Three Australian cultural institutions are showing major photo exhibitions, and while one in Canberra is open to in-person viewers, attendees only need an internet connection to view events in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Whether stuck at home in Victoria, or unable to visit galleries in Canberra or Brisbane, the Covid crisis has not reduced opportunities to view and engage with exhibitions.
The State Library of Queensland is showing Twenty, a collection of 200 documentary images drawn from the archive, which offers a comprehensive review of the last 20 years. The exhibition – featuring images by leading Australian photographers such as Mick Richards, John Gollings, Brian Cassey, and Jo-Anne Driessens – is divided into six themes, covering newsworthy events like natural disaster and flooding, immigration and migrant communities, indigenous art and culture, outback life, protests, architecture, and more.
Along with the photos, additional materials such as short videos and interviews, as well as extended captions for a selection of images, are included. As far as online photo exhibitions go, the library has clearly made a worthwhile investment in its online platform, and the deserving images are provided a quality layout.
‘Twenty focuses on images in State Library’s contemporary collections. They reveal a story of a changing Queensland – one that still has echoes of its past but is also embracing a more diverse and tolerant future.
Twenty is an opportunity to reflect on the last 20 years in Queensland’s history. Documentary photography plays a vital role in capturing the events and experiences that shape our lives. It offers us a powerful insight into a particular moment in time.
Looking back, the year 2000 seems a simpler time. Over the last two decades, society has undergone seismic shifts. Yet, some things transcend time: the shock and devastation caused by natural disasters; the beauty of our state’s wide-open spaces; and the ongoing connection of people to place. Immerse yourself in this rich and complex history.’
Looks like this is entirely online. View here.
The National Portrait Gallery in Canberra is showing Pub Rock, a photo exhibition of the Australian live music scene as it evolved and morphed through the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s. Wherever musical talent emerged, photographers were on hand to capture every moment, from pioneers such as The Easybeats, through to homegrown sensations like AC/DC, INXS, The Bee Gees, Kylie Minogue, The Saints, Nick Cave, Cold Chisel, Paul Kelly, and more.
Pub Rock can be seen on the gallery walls in Canberra, but those unable to visit Australia’s capital city can view the images online. The exhibition features work by Australian photographers who lived and breathed live music, such as Rennie Ellis, Tony Mott, Bob King, Wendy McDougall and Kevin William Prideaux AKA ‘pling. Other notable contributors include portrait photographer, Gary Heery, and social justice photographer, Juno Gemes.
The exhibition is divided into eight categories, showing live music shots and promotional portraiture during different periods in Australian music. Click here to view the online version, or see the real thing in Canberra until February 14, 2021.
Olympia and Bleached Gothic
Petrina Hicks’ Bleached Gothic and the late Polixenia Papapetrou’s Olympia both showed at the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) until March 15, 2020. But then a global pandemic came along, which continues to force the closure of the NGV. In response, the gallery created virtual tours of exhibitions using Matterport software.
We’ve covered Matterport’s advanced 360 degree virtual tours, specifically relating to its applications for real estate photography. However, the rather unwelcome stay-at-home lifestyle Victorians are enduring means virtual tours the only way to visit the NGV. It’s a cool concept, but really doesn’t do the job as well as it handles a real estate tour. But, hey, we ain’t complaining – it’s free and this technology will only become more advanced and immersive.
A little about Olympia:
This exhibition comprises photographs by Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetrou (1960–2018) of her daughter Olympia, covering the period from Olympia’s birth (1997) until the artist’s death (2018). Throughout this time, Olympia played a particularly important role in the artist’s image making, assuming the complex roles of model and muse, collaborator and champion.
And Bleached Gothic:
‘Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic is the first major survey exhibition of photographer Petrina Hicks. Over her fifteen-year career, Hicks (1972– ) has gained a strong reputation for her large-scale, hyperreal photographs that subvert and disrupt the photographic language of advertising and portraiture. Hicks photographs children, animals and young women against simple backgrounds, returning to the same models and motifs frequently to define and hone her distinctive style.’