From an early age Joel was interested in photography – inspired by his father – who gave him his 12 exposure roll film camera. He made his own enlarger and developed prints as a boy growing up in Oamaru. He studied physics at University but his real love was black and white photography, particularly using Tri-X Kodak film, pushed to 3200 ASA to maximise contrast and grain size.
His focus is portraits, candid settings, and natural and urban landscapes. Joel travelled extensively, worked abroad, was an elected councillor in Auckland, and has three adult daughters. Since semi-retiring to Mangawhai, and joining Mangawhai Artists Gallery he has had two exhibitions after being motivated by participation in the 2020 Kaipara Art Award show.
His first exhibition focused on his digital corrugated iron Mangawhai Surf Beach reflections on what lasts and what doesn’t. Sand and sea and sky are what’s left when iron rusts and rocks erode when water does its work. The exhibition also contained palite digital prints of selected images from Joel’s 35mm archives prepared from digitally scanned Kodak Tri-X negative strips – blown up to emphasise grain texture and high-contrast processing. Black and white blasts from the past.
His second exhibition – curated at Mangawhai Art Gallery in 2021 – was from digital pictures taken mostly during COVID lockdown months and were inspired by what he calls “Heritage Landscapes”. Dramatic rural landscapes with lonely old pine and macrocarpa trees, growing among fences and derelict sheds and houses - the surviving skyline remnants of colonial farms. He is preparing fully framed digital artworks now for his upcoming September 2022 exhibition.