September 7, 2016
Words: Janice Breen Burns
Photographs: Sara Tansy
When we first met, photographer Sara Tansy was snapping socials, slipping through the flute-waving guests, dodging elbows and trays of can-apes at one of those myriad week-night cocktail-chit-chat launch parties in Melbourne. She wore a longish, dramatic coat, as I recall, and I was struck by how startlingly pretty she was. For a photographer. (Prettiness usually being viewed through the lense, in my fickle business, not behind.) We exchanged business cards and a bit of that cocktail chit-chat mentioned earlier, as you do, and I left. Later, I tracked Sara’s social media streams; I wanted to know what kind of photographer she really is away from the flutes and elbows.
Searching, intuitive, whimsical, sexy; her images, I was strangely happy to see, were invariably fresh and original, often arresting and had something – that thing – that knocked on my memories of photography from the 1980s and 1990s when the new “raw authenticity” was a quest many shooters attempted but only a handful, with the right balance of emotional and worldly intelligence, managed to achieve.
Sara Tansy’s background and Curriculum Vitae may account for some of her unique balance and talent; her heritage is American/English, she was born in Fiji and spent her formative years circumnavigating the globe on a sailboat. She also started modelling at 16, but confirms her “true passion” lay, indeed, behind the lense, not in front of it. Sara now modestly describes her own work as “creative and provocative” and says she hopes that it will not be easily forgotten.
I can assure her on that score.
Sara shoots music, fashion, lifestyle subjects and her own unique self-portraits, including the lovely black and white image immediately above this text.
Her work has been published in Sticks and Stones, Fashion Journal, Beat Magazine, Edward Magazine, The Australian, The Age, Last Daze NY, NAKID, P Magazine Spain, PLASTIK, Off The Rails, and many more, and she has been variously invited to cover events such as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, St Jeromes Laneway Festival, Strawberry Fields and the Poison City Weekender.
Voxfrock is thrilled to the gills Sara Tansy agreed to shoot and curate this, her photo essay of off-runway moments from Melbourne’s Spring Fashion Week.
As you know, Voxfrock is my first professional love, a non-commercial (ie: nobody gets paid. We’re poor, but we’re ethically un-fettered by fear or favor!) landing platform for my own writing (often after publication in Fairfax, the National Gallery of Victoria’s Gallery magazine, etc.) and that of other working and rookie writers and photographers. With my churning, changing crew of volunteer and intern Voxfrockers and, in deference and respect for you, Dear Reader, I keep the content lofty and rare. Since 2013, you have been royally treated to the work of legends, mid-career veterens and gifted rookies: Monty Coles, Philip Castle, Simon Schluter, Elli Ioannou, Carla Iurato, Lucas Dawson, many many lovely others. And, I promise, the blossoms will keep drifting down on Voxfrock, just for you.
Welcome, now, Sara Tansy. This is her first photo essay for Voxfrock but, I sincerely hope it won’t be her last. Bon appetit, with love from The Voxfrockers.