Robert Rooney: The Box Brownie Years 1956-58


An exhibition of never-before exhibited black-and-white photographs taken by Robert Rooney with his Box Brownie camera between 1956-58. Created when Rooney was a student at Swinburne Technical College and influenced by Charles Blackman and Ben Shahn, among others, they demonstrate an early fascination with childhood, repetition and seriality—themes that have persisted throughout his long career.

Art Exhibition previously on at Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) in Fitzroy-Collingwood precinct, Victoria, Australia.
From Wednesday 03 April 2013 to Sunday 19 May 2013
Launch Thursday 28 March 2013, 6-8pm

Robert Rooney: The Box Brownie Years 1956-58 image

Published by CCP on Saturday 30 March 2013.
Contact the publisher.

A sense of freedom in the action of the children—playing on suburban streets, in schoolyards and at a suburban quarry and tip—is evident. The youths also play to the camera. There is a sense of complicity, awareness without self­consciousness. The apparent innocence of the now nostalgic scenes, however, is undercut by a melancholy note: this state is transitional. There is also the potential for danger.

These marvellous early photographs will be shown alongside three key paintings from that time, and a recent film The Quadrangle 1956 (2009) made with these early images.

Robert Rooney is represented by Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne and Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney.