so much about myself, and my work. It’s pretty amazing!
Once you’ve completed shooting your extremely ambitious 365 Day project, how do you intend to present it?
Between 365 and getting ready to head to Brisbane for the Drive exhibition, which kicks off today at Tym Guitars, along with my Reach exhibition at Shelf Live Gallery in September, everything is a bit of a blur. I’m working with some pretty amazing people on getting an exhibition and a book together for my 365-day project, which is really cool. The project has a strong focus on the underground and emerging live music scene. I’m very into having loads of kick arse underground bands in a book alongside the so-called big guns. To say that I am overwhelmed and humbled by the interest in what I am doing and everyone’s support and generosity is an understatement. Everything I do revolves around the underground and emerging live music in one way or another. The places this wild ride is taking me is trip, I’ve got a lot to be grateful for.
Drive is on at Tym Guitars, 5E Winn St Fortitude Valley, Queensland from August 12-19. Sunday (August 14) would be a good time to go as it’s a next-day party from 12:30 to 2 w/ Agency, Pool Shop and Muddy Chanter playing live.