The steam apprentice, 2009 by Gary Steer

image of The steam apprentice 2009 by Gary Steer

Artist's statement

I believe that portrait photography can go beyond mere physical depiction of the subject. If I can capture a portrait that 'speaks' to the viewer, not just visually but with other layers that tell more of the person, then I believe I'm succeeding. Most people surround themselves with familiar 'things' they are knowledgeable about, skilful with, or cherish. In this photograph of Ryan-Jay Luke the atmosphere of the location approaches other sensory dimensions: the sounds of machinery, leaking steam and the smell of oil. In this context, the photograph tells more of the person and his work. It was taken at the Outdoor Museum of Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, where Ryan-Jay works on boilers and steam engines.