Monday 12 February 2024

Fiona Basile - Photographer

 On Saturday l went to a talk by Fiona Basile. Fiona is a photographer, journalist, writer and open water swimmer. 

Immerse is a coffee table book that she has written about the Pole Dancers which is a group of open water swimmers who swim off Seaford beach. Most were there to hear about the swimming, l was there to hear about the photography.

This project was born in COVID and the strict lockdowns we had in Melbourne. Although we couldn't go further than 5 kms we were allowed to go out for 2 hours and exercise keeping a clear distance from anyone else. I went out and walked for the whole 2 hours; Fiona discovered open water swimming.

The book contains interviews as well as photos and, oh my, what beautiful photos. Seaford is a southern beach side suburb in Melbourne and these photos were taken in Port Philip Bay, Melbourne's bay, my bay. There is no photoshopping or tweaking, no need for all that. Each photo shows the beauty and might of the sea. Most were taken when Fiona was in the water or on the jetty.

As l sat there listening to Fiona speak of the bay and the people l thought this is the beauty of photography. It can capture the place and its' people in the moment and photo exhibitions can tell a story. Years ago l went to a photo exhibition of Cuba. It was so interesting. Most photos were in black and white and even without the colours it conveyed a sense of place. Of course video is important ( and l do have a YouTube channel) ,  but there is something special about photos.

I'm not planning on becoming an open water swimmer myself but I love photo exhibitions and will definitely be trying to see more this year. If you are near Frankston this April Fiona is having an exhibition at The Frankston Arts Centre or you can purchase the prints and book at her website.

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