Ellis is a key figure in Australian visual culture, best remembered for his effervescent observations of Australian life exemplified in his iconic book Life is a beach. Although invariably infused with his own personality and wit, the thousands of social documentary photographs taken by Ellis now form an important historical record.
The Rennie Ellis Show highlights some of the defining images of Australian life from the 1970s and ‘80s. This is the period of Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser; Paul Keating and Bob Hawke; AC/DC and punk rock; cheap petrol and coconut oil; Hari Krishnas and Hookers and Deviant balls.
This exhibition of 100 photographs provides a personal account of what Ellis termed ‘a great period of change’. The photographs explore the cultures and subcultures of the period, and provide a strong sense of a place that now seems a world away; a world free of risk, of affordable inner city housing, of social protest, of disco and pub rock, of youth and exuberance.
The travelling exhibition is presented by the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive and Monash Gallery of Art with support from the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
The exhibition will be open until 5 September.