The power of light

Castlemaine photographer Julie Millowick focuses on light in her exhibition being shown at the Old Castlemaine Gaol as part of the shire-wide Arts Open festival.

Castlemaine photographer Julie Millowick focuses on light in her exhibition being shown at the Old Castlemaine Gaol as part of the shire-wide Arts Open festival.

The transformative power of light is the main focus in the new exhibition of work by acclaimed Castlemaine photographer Julie Millowick.

Millowick's work is showing at the Old Castlemaine Gaol as part of the Arts Open festival happening now at 40 different venues across Mount Alexander Shire Council.

The local photographer has worked commercially since the '70s with the rigorous demands of colour transparency film, and her imagery is as shot without any post production in Photoshop.

"The use of light is absolutely crucial to my work," Millowick says.

"Light - either available, or added - is the most powerful and significant technical skill I bring to the photographic interpretation of my subjects.

"This exhibition is in two sections and in one section the lighting is broad source lighting. It's very soft. It's almost romantic.

"The other part of the exhibition, the light is very harsh. It's what's called point source light. If you think of the Australian sun, this incredible harsh light. That's what point source light is and that part of the exhibition is much more confronting. It's quite harsh and very dramatic."

The accomplished photographer is among more than 100 local artists whose diverse work is being showcased during Arts Open which continues through next weekend, March 17-18.

The Old Gaol also sets a powerful backdrop for a group photography show featuring the work of Katherine Seppings, Julie Hough, Liam Lynch, Michael Rayner, Karleng Lim and Fuzz Guzzardi while the work of Helene Athanasiadis, Debra Goldsworthy and Melinda Rodnight is showing in OCG's Octagon Room.

With numerous private studios also opening to the public, Arts Open offers a great chance to meet the artists for which the local region is renowned, gain insights into their creative process and purchase work directly from them.

The diverse array of talent on show includes painters, printmakers, jewellers, sculptors, multimedia artists and craftspeople across Castlemaine, Newstead, Maldon, Chewton and beyond.