91A Drayton Street, Bowden SA 5007

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Renāte Smitham

“Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn`t it be interesting if..’ And then do it.”

The above quote by Duane Michals describes Renāte`s approach to photography well, her experimental process is driven by ideas that are demanding to be expressed.

Renāte`s conceptual work is often deeply personal and introspective while also incorporating an element of playfulness. It explores the themes of identity, perception, alternative reality and loss.

Renāte uses both analog and digital mediums, and particularly enjoys 35mm film. Her preference is to create imagery in camera rather than use extensive digital manipulation. She is fascinated by the medium of photography itself and the ways a camera can “see” that are only accessible to the human eye after being recorded by the camera.

Music and fiction are major influences and sources of inspiration for Renāte as are various forms of visual art. 

Renāte is currently completing her Diploma of Photography and Photoimaging at the Centre for Creative Photography, Adelaide.




“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

This remark by Ansel Adams is truly resonating with me as I look at my finished Self-Portraits. They are a product of memory, inspiration and introspection.

My Dad`s books, the memory of playing his favourite Beethoven composition to him as a child, the influences of David Hockney, Duane Michals, Helena Almeida, Haruki Murakami, the already abovementioned Beethoven to name just a few are all clearly present in this work. Each piece is also a ritual of sorts- be it myself performing a narrative in front of a static camera, the camera moving around me in a certain pattern or a background constructed from photographic prints.

As much as I have reflected upon the past while creating this series, I feel the final work is also very much a look forward, perhaps a result of coming to terms with some of the more difficult aspects of the past.  

Creating the Self-Portraits series in camera and (mostly) on film has been a technical and practical challenge in many ways, but the most testing (and rewarding) part has been finding a way to visually represent the invisible since my intent for this series has always been to portray my inner world, not my outer appearance. As Duane Michals put it- “What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see.”


Meet Me Halfway

Meet Me Halfway

Return to Innocence

Return to Innocence. Read more about this image

Playing "Für Elise"

Playing "Für Elise"  Read more about this image





Self-Portrait With Some of Dad`s Books

Self-Portrait With Some of Dad`s Books

Self-Portrait With Ideas

Self-Portrait With Ideas


Links to Renāte`s blog posts:

Photography, Reality and Joiners

- Return to Innocence

- Playing "Für Elise"

Website: www.renatesmitham.com

Instagram: @photographyandotherexperiments

Phone: 0474 976 125

E-mail: info@renatesmitham.com