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Ken Duncan: Life's an Adventure: The First Twenty-Five Years

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9 review for Ken Duncan: Life's an Adventure: The First Twenty-Five Years

  1. 4 out of 5

    Keen

    I picked this book up randomly in a second hand shop along with an art book for a ridiculously cheap price at the end of last year. This started off like a normal enough photography book and then started to get stranger and stranger until it descended into one of the most bizarre and puzzling things I have ever read in my life. Rightly renowned for his picture, postcard panoramas, and of course the album cover he did for Midnight Oil’s “Diesel and Dust”. Duncan has made a very successful career f I picked this book up randomly in a second hand shop along with an art book for a ridiculously cheap price at the end of last year. This started off like a normal enough photography book and then started to get stranger and stranger until it descended into one of the most bizarre and puzzling things I have ever read in my life. Rightly renowned for his picture, postcard panoramas, and of course the album cover he did for Midnight Oil’s “Diesel and Dust”. Duncan has made a very successful career from his many memorable landscape photos of Australia. But in some cases many of the images appear too tarted up so much as to be soulless and contrived, as if done by CGI. In some ways this is a celebration of the mundane, at times he really captures the depth and richness of scenes, amplifying the colour, really doing justice to the great outdoors of Australia. Duncan is clearly an undeniable talent and there are some stunning photographs in here, this starts off strong and we get so many wonderful photographs but the god/religion talk starts to creep in until it starts to dominate the whole subject matter. This is a spiritual journey so it doesn't take too long before the tone and language begins to take the shape of a preachy and extremist religious sermon. He discusses his life-long friendship with Mel Gibson, there are shots of “Beyond Thunderdome”, and he later gets involved with him in “The Passion of The Christ” too. We also hear about a message stick, Aboriginal elders communicating to him through his dreams and the many times he hears the voice of god in his head. Now I have read, viewed and enjoyed Duncan’s work before and I am aware of his beliefs, but this was on another level altogether and by the end was more like being preached to than a photography book. There are so many bewildering and maddening scenes in here, that I lost count by the end. He thanks god and not the medical professionals when they amputate half of his toe which got infested with gangrene, call me cynical but where was god when he was getting the gangrene in the first place? There is another time when he develops hypothermia in Tasmania and credits god for acting as a voice to stop him lying down. Where was the voice of god before he set foot on the mountain in the first place?...God continues to be given credit for a whole range of events from his luck at the casino to him overcoming agoraphobia, whilst not being held accountable for a single one of the many horrors he encounters or is subjected to. It’s beyond ridiculous. The work he did for World Vision seemed to consist of every bog standard cliché photo imaginable (smiling black child with primitive toy in hand) etc. At one point he insists, “God has provided more than enough in the world for every person’s need, but not everyone’s greed.” He doesn’t explain in what ways the children he visits dying of AIDS in Romanian orphanages have been provided with more than enough?... This started off really well and most of the Australian photos are great but in the end this descends into a crazed debate about god v Satan and to be honest I felt like I was being chased down the street by a bellowing, religious maniac who has lost all touch with reality.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kashmira Mody

    OMG Ken this is not an art book...this is sharing a life purpose and inspiring me to live mine too! A visual, emotional and spiritual treat for sure.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

  4. 5 out of 5

    Craig Holmes

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard Hanlon

  6. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul Fitzgerald

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tara White

  9. 5 out of 5

    Emily

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