When you get an invitation to "Come and snuggle in at the Edwards on a mid-winters night and take a photographic journey into cultures far and wide through the eyes of Newcastle’s Renae Saxby" it is certainly the kind of invitation Mirage wants to know a bit more about and in our own fashion, we had to ask Renae a few questions about such an invitation and what is going on...
Renae, Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Renae: Well…. My favourite things are travel, music and photography and that forms the basis of what I do these days. I generally spend majority of the year on the road (or at least 6 months of it) photographing different cultures or shooting music festivals and also have humanitarian projects in Nepal in memory of my younger brother Daniel.
When did you start creating?
R: I’ve always been creative, it’s in the family. But as a profession 3 years ago when I hit the road with my camera post shitty breakup and decided it was time to do what I loved. I was a day spa owner at that time and closed the doors on that business to become a travel / music photographer.
Who are your influences?
R: The people I meet, their stories and the way they live. My imagery is documentary style. I mostly photograph in third world countries and immerse myself into their way of life. I like to spend a good amount of time in one place and the more my relationship with the people and their culture deepens the more inspired I become. I feel like that’s when you capture the real beauty.
Have you got any local favourite artists?
R: I’m a bit of a freshy in Newcastle so I’m still getting to know the scene here. Two of my buds Shannon Hartigan and Nathan Henshaw are incredibly talented, I love their work.
There is a show coming up?
R: Yes! I am holding an exhibition at the Edwards on July 14 at 7 pm. This collection will feature images from countries such as Nepal, India, Morocco, Cambodia and Turkey.
We will also be raising money for my projects in Nepal. We do anything from building homes to providing blankets during the winter. From the generous donations that have come in over the last 6 months, we’ve just finished building a new house for the three orphaned children that I support – Suraj 6, Alina 11 and Apeksha 12. They were sadly found abandoned in the jungle living under whatever they would find after the earthquake so it's really amazing that they now have a safe place of their own to call home.
What should people expect?
R: To take a visual journey that explores the landscapes and the beauty of the people that call these culturally unique places home.
The portraits are quite intimate. To me, they celebrate our differences and highlight our similarities. People in third world countries are often more present and you can see it in their eyes. They have less ‘things’ but more connection to the land and the people surrounding them. Their lives have been harder but their faces are softer. I often see a real contentment and I love it when that shines through in the images.
What is next?
R: Following the exhibition, I head back to the desert in the USA to attend and photograph Burning Man Festival. Then Central / South America and back to Nepal before coming home for summer festival season with fresh images all ready for the next exhibition.
Find more about Renae here: www.renaesaxby.com travel : @renae_saxby music: @hey_rax
To see more on Renae's projects in Nepal visit www.gofundme.com/rennysaxnepal
Prints will be available for purchase on the night with a percentage of the sales going to Renae’s humanitarian projects 'Footprints in Nepal' which are in loving memory of her brother Daniel. This will allow her to continue building shelters/homes, supplying blankets and food and to support the three orphaned children that she provides for in remote Nepal. Many images you will see on the night are from time spent working on these projects.