Posts Tagged ‘No standing only dancing

21
Nov
08

Opening: Rennie Ellis ‘No standing only dancing’ at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

Exhibition dates: 31st October 2008 – 22nd February 2009

Opening: October 30th 2008

 

 

Rennie Ellis. 'Girls' Night Out, Prahran' 1980

 

Rennie Ellis
Girls’ Night Out, Prahran
1980
Silver gelatin, selenium toned fibre based print

 

 

A very social and lively crowd gathered at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square on the evening of 30th October to celebrate the life and work of the Australian social photographer Rennie Ellis.

After opening comments by the NGV Director Dr Gerard Vaughan there was a funny and erudite speech by Phillip Adams AO who had flown down from Sydney to open the exhibition. The crowd enjoyed the anecdotes about his relationship with Rennie and said he thought that dying was a good career move on Rennie’s behalf and that he would have loved the fact that he had a retrospective at the NGV. Adams observed that Ellis used to be everywhere, at every party and opening, using his astute eye to record and never to judge. Applause all round for a life well lived.

On entering the exhibition space viewers were treated to a simple but effective installation of his work, with overtones of the 1970’s – 1980s interior decor with yellow and white circle graphics and hanging fabric chandelier. The curatorial staff at the NGV (notably Susan van Wyk) have chosen over 200 works from an archive of over half a million images for the exhibition in a process that has taken over two and a half years.

As an immigrant arriving in Australia in 1986 I remember 397 Club that used to be at 397 Swanston Street. After every other place had closed this club attracted people from every walk of life: pimps, prostitutes, drag queens, faggots, lesbians, straights and druggies. Rennie was probably there recording the scene. We were there just for a good time. It was fun and this is what Ellis’ photography is. Not burdened by overarching conceptual ideas Ellis recorded what he saw insightfully, balancing social commentary and spatial organisation in the construction of his images. The image Girls’ Night Out, Prahran 1980 (above) is a pearler (with the look on the woman’s face) and neatly encapsulates the magic of his image making.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

 

Opening of the exhibition 'No standing only dancing' by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008

 

Opening of the exhibition 'No standing only dancing' by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008

 

Opening of the exhibition 'No standing only dancing' by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008

 

Opening of the exhibition 'No standing only dancing' by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008

 

Opening of the exhibition 'No standing only dancing' by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008

 

Opening of the exhibition 'No standing only dancing' by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008

 

Opening of the exhibition 'No standing only dancing' by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008

 

Opening of the exhibition 'No standing only dancing' by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008

 

Opening of the exhibition No standing only dancing by Rennie Ellis at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia October 30th 2008.
Photographs © Marcus Bunyan

 

 

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia
Federation Square
Corner of Russell and 
Flinders Streets, Melbourne

Opening hours:
10am – 5pm
Closed Mondays

National Gallery of Victoria website

Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

LIKE ART BLART ON FACEBOOK

Back to top




Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Mask’ 1994

Join 2,586 other followers

Follow Art_Blart on Twitter
Art Blart on Pinterest

Lastest tweets

January 2020
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

Archives

Categories