Meet Hobart photographer, author of Old Sea Dogs Of Tasmania and wooden boats lover Andrew Wilson…
You’re passionate about the boating community in Tasmania – how did it all begin?
My old man, or The Pin Up Boy, as I call him. Dad has sailed his whole life and he started taking me out racing on the Derwent when I was about 5 years old. After I started working as a commercial photographer I began scratching around for a subject to do a portrait series on for my portfolio. I eventually noticed all the salt, wrinkles and smile lines on his face and Old Sea Dogs was born.
Your work captures the essence of Tasmania’s seafaring characters – how do you tell their stories through images?
I guess that is my ultimate objective with portraiture. I always hope to capture an image of someone that reveals something of their life, their personal journey. Time is the most important resource. Spending time with the person you are photographing allows you to gain a better understanding as to who they are.
Tell us about your next project – Classic Wooden Boats Of Tasmania…
I’m planning to photograph and collect the stories of as many wooden boats and their owners from around the island. The boats don’t need to have been built here, they just need to live here. I’m interested in all shapes, sizes, designs – they just have to be made of wood. This work isn’t age-specific either – young, old, male or female, if you have a wooden boat and would like to be involved please get in touch.
What is it for you that makes wooden boats so special…
Well for one, they’re just beautiful works of art. Especially when they’re enacting the purpose of why they were crafted, be that sailing, motoring or rowing. I think what makes them so special is that they are time capsules. They collect and carry stories with them, passing them down from custodian to custodian, often verbally. It’s this history that makes them more than just a boat.
You have your own yacht – where do you love to sail most?
I used to own a Thunderbird called Chatterbox, but currently I own a 16ft cray dinghy built out of King Billy called Lordy-May. And we just potter about in Norfolk Bay.
Your dad is your sailing mentor… What’s been the biggest lesson and best advice?
To enjoy what you’re doing, otherwise what’s the point. And to never be afraid to ask questions, even the one that might seem silly, it’s how you learn.
How important to you is it to capture Tassie’s maritime history and keep telling the story?
That’s why I do these projects really, I think it’s very important because in a lot of cases the history lives with the person who holds it and when they pass away it’s gone. So that’s what drives me to undertake these long projects. I also find it fascinating to learn about my home though, so there’s a lot of personal satisfaction there as well, which is also very important.
What’s your favourite part of the Festival?
Just talking to people. It’s a great festival for that, everyone’s generally just wandering around, not in a rush to be anywhere so there’s time to stop and chat. The cold beer at the end of the day is also enjoyable!
Check out andrewwilsonphotography.com.au for more on Wooden Boats Of Tasmania.