SHOW US YA DEPTH OF FOCUS
Carol Jerrems built up an extensive archive in the 10 years she worked as a photographic artist. It has stood up so well, it embodies the challenges to convention and social order within Australia in the 1970’s.
‘Vale Street’ is a cheekily iconic image. A touring exhibition of her work, straight down the highway from the nation’s capital, opened at the MGA with fantastic speeches by Virginia Fraser and Joan Grounds. A coincidence of ambition resulted in the 1974 publication a book of Australian women, photos by Carol Jerrems and text by Virginia Fraser. The book was made against a backdrop of 1975’s International Women’s Year, the UN designated Year aimed at raising awareness of women’s rights.
‘Seeing things sliding backwards is unnerving as it means all the struggles for equality will need to be repeated’, noted Virginia.
We noted, with wry humour, that Carol’s work is described as counter cultural. Maybe Carol just found middle-aged white men in positions of power, already well represented by the photographers of the day. Instead she photographed women, indigenous people and disenfranchised youth. Australians with another Australian culture.
There is a lot of nudity in this show, which we hope doesn’t get put to work by the tabloids to inflame public opinion. Come along if you’re an adult.
Carol Jerrems: photographic artist runs at the MGA Wheelers Hill till 29th September