PSC Teacher Wins Australia’s Biggest Photography Prize

PSC is delighted to announce that Bachelor of Photography teacher Hoda Afshar has won the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015.

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition held at the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) is selected from a national field of entries that reflect the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects. From 2500 entries the judges shortlisted 44 images to be exhibited at the NPG in Canberra. The exhibition opened last Friday and will be on display until the 8th June and will then travel to galleries all over Australia.

The winning image is from a series called ‘The Smell of Narenj’ that Hoda made during a recent trip to her country of birth, Iran. The photographs in this series reflect her personal view on contemporary Iranian society—a country whose reality is often either misrepresented, or hidden behind a heavy curtain. Hoda’s photographs do not claim to expose this reality; they are merely an attempt to capture the Iran that she knows — a knowledge that has been affected by the sense of nostalgia created through the distance caused by her migration to Australia. Her work deals with the impact of Iran’s complex history in the uncertain contemporary conditions of political life in Iran.

Hoda moved to Australia in 2007 and pursued her passion for photography. In 2010 she started a Masters in Fine Art at Curtin University and expanded her research into a PhD programme. Her work investigates the discourses around contemporary social issues including globalization, imperialism and power relations, displacement and post-identity politics. Her artwork also attempts to open lines of communication in a world both homogenized by global economy and unsettled by mass migration.

We are very proud of Hoda, a valued member of the PSC family, this is a great achievement that situates her at the forefront of contemporary photography in Australia.

Congratulations Hoda!


‘Portrait of Ali’ by Hoda Afshar (2014) – Winner of National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

Photojournalism Update

The Advanced Diploma Photojournalism Major got under way in a slightly unusual but most stylish manner last week with Adelaide maestro Milton Wordley presenting his “A Year in the Life of Grange” project at Gallery Eleven40 in Malvern.

Three years in the making – somewhat less than the journey to drinkability for a fine wine, but a vintage achievement nonetheless – Milton’s exhibition (on show at the gallery) and monumental book (with a list price of $758, the same as a bottle of current-vintage Grange Hermitage, long considered one of the finest and most collectable Australian red wines) are twin landmarks in Australian wine publishing. He showed images and talked about the concept and production of this old-fashioned photo essay on a grand scale. Sadly, complementary tastings of Grange were not on offer.





Images & words by Bill Bachman.

BIFB Collection 2014

Eleven40 Gallery
1140 Malvern Rd, Malvern

Exhibition Preview: Thursday 28 – Saturday 30 August
Gala Event: Sunday 31 August 12pm – 4pm

RED DOTS $125 Purchase a print to support the Ballarat International Foto Biennale
Entry Only $25 Entry only fee for the Collection 2014 Gala Event

Every two years the Ballarat International Foto Biennale brings Australian audiences the best of the world’s photographic art in some of the most beautiful heritage venues in Ballarat in a month long photo extravaganza. The Collection 2014 provides an opportunity to support the BIFB and ensure it’s ongoing success as Australia’s premier festival of photography.

A selection from the BIFB Collection 2014

The exhibition features 120 anonymous prints by some of the best-known and collectible photographers from Australia and overseas including PSC teacher Bill Bachman. A fantastic chance to purchase a ‘one off’ archival print for a price perhaps well under the value of what an artist might normally sell his or her works for. You won’t know whose work you’ve bought until it is taken off the wall and looked at the provenance on the back.

Visit the website for further details.

Peter Pan with a Pentax

Thus did Michael Caton, quoting Phillip Adams, describe the star of The Rennie Ellis Show to an audience of around 300 at the Monash Gallery of Art on Saturday 5 April. The late, great Rennie Ellis (1940-2003) redefined social documentary photography in Australia over the last three decades of the 20th century, and ten years after his passing his reputation continues to deepen with the launch of this exhibition and publication of two major books – DECADE 1970-1980 and DECADENT 1980-2000 in the past six months.

Robert McFarlane speaking to a full house at the opening of “The Rennie Ellis Show” exhibition and “Decadent” book launch at the MGA

Speakers at the official opening included renowned photographer and critic Robert McFarlane, legendary Sydney social chronicler/diarist William Yang, and actor Michael Caton. All commented on Ellis’ youthful effervescence and inquisitive nature. “He was always there, but was never pushy or judgmental, which was probably why he got so many extraordinary pictures,” said Caton.

Michael Caton speaking at “The Rennie Ellis Show” exhibition and “Decadent” book launch at the MGA

Yang perhaps summarized it best: “Rennie was a good photographer, but more importantly was a warm human being, and it is his humanity that comes across most strongly in the photographs he produced.”

(Yang also had some interesting – indeed controversial – thoughts about the current exhibition scene, opining that the curator has in many cases become more important than the creator, reducing much of the photography seen these days on gallery walls to artistic conceit. He said the Ellis Show proved that pure documentary still has power and relevance and will never go out of fashion. Discuss!)

William Yang speaking at “The Rennie Ellis Show” exhibition and “Decadent” book launch at the MGA

Ellis’ reach spanned all classes of society, and his work showed humanity at its best, worst, silliest and sexiest. He was one of a kind, and this exhibition is the culmination of a decade’s work to bring his archive more prominently into public view, and should be seen by every serious student of photography. It continues until June 3 and will then tour regionally.

Robert McFarlane, Michael Coyne, Stephen Dupont, William Yang and Manuela Furci at “The Rennie Ellis Show” exhibition and “Decadent” book launch at the MGA

DECADE and DECADENT are published by Hardie Grant Books.

Visit the MGA website for further information.

Words and photos by Bill Bachman.

The Rennie Ellis Show

Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road
Wheelers Hill, Victoria

Exhibition Dates: 3 April to 8 June 2014

‘The Fitzroy Extrovert’ – Rennie Ellis

Photographer Rennie Ellis (1940–2003) was a key figure in Australian visual culture. Ellis is best remembered for his effervescent observations of Australian life during the 1970s–90s, including his now iconic book Life is a beach. Although invariably inflected with his own personality and wit, the thousands of social documentary photographs taken by Ellis during this period 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; Hare Krishnas and Hookers and Deviant balls.

Visit the MGA website for further information.

Fresh 13

Yarra Sculpture Gallery
117 Vere Street

Exhibition opening: 6-9pm Friday 22 November 2013
Exhibition dates: Wednesday – Sunday 12-5pm, 23 November – 8 December 2013

Preparations continue for Fresh 13, the art major students end of year exhibition opening in a few weeks.

Fresh 13 is a unique, interactive exhibition showcasing the photographic talents of 19 graduates. Their collections touch upon formidable realities such as climate change and the interference within 21st century perception – objective record or subjective viewpoint? Also included in the exhibition are works exploring the dark undercurrents of the human psyche – our ever-­‐shifting sense of identity and self-­‐worth. These inherent topics are echoed through a variety of means from large-­‐scale photography prints to projection art and printed silks, further entrenching the viewer in each artist’s piece.

Emma McEvoy has already had her talents recognised and was awarded ‘Australian Student Photographer of the Year’ at this years 2013 AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards.

Emma will be presenting her series entitled, Beneath The Weight Of It All, which explores the dubious balance between the darkest of human emotions and the light within such fragile beings. This intuitive series has a particular focus on the feminine consciousness and emotional struggles, with images illustrating the poignant connection between hurt and healing, ultimately illuminating the light and darkness within us all. “It’s the ones with cracks that the light shines through.” ­‐ Emma McEvoy

Image by Emma McEvoy




Amber McCaig – Imagined Histories

Edmund Pearce Gallery
Level 2, Nicholas Building
37 Swanston Street

Exhibition dates: 6 – 23 November 2013

‘Using a combination of portraits and still life elements, Amber recreates an exploration into the idea of identity and imagination, providing an insight into what it is like to live out fantasies in everyday life. Laden with armour, treasure chests, maps and lore, these fantasies show the power of our imagination and what is possible if we dare to dream.’

Amber recently completed the Bachelor Pathway program and won the BIFB Portfolio Review Prize.Visit the website for further information.

Fresh 13 – Art Major Exhibition

Yarra Sculpture Gallery
117 Vere Street

Exhibition opening: 6-9pm Friday 22 November 2013
Exhibition dates: Wednesday – Sunday 12-5pm, 23 November – 8 December 2013

The art major students are frantically preparing for their graduate exhibition. With a diverse range of themes and ideas, this group exhibition showcases each students’ unique projects.

Image by Emma McEvoy

Jacqui Dean Exhibition – Translucence

1140 Malvern Road

Exhibition Dates: Open now until 10 October
Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm & Saturday 11am-4pm
Floor Talk: Thursday 10 October 7pm

Jacqui Dean with ‘Calla Lillies’ – photo by Bill Bachman

Now showing at Gallery Eleven40 is a collection of sublime and subliminal images by Sydney-based AIPP Grand Master of Photography, Jacqui Dean. Entitled Translucence, the images in this exhibition peel plant life – leaves, flowers, seed pods and stalks – back to its innermost essence. Dean’s prints seem to be a cross between photograms and x-rays, yet are neither. “Look deep into Nature and then you will understand everything better” (Albert Einstein) is the quote accompanying the show. Contemplating these images, that may indeed be true.

Jacqui will be giving a floor talk revealing some of the processes she used to create this extraordinary collection at Gallery Eleven40 at 7pm on Thursday 10 October. Visit the website for more information.