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Collecting History Now: Harriet Logan of the INCITE PROJECT and its curator Tristan Lund on building a collection of images of war, conflict and other challenging themes June 5, 2017

Posted by bohdan.warchomij in : INCITE PROJECT, Magnum, Metaphor Images , comments closed

Collecting History Now: A Collector and an Art Advisor Discuss

Harriet Logan of the Incite Project and its curator Tristan Lund on building a collection of images of war, conflict and other challenging themes:

With a large print of Richard Drew’s famous shot of a man falling from the World Trade Centre featuring prominently on the stairs of her home, former photojournalist, and now collector of photography, Harriet Logan wants the rest of the world to see and appreciate some of the more difficult images in photojournalism as large prints displayed on a wall. With the collection she started to build only four years ago, Logan wants to show that “photojournalism is not purely an illustration for text” and to both define and preserve important moments of history and history-in-the-making. In doing so she aims to support photojournalists producing work today. The Incite Project, run by Harriet Logan and her husband, is a private collection of issue-driven photographic prints, motivated by current political and social concerns that are still within our power to change.

Also featuring in Logan’s private collection are: a Tom Stoddart shot from Sarajevo; Josef Koudelka’s photograph of a gypsy with a horse – “that’s one of my favourites, if the house was on fire we’d take that picture,” she says; and work by Diane Arbus, Richard Mosse, Moises Saman and Robert Capa. And in her dream collection she’d like to own Koudelka’s iconic picture of a dog, which she narrowly missed out on at an auction, having stuck diligently to her set budget. Logan and the collection’s curator Tristan Lund, recently spoke to Magnum about the motivation to collect contemporary photojournalism.

Motivation to start a collection

Starting her collection with Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, Logan initially focused on collecting a foundation of exceptional, history-defining, photographs, images that condense major global events into singular objects.

“I hate the word iconic, but it was about collecting the lynchpins of historical photography and documentary photography. I was immediately drawn to Koudelka, Cartier-Bresson and Capa – the ‘godfathers’ of photography, I suppose – and the people that, in my opinion, made images that defined history. That, to me, is the important part of it, particularly now when we live in a world in which everyone is a photographer and history seems to be quite blurred. I’m really interested in the images that are produced almost on a daily basis and how they define the world that we’re living in today.

What’s interesting is how a point in history becomes so defined by an image – the falling man from 9/11, everyone knows that picture. For me it’s such a key, emotive image; we have it printed huge. That moment in history has been condensed down to a single image. Like the tank man in Tiananmen Square, history stops at those still images, and the photographers that took those pictures did an incredible job of essentially isolating, for all of us, those moments of history.” – Harriet Logan

Living with difficult images

Despite the images often being quite difficult to look at, Logan is compelled to give the photographs, and the photographers who took them, a respect she feels they deserve, no doubt down to her own experience as a photojournalist in the field: “Someone has had the drive to actually get out there and show us something about the world we’re living in. I feel like not looking at those pictures is bizarre for me because I think we have an obligation to see them. They went and they made these pictures and to not look at them, I feel is wrong. I feel like the least I could do is look at them every day. The idea of these images getting stuck in drawers and forgotten about feels slightly irresponsible.” – Harriet Logan

Collecting living photographers’ work

By focusing on collecting the work of living photographers who are currently creating work, Logan is able to support their ongoing projects. “We made a decision a while ago to stop buying a dead photographer’s work unless it was something that was an obvious hole in the collection, and that we would really go after photographers who were out there today creating work that we felt was important,” she says.

Logan’s primary motivation is to support the continued work of contemporary photojournalists, and enable the production of more work. She’s supported Matt Black’s Geography of Poverty, enabling the photographer to continue to build a comprehensive document of poverty across the United States, in return for prints of his work; and she’s also supported Magnum’s Moises Saman’s acclaimed Discordia book project, a visual account of the Arab Spring, made up of work compiled over four years spent living in the Middle East, and received prints of this work to add to her collection.

Scouting and supporting new talent

Harriet Logan’s collection spans the true photojournalist heavyweights, established contemporary names, as well as virtual unknowns. She has followed the career of some photographers from emerging talents to in-demand names in the print market. As well as visiting galleries and fairs, Lund and Logan do other types of legwork of their own to find new photojournalists to collect, looking at awards, such as World Press and the Eugene Smith awards, as well as scrolling through Instagram. “We’re taking it beyond what we are offered by galleries, so we’re trying to be proactive about the way we find images and approach photographers,” says Lund.

“We definitely hope it’s encouraging for young photographers that we are coming to them directly and asking to turn their work into physical prints that will go into the collection,” says Lund. “You rarely get shown prints by a photographer now, and one of the things that we feel is really important is that photographers, particularly young photographers, learn the value of printing a set of prints and editioning and signing them – seeing the value of them as a physical object,” adds Logan.

From Instagram to wall

The photographers who have successfully caught the eye of collectors on Instagram, but who also produce highly prized print products take as much care on the fabrication and printing of their fine prints as they do curating their Instagram feed. Magnum photographer – and former printing tech Matt Black – is a case in point. Black’s bold and graphic style has earned him a huge Instagram following, while his printing, which is produced to exacting standards, creates an object that collectors are keen to own.

“The amazing thing about Matt Black’s work, was seeing his photographs as an Instagram feed and then seeing his work in a gallery. He prints really beautifully; they are such wonderful objects. I was blown away by the quality of his printing.” – Harriet Logan

Purity of the work

What appears to attract Logan to the work of the photojournalists she likes is a purity of intent in their work. She cites Magnum’s Josef Koudelka ‘s “honourable” approach as an example. “I think Koudelka is quite an interesting example of a photographer who sees the utmost importance in the physical object, who has been very controlling of what’s out there in the world,” she says. “I don’t think he’s interested in the money that his prints are worth at all. He’s interested in the home that it goes to and where it ends up, and that’s very honourable.”

Logan also sees a similar quality in Matt Black. Black, she says, “feels like a really pure storyteller, in his vision and the way that he sees. It seems like he’s been able to do that because he’s sticking to his belief in how he sees.”

Elevating the photojournalist

Through elevating single images and taking them out of the context in which they are usually experienced – on a page, next to the text of the story which they illustrate – Logan and Lund want to give photojournalists the recognition they feel is deserved. Lund explains: “We are really trying to show that photojournalism is not purely an illustration for text. Removing the text, putting the printed photograph in a frame and behind glass and treating it as a work of art definitely makes people slow down but also makes them consider that somebody went and made that work; it wasn’t just chance that the camera happened to be there at the right place at the right time.”

History through a Lens: Iconic Photographs from the Incite Project has been on at the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath.





Valery Melnikov Black Days of Ukraine for Lens Culture. June 4, 2017

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 Valery Melnikov, has created a small window into the Russian view of the Ukrainian eastern front.

Valerery Melnikov’s photos are very very good. Lens Culture gave him the journalism award in their annual competition in 2016. The captions are less definitive, less informational. They read as follow: ” A rebel fires near the Krasnyi Partizan checkpoint. Luhansk region”, “A funeral for the rebel Vladimir Tcymbalist in the Chernukhino village. Luhansk region.” “A rebel trying to catch a signal near the frontline. Luhansk region.” They are not separatists, not mercenaries, not Russian regulars. They are purely and simply “rebels”, a term which is vague and ambiguous. History is always told from two sides. Both protagonist and antagonist choose positions. This is the weakness of photography, a way of obscuring the truth. Unfortunately neither the word “separatist”, nor the word “rebel” nor the word “civilians” come close to explaining the complexity of the historical position in Ukraine.


At the Last Second. Civilians escape from a fire at a house destroyed by air attack. Luhanskaya village. © Valery Melnikov. Photojournalism Single Image Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2016.

Born in Nevinnomyssk, Valery Melnikov studied journalism in Stavropol, Russia. His photographic career began when he started to work for The North Caucasus newspaper. For ten years he was a staff photographer for Kommersant publishing house and since 2009 for international news agency Rossiya Segodnya (Russia Today).

(see the Columbia Journalism Review http://archives.cjr.org/feature/what_is_russia_today.php)

The Guardian’s take on the reporting of Boris Nemtsov’s assassination in Moscow: “Nietzsche said it first: “There are no facts, only interpretations.” But Vladimir Putin has perfected it into a political strategy. Within hours of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov’s murder on Friday, multiple explanations of what had gone on had been supplied to media organisations. It was because Nemtsov had forced his girlfriend to have an abortion. It was connected to Ukrainian nationalism. It was something to do with his business interests or his take on Charlie Hebdo.

It is a tactic straight out of Mr Putin’s KGB playbook from the 1970s. Generate a plurality of narratives, so the truth can be obscured. In such circumstances, the very idea that there is such a thing as “the truth” can itself be called into question. “There is no objectivity – only approximations of the truth by as many different voices as possible” is how Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of state-backed Russia Today, puts it. This is weaponised relativism.

It is a tactic straight out of Mr Putin’s KGB playbook from the 1970s. Generate a plurality of narratives, so the truth can be obscured. In such circumstances, the very idea that there is such a thing as “the truth” can itself be called into question. “There is no objectivity – only approximations of the truth by as many different voices as possible” is how Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of state-backed Russia Today, puts it. This is weaponised relativism.

Mr Surkov grasps that all this chimes closely with the idea, familiar in the west, that any and every perspective can be legitimised as a matter of individual opinion. On the basis of this lazy philosophy, the idea that one view is right and another wrong can be made to sound like some unwarranted imposition of authority. You can already hear the objection to the assertion of truth: “Who is to say who is right?”

What Russian state spin demonstrates is that, by dispensing with what we used to be comfortable calling the truth, we are left with nothing but sheer power. In other words, relativism leads inevitably into nihilism.”


Accurate captions are important in photography and particularly photojournalism in telling the truth. Subjectivity should never be allowed to cloud the truth, nor to assist in propaganda.


A rebel fires near the Krasnyi Partizan checkpoint. Luhansk region. © Valery Melnikov. Photojournalism Single Image Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2016

Valery Melnikov has dedicated himself to documenting the political and social life of societies in conflict. Valery’s professional biography includes coverage of Chechen war, conflict between Georgia and South Ossetia, Lebanese war in 2006, uprising of Mali Republic, Syrian civil war. In 2014, Valery began documenting war in Eastern Ukraine. This work continues in his current ongoing project, Black days of Ukraine, about ordinary people who became participants of the military confrontation created by the Russian invasion of Eastern Ukraine. (The words in italics are mine). The captions he has used are a dangerous way to report on what has been an invasion of a sovereign country.

A rebel trying to catch a signal near the frontline. Luhansk region. © Valery Melnikov. Photojournalism Single Image Winner, Magnum Photography Awards 2016

The photographer lives in Moscow.

London Bridge Executioners June 4, 2017

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London Bridge: Three terrorists shot dead in the Borough Market, at least six people killed, dozens injured after van, knife rampage.

Run for a Reason Charity Event Photos Bohdan Warchomij May 29, 2017

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There was a sense of community at the charity event Run for a Reason in Perth this year and it attracted 35000 entrants who raised over a million dollars for charity.

Here are images shot at the event by photographer Bohdan Warchomij that describe the atmosphere and the individuality at the event better than words can.

Trading to Extinction: Patrick Brown PICTURE PERFECT SERIES from VICE May 26, 2017

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Good to rediscover a series like PICTURE PERFECT from VICE that was first published on 11 Apr 2012.

In this episode of Picture Perfect, VICE visits Patrick Brown in Bangkok, Thailand to discuss photography and his book Trading to Extinction, which documents the illegal trade of endangered animals in Asia. VICE travels with Brown to Guangzhou, China, where he photographs restaurants that buy and serve exotic animals.

This series has You Tube documentaries that include the work of Donald Weber from Canada, James Mollison, Rob Hornstra, Chris Anderson, Vincent Fournier, Chloe Dewe Mathews and is important to check out for to help any photographer to understand what photographers experience on the road. Googling PICTURE PERFECT will help find what are essentially life journeys that many of these photographers have actually lived. Several of these photographers I have personally met at Visa Pour Le Image in Perpignan France and they all have amazing stories to tell.


Dutch Artist Sebastiaan Bremer: A New Technique in Photographic Art May 26, 2017

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In 1998, during a residency at Skowhegan, in Maine, Dutch artist Sebastiaan Bremer both took a risk and made a discovery; he upended ingrained methodologies and jettisoned just about everything that had constituted a painting for him so far, including paintbrush, brush strokes, figures and scenes rendered in paint, canvas, stretcher bars and to a certain degree, paint itself. Instead, using Milky Pens and Pentel paint pens, Bremer began to apply white pointillist dotes and small blobs in rippling and swirling patterns to enlarged copies of photographs – either found family photographs or those taken by him – essentially to draw directly on photographs.

What resulted was a complex, fluid exchange between made marks and photographic image and between those marks and the photograph as an actual, physical artifact. What really began was an intricately human, searching, deeply personal response to, and transfiguration of, past situations and fleeting moments: the live, crackling, current mind operating on visual traces of the past, with all the sprawling thoughts, memories, and emotions they trigger.

Sebastiaan Bremer took the photographs that form the basis of his newest series, Ave Maria, 23 years ago when he was 23 years old and had just traveled to the United States from Amsterdam. Soon after moving to New York, he met and fell in love with Andrea Lerner (the Brazilian choreographer and half of the duo, chameckilerner) who would later become his wife. Sebastiaan took several photographs that day of Andrea in the bathtub in their East Village apartment. Now, in an exhibition at Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York, he revisits these images as an exploration into the effect of time on the couple’s relationship and their individuality.


Sebastiaan Bremer, Ave Maria

3 May – 24 June 2017

Edwynn Houk Gallery

745 5th Ave #407

New York, NY 10151



ELEMENTS a project by Slovakian photographer Maria Svarbova May 24, 2017

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ELEMENTS is a new project by Slovakia-based photographer Maria Svarbova. Each of the portraits in the series features some physical, real-world element that has been introduced to add a layer of 3D complexity to the underlying 2D image.

“I focus on portraits in this series,” Svarbova tells PetaPixel. “I used different materials to work on photography, for example: fire, air, water, etc. All are portraits of young people, but everyone is personal and different.”

Memories of Rennie Ellis May 24, 2017

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Head On is finishing up soon and it is a good time to catch up with a pioneering photographer before the festival finishes. Rennie Ellis recorded the underbelly of  Kings Cross and its social fabric at a critically changing time in Australia’s history and the photos are still poignant and memorable. His Kings Cross images can be seen at Mossgreen Gallery in Sydney until the 6th of June.

Reynolds Mark “Rennie” Ellis (11 November 1940 – 19 August 2003) was an Australian social and social documentary photographer who also worked, at various stages of his life, as an advertising copywriter, seaman, lecturer, and television presenter. He founded Brummels Gallery of Photography, Australia’s first dedicated photography gallery, established both a photographic studio and an agency dedicated to his work, published 17 photographic books, and held numerous exhibitions in Australia and overseas. He died after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of 62.

His first exhibition and book, formed from work in Kings Cross, Sydney, followed in 1971. A year later he re-established Brummels Gallery, a commercial gallery established in the mid-1950s to exhibit contemporary Modernist Australian painting, sculpture and prints, as ‘Brummels Gallery of Photography’, above a restaurant of that name in Toorak Road, South Yarra,[2] and in 1974 Ellis went on to form Scoopix Photo Library in Prahran, which later became the exclusive Australian agent for New York’s Black Star photos. In 1975 he opened his studio, Rennie Ellis & Associates, at the same premises, and operated from there for the rest of his life.

The Guardian newspaper has also looked critically at his work.


Stanley Greene Photojournalist Dies at 68 May 20, 2017

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A Tribute to Stanley Greene, Teller of UncomfortableTruths

By James Estrin  

Stanley Greene, who started as a music and fashion photographer and later became one of the leading international conflict photographers, died Friday in Paris at age 68. A founding member of the photographer-owned agency Noor Images, he had been ill with liver cancer for several years, associates said.

Mr. Greene, one of the few African-American photographers who worked internationally, was known for his visceral and brutally honest photographs of wars, including conflicts in Chechnya, Georgia, Afghanistan and Iraq, that at times were too raw for many publications.

“You want to sit there comfortably with your newspaper and blueberry muffin, and you don’t want to see pictures that are going to upset your morning,” Mr. Greene said in a 2010 interview with Lens. “That is the job of a journalist, to upset your morning.”

Mr. Greene’s commitment to telling the unvarnished truth extended to his candid assessments of the ethical questions facing photojournalism. At times he seemed like an Old Testament prophet, willing to speak unsettling truths no matter the consequences. He railed against the use of Photoshop to alter the scenes of news images, a practice that he said turned photos into “cartoons.” And he scorned photographers who staged images in an attempt to recreate a missed moment after arriving late to a news scene.

“The public has lost trust in the media,” he told Lens in 2015. “We have to be ambassadors of the truth, we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard because the public no longer trusts the media. We are considered merchants of misery and therefore get a bad rap.”

Mr. Greene had once aspired to be a painter like Matisse or a musician like Jimi Hendrix, but he discovered his true instrument the first time he picked up a camera, he told Michael Kamber in the 2010 Lens interview. Mr. Kamber, a former conflict photographer himself and the author of “Photojournalists on War: The Untold Stories from Iraq,” this week compared Mr. Greene to a jazz musician.

“Stanley is like the Charles Mingus of photography,” said Mr. Kamber, the founder of the Bronx Documentary Center. “Stanley is about his heart, his emotions and his feelings. His photos are very impressionistic, like a stream of consciousness. Stanley was living on the front edge; all out, all the time. He wasn’t holding anything back for the future.”

Mr. Greene received numerous honors including the Eugene Smith Grant in 2004, the Lifetime Achievement Visa d’or Award in 2016 and five World Press Photo awards. His books include the autobiographical “Black Passport” and “Open Wound: Chechnya 1994-2003.” Anne Tucker, the former curator of photography for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, featured Mr. Greene in “War/Photography,” a comprehensive exhibit and book.

“You have to acknowledge the strength of his eye, his capacity to encompass issues in a picture frame — to understand a story and put it into visual terms — as well as his courage and tenacity,” Ms. Tucker said. “He was one of those journalists who went towards the bullet because that’s where the story was.”

What he was not, she said, was a good self-promoter. “He cared about the story, he cared about the issues, he cared about getting it right,” she explained.

Stanley Greene was born in Brooklyn on Valentine’s Day in 1949 and grew up in New Rochelle, N.Y. His father, also Stanley, was an actor, producer, filmmaker and director; while his mother, Javotee Sutton Greene, was an actress. His father, also an activist devoted to black culture, was blacklisted as a Communist in the 1950s and reduced to taking anonymous bit parts. Still, he had hoped his son would become an actor.

He had a “somewhat privileged yet traumatic childhood,” said his longtime friend Jules Allen. “There was a loneliness there that was insatiable, but he was blessed enough to at least partially deal with his pain through photography.”

As a teenager, he joined the Black Panthers and was active in the antiwar movement. His dreams of becoming a painter gave way to photography, and he was encouraged in that pursuit by the renowned photojournalist W. Eugene Smith.

In the 1970s, Mr. Allen and Mr. Greene shared a darkroom and a studio in San Francisco while Mr. Greene studied photography at the San Francisco Art Institute and photographed the local music scene. Among his early work was “The Western Front,” which chronicled the city’s punk scene in the 1970s and ’80s.

He cut as striking a figure as some of the acts he photographed. “Stanley was a punk rocker who drove a Mustang,” Mr. Allen said. “He wore a black leather motorcycle jacket, a black beret, two scarves, three watches and four bracelets as well as two great cameras and a bandolier of film strapped across his chest.”

Mr. Greene worked as a fashion photographer in the 1980s and moved to Paris where he later joined the Vu photo agency. He traveled constantly, working extensively in Africa and the former Soviet Union. He was the only Western photographer in Russia’s White House during an attempted coup against the president, Boris Yeltsin. Trapped inside, amid shelling and gunfire, Mr. Greene continued to photograph throughout the building, capturing two images that received World Press Photo Awards.

“The fact that I thought I was going to die gave me courage,” he told Lens in 2010. “Courage is control of fear. I think that this incident is the one that steeled me. I’m no hero, but it made me so that once I commit to a story, I have to see it through.”

A 1992 Moscow encounter with Kadir van Lohuizen, a fellow member of Vu, marked the beginning of a close friendship that would continue at Noor. “He was always my big brother,” Mr. van Lohuizen said in an interview on Thursday. “Stanley is my big brother, and Noor is his family”

The agency was born from a conversation between the two, who often worked together.

“Stanley and I wanted to be independent at the time of transition from analog to digital and from small agencies to a few large ones,” Mr. van Lohuizen said. “We believed that visual storytelling was the essence more than ever and that we should stake the ship and steer it in our own direction.”

In “Black Passport,” Mr. Greene talked candidly about how he felt while covering stories of violence or catastrophe in Rwanda, Chechnya, Haiti and New Orleans. He spoke just as openly about his personal life, including his marriages and numerous love affairs. His Noor colleague Nina Berman described him as “a hopeless romantic, forever falling madly in love — and being pained and hurt.”

He was a “gracious and generous mentor” and teacher to young photographers, she added, and one of “too few” black American photographers working internationally.

Not surprisingly, given the emotional and personal toll of his approach to life and work, along with the physical dangers, he discouraged others from following in his footsteps.

“Though I’m bombarded by young photographers who ask me how to become a conflict photographer, I tell them, ‘Get a life,’ ” he said in 2010. “If they persist, I tell them about the consequences. I tell them there is no glory.”

Even as his health was failing, Mr. Greene continued to work, returning last month from a road trip through northern Russia where he and Maria Turchenkova began a project on the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution.

At the end of “Black Passport,” Mr. Greene reflected on the centrality of storytelling to the human experience. Wars are fought, he said, because people have different views of the same story.

“Photography is my language and it gives me the power to tell what otherwise is not told,” he said. “Eugene Smith told me vision is a gift, and you have to give something back. He haunts me like that. It’s not the bang-bang that compels me. It never was. At the end of the day it is not about death, it is about life. The quest is to try to understand why human beings behave the way they do. The question is, how does this happen? And sometimes, the only way to find out is to go to where it is happening. One day the neighbors are talking to each other over the fence, and the next they are shooting at each other. Why is it that we don’t consider life precious, and instead, we literally let it drip through our fingers?”





Miriam Stannage Exhibition Art Collective WA May 17, 2017

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Please join  Art Collective WA for the opening of Miriam Stannage Territories on Saturday 27 May, 2-4pm. 

Territories reveals the extent to which Miriam Stannage continued to contravene the ‘rules’ of art throughout her practice.

This exhibition, the second of her work at Art Collective WA, recognises the important contribution made by Miriam Stannage to Australian art. Territories celebrates both the transgressive nature of her art, and her engagement with the relationship between place and identity. The works speak of borders, of realms beyond our physical, of transition from one state to another.Over her 50-year practice, Miriam produced works across the genres of installation, photography, painting, video, prints and drawings, and artist’s books. Miriam also taught art and was a founding member of the Contemporary Art Society (CAS).In 1998, Miriam was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Curtin University and, in 2015, she was honoured as a ‘State Living Treasure’ by the Department of Culture and the Arts for her contribution to our society as an artist and mentor. Her works can be found in all the major Australian collections.

This exhibition has been organised with the support of the artist’s estate and curated by Lee Kinsella.

MIRIAM STANNAGE ‘Territories’ is open at Art Collective WA’s gallery from 27 May – 17 June 2017. All works are for sale.

Email us for more information or to arrange a private viewing. art@artcollectivewa.com.au





Cathedral Square
Rear/565 Hay Street Perth WA
Opening Hours:
Wednesday - Friday 11-4pm
Saturday 12-4pm
Or by appointment 0418 945 011