About

Photographer Tracy Ponich in studio

Feathermark® is the name of my Blue Mountains studio. It’s where I carry out post capture work, print my photographs, and importantly, have one-on-one time with Jasper.

Exhibitions and dilemmas

In the last few years I’ve pursued projects about the social and environmental dilemmas we face. Two projects have been particularly meaningful for me. They’ve given me the confidence to keep going in this vein with my photography. 

First there’s Business Not Usual. This is a series of portraits of business owners and their employees in my community during the pandemic shutdown (autumn 2020). I got to know them as I shot the photographs and as they talked to me about their situations. I’ve come away from the project with new friendships and I feel closer to this community. The Business Not Usual exhibition runs from 26 June-15 August 2021 (one year later…) at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Katoomba

The other project that I often think about (and would love to return to one day) is Broken Stories: a Road Trip from the Blue Mountains to Broken Hill. This is a series of photographs from 2018 taken before any rain hit the dry dry soil of communities in Far West NSW. Broken Stories was a collaborative project with my good friend Scott Pollock. It was a shared experience. Our works hung during February-March 2020 at Braemar House Springwood, and they resonated more than I had expected. Time and again visitors lingered. They told me what the images meant to them as they had also lived or experienced the NSW desert. They knew all about relentless drought.

Historical places

In recent years I’ve also worked on projects at historically significant sites: Everglades Historic House & Gardens (Blue Mountains) and Retford Park (Southern Highlands). Both are National Trust of Australia (NSW) properties. In my view, these two places exemplify why we need to care about conserving our heritage. I’ve had the privilege of photographing them – from the publicly available houses and gardens, to the hidden corners and structures that go unseen. 

Years ago I studied and taught the history of art and architecture at the University of Toronto. Historical places and stories of the past still draw me in. 

ARY

Since 2017, I’ve also collaborated with a creative group based at Retford Park in Bowral called Artists of the Round Yard Inc. (or simply ARY). ARY is named for the magnificent Fairfax round building on site where we often exhibit. We’ve got new things coming all of the time. 


Jasper

Assistant, Office Mate, Aide-de-Camp

Jasper is Feathermark’s loyal Office and Location Assistant.

I value his eagerness enormously and his (dogged) pursuit of what is truly important in life. He reminds me often that I need work-life balance. 

Here’s Jasper watching over my gear at a shoot and demonstrating his loyalty to me. He prefers to do this from an elevation. 

He is an excellent companion. 

 


The way I work… treading very lightly

I think about everything I do in my photography practice and the impact I have on the environment, whether in the studio or on location somewhere. I’ve had Feathermark’s carbon footprint measured twice and I tread lightly. I also fund tree planting through the not for profit organisation, Trees For Life. This is simply a donation to help the reforestation of Australia in a managed, sustainable way. I plant a tree for each work in exhibition and one for each photograph that leaves my studio. See more on my footprint