I am Dom Varney, an Australian photographer who lives in the Blue Mountains area of New South Wales. Although living in the mountains, my preferred studio is the streets of Sydney, Manila, Helsinki, Barcelona, or whatever city I might have the pleasure of exploring. Being both a technician and and artist, my photographic abilities range from hard, objective, scientific documentation, to a subdued and moody urban style that includes both the real-world and the dreamy.
Trade Certificate in Optical Mechanics (Glass Lens Maker)
Bachelor of Education
Diploma of Theology
Diploma of Shiatsu and Oriental Therapies
Diploma of Photo-Imaging (Distinction)
I trained and worked originally as a lens maker, and later as a multi-coating technician (lens anti-reflection coatings). All the while, I maintained an interest in photography (which was at that time film based). Before taking up a teaching position with the Department of Technical and Further Education, I worked for Carl Zeiss, Australia. In recent years, I had been teaching optical theory and manufacturing practice, but the maturation of digital imaging (which suits my preferred workflow better than traditional film) saw me getting more and more involved in my photographic pursuits. There came a point where I decided to change my workplace from the classroom, to the studio.
When I look back over the images that most speak to my artistic intentions, I find that the use of colour is characteristically subdued, restrained, muted, and understated. The human form is cast upon a stage contextualized by the backdrop of a strangely serene metropolis. These human figures, abstracted from the crowd, are often in silhouette or in a contre-jour setting, and are typically (although by no means exclusively) anonymous. Paradoxically, that anonymity renders them universally identifiable – you might get the feeling of “I have seen that person / I have been that person”. Whether concrete or dreamy, I am drawn towards that ambiance which is experienced as warm and earthy. A moodiness prevails which might range from a lazy hedonism to a nostalgic pathos, but regardless, the quest is always for that milieu which is both endearing and alluringly inviting.
I have always been interested in the visual arts. When I travels overseas, I always take, as well as my camera, a sketch-book and coloured pencils. Here are a few examples of the scenes That I like to capture in pencil: