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Wollongong City Council

A snapshot of Wollongong through the years

Wednesday 15 December 2021

Image: Anne Zahalka, Crown Street, Wollongong, 1957, printed on vinyl 295x360cm, Photograph by Arthur Cratchley.

Anne Zahalka, one of Australia’s most highly regarded photo media artists, has taken up the challenge to re-examine the images of the past in her latest exhibition at the Wollongong Art Gallery.

Snapped! – is an appropriately named exhibition which revisits snapshots from photographic street portraits made here in Wollongong in the mid decades of the 20th Century. Before the invention of the mobile phone camera, street photography was a thriving global phenomenon starting in the early 1930s with the distribution of a reliable handheld camera.

These street portraits were taken by enterprising photographers whose knack for capturing everyday people in their ‘best town clothes’ would result in a hopeful sale.

“There’s something very personal about seeing historical images of regular people go about their daily lives here in Wollongong,” Wollongong City Council Director Community Services Kerry Hunt said.

“The street photographers of the day were talented at capturing candid moments of people doing every day, mundane things. The photos are quiet and contemplative, but they hold a lens to a thriving city and community identity that is still recognisable today.”

Anne Zahalka brings new life to the old street photography by restaging the early scenes of people going about their day with their descendants today.

“To create the exhibition, Anne worked closely with the Wollongong City Libraries Local Studies team and local photographer Sam St John to research, find and select images from Wollongong’s past,” Ms Hunt said.

“Although photography has become truly accessible with the convenience of mobile phone cameras, there’s something to be said for the skill and knack for turning the everyday into something more.

“I highly recommend that everyone visits the Wollongong Art Gallery to find something that intrigues, engages or delights you. Snapped is just one of the many fantastic exhibitions which are open right now for our community to enjoy.”

SNAPPED! by Anne Zahalka

WHEN: 11 December 2021 to 20 February 2022

WHERE: Wollongong Art Gallery, 46 Burelli Street Wollongong

More information available on the Wollongong Art Gallery website.