Friends & Fans: Wesley Stacey & Rennie Ellis

Two documentary-photography artists working in the nineteen-seventies explore new perspectives on the experience of festivity. Wesley Stacey took photographs at a fancy dress party in Sydney during the summer of 1972–73. Rennie Ellis documented a series of VFL grand finals at the MCG. He rarely took photographs of the game itself, preferring instead to focus on the supporters.

Art Exhibition previously on at MGA - Monash Gallery of Art in Victoria, Australia.
From Saturday 01 February 2014 to Monday 31 March 2014

Friends & Fans: Wesley Stacey & Rennie Ellis image

Published by Monash Gallery of Art on Monday 03 February 2014.
Contact the publisher.

Wesley Stacey: Friends

Stacey set his camera on a tripod and used the available light to take a series of double portraits. The aim of the exercise was to share and collaborate rather than simply document the event. The dark tones and candid poses help communicate Stacey’s own immersion in the party and his personal connection with the subjects.

Stacey exhibited this series at Brummels Gallery of Photography, South Yarra, in 1973, alongside photographs by his close friend David Moore. These two Sydney-based artists had been invited to show together in Melbourne by the director of Brummels, Rennie Ellis.

Two summers earlier, Ellis and Stacey had worked together documenting the night life of Kings Cross in Sydney. When Stacey gave the title of ‘Friends’ to his Brummels exhibition, he was not only referring to the people shown in the portraits, but also to the network of friendships that supported his practice at that time.

Rennie Ellis: Fans

During the 1970s Rennie Ellis documented a series of VFL grand finals at the MCG. He rarely took photographs of the game itself, preferring instead to focus on the festivities of the supporters and the post-match revelry of the players. These photographs of the cheer squads capture the styles and fashions of the period, but they also celebrate the act of celebration itself.