The people and personalities of Australia in the 1970s and 80s are in focus in The Rennie Ellis Show, a major exhibition of works by the iconic photographer Rennie Ellis, that will open at the New England Regional Art Museum on Friday August 19 at 6pm.
For Rennie Ellis, the 1970s–90s was ‘a great period of change’; one that now seems a world away. It was a world free of risk, of affordable inner city housing, of social protest, of disco and pub rock, of youth and exuberance.
The Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive and Monash Gallery of Art, the home of Australian photography, are proud to present The Rennie Ellis Show, a travelling exhibition of Ellis’s images from this period of great change.
New England Regional Art Museum director Robert Heather said the exhibition would be an opportunity for visitors to discover the work of Rennie Ellis as well as rediscover that era in all of its glory.
“Rennie loved to capture people from all walks of life in candid and revealing photographs which range from people on the street to well-known celebrities including musicians, actors and politicians,” he said.
Ellis was a master of immersing himself in any scene, and photographing it in rich and incredibly frank detail. He is best remembered for his effervescent observations of Australia, including his now iconic book Life’s a beach.
“We invite you to discover Australia as you may not remember it in The Rennie Ellis Show, with highlights being some of the defining images of Australian life from the 1970s to ‘90s,” Mr Heather said.
This was the period of Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keating and Bob Hawke; AC/DC and punk rock; cheap petrol and coconut oil; Hare Krishnas and street protests.”
Most of the photographs Ellis took on Australia’s beaches, football ovals, streets and in our nightclubs during the 1970s–90s could not be taken now.
So this exhibition is about a world that has well-and-truly passed, both in terms of the places it shows and also of photography itself. The show is open to the public from Saturday 20th August.
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