Recently I've been working on a new project, a day in the life of a Violin Maker. I decided to call this series Gilga II, the name of the first violin I ever owned. I went back to the maker of my first violin and asked him if I could document his day, the creative and business side of things.
After graduating high school, Allen Irwin enrolled himself into the Violin Making Course at London Metropolitan University and became the first student to graduate with an Advanced Diploma four years later. He continued working for Boosey & Hawkes, a general music store before returning to his hometown Edgecliff, Sydney to open up A.R Irwin Violin which was founded in 1988.
The traditional violin is an instrument that has always moved me with it’s immense sound and beauty. An instrument that has practically remained the consistent since it’s first appearance of paintings from the 16th century in Italy. This challenged my curiosity for the violin making process. Whether or not it had changed as technology advanced rapidly, to which Allen replied ‘it has not’ as he showed me the first and last issue of a violin magazine he collected.
Upon my arrival into the store, I picked up on the distinct smell of varnish and wood. Both vital materials for the creation of a violin. I wanted to capture such aspects to help the viewer catch a glimpse into the daily life of Allen Irwin. Through out my shoots, I gathered huge respect for the craft of violin making. The fine precision and patience to not disrupt the delicate fibres of the violin body, a craft only a perfectionist could handle.
The name Gilga II and this location are both special to me. It was here with that violin that I began my journey into the world of art.
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