Hailing from the deliciously named Scone in the Hunter Valley, Harry Cole has honed his craft through time, trial and exploration. His work seeks out the smaller moments, capturing the elevated everyday and the overlooked oddities of life.
Looking through Harry’s various IG profiles, it’s interesting to see what captures his eye, oftentimes noticing the moment behind the moment. It’s a man feeding pigeons on a pier, a case of Coopers casually slung over a tattooed arm, a Parisian tightly clasping a long-stem rose or a couple of sunkissed grommets scrolling away on a beach-side sofa. The work makes you wonder where they’re heading, what they’re thinking, and what happens next. The furthest thing from being staged or easily replicated – it’s a moment in time; short, sharp and significant.
When it comes to style, Harry prefers to keep it fluid, avoiding repetitive, limiting formats and always staying inspired by the world around him, capturing what captures him.
Harry also finds inspiration from others in the field, looking to some Aussie locals behind the lens, like Scott Carr, Alex Johnstone and Andreas Damouras.
His path to public creativity started with the safety net of sharing via a pseudonym.
“My interest peaked with newfound freedom that follows intense schooling and I felt the need to document it. I initially felt the need to separate that identity from myself and build something anonymous where I could express myself without perceived judgement.”
He continues…“At the time I was also building an interest in music and in particular trance music – from which the name catalessi comes, which is ‘a state of trance’ in Italian.”
Initially shooting and sharing digitally, before making the switch to solely film photography, the work was at first focused on friends and travel before wanting to explore a feel that captured more everyday, domestic moments.
His most recent exhibition showcased works from trips around the US and Europe pre-pandemic. The images captured the lifestyle, streetscape and travel themes from 2019, but the work has taken on new meaning over time and ties in perfectly with the reopening of our international borders and feelings of much-missed wanderlust seeping back into the local spirit. Harry says that he photographs the “hidden corners of the world”, adding, “they are photographs I’ve been keeping hidden for a while in the hopes to do a book or exhibition with so it was exciting to get that opportunity.”
The selection of exhibition images spanned sundrenched spots around the world, from gold-lit New York City architecture, a lone skater at magic hour in Venice Beach, to spherical hedge maintenance in the bright streets of Paris. All the images capture the same essence of the fleeting, the minutiae you’re lucky enough to see when you’re paying attention.
The process of preparing for an exhibition also gave Harry new insight into the world of professional photography and inspired hopes to develop his long-standing creative passion into a profession.
“The exhibition experience has been interesting in that it made me look at my work a lot more seriously than before”, he says.
Despite Harry’s creative evolution into public exhibitions and a more serious approach, he is keeping joy and intrigue at the heart of his creative motivation.
As Harry says, “I shoot as an extension of my memory, I shoot for the enjoyment that others find in the work, I shoot to capture moments others will or may never see”.
Currently, Harry is gallivanting around the Eurozone, pointing his lens at whatever strikes him. History shows those film scans will be something pretty special.