Monday, July 4, 2011

Exhibitions of Elders of Australian Photography, Alfred ‘Greg’ Gregory and Maggie Diaz at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale

Eminent photographers, Alfred ‘Greg’ Gregory and Maggie Diaz, documented many of the most important events and themes of the twentieth century, both in starkly distinctive and inimitable styles. The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is proud to present solo exhibitions on Gregory and Diaz as part of the BIFB’11 Core Program.

Maggie Diaz- Maggie Diaz arrived in Melbourne from the US in 1961 with a one-way ticket given to her by her ex-husband as a divorce gift. As an award-winning photographer in Chicago, it did not take Maggie long to establish herself as one of the city’s leading commercial photographers. Diaz used her flair for night photography and skill in utilising the available light to capture the essence of Melbourne’s arts and wider community over four decades. Her work has always been marked by the contrast between the glamorous commercial world and those outside of society, with whom she felt a connection. “Photography was something I found that I could earn an income from and it has been my life… Photography kept me from being lazy. It gave me a reason to go out; my imagination was wonderful and even though I made a mess out of a lot of things, photography made me feel that I could be sensitive and intelligent.”

Alfred Gregory- A member of the successful British team that made the ascent to Mount Everest in 1953, Alfred Gregory was in charge of photographing the ascent and the surrounds. His iconic images were promptly syndicated around the world, feeding the public's fascination with the assault on Everest. However, in 1953 ‘promptly’ meant that Gregory packed everything up into a canvas envelope, sealed it up and then sent the package back to Kathmandu with a runner, which took seven days (rather then the average month after Gregory specified that the runner had to be quick). Aside from photographing the expedition, which Gregory felt transformed him from an amateur to a professional photographer, his photographs take us from the English seaside town of Blackpool to the Cordillera ranges in Peru. Gregory’s exhibition at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB) will take us on a journey through his photographs and his vision. As Gregory himself mused, “Pictures are often objets trouves, things found when I have not been looking for
them. They represent particular moments in time that inspired me to look beyond the ordinary to seek an inner meaning”.

This year BIFB is proud to present a dynamic Core Program of 21 Australian and International photographers, along with a further 70 artists who will exhibit as part of the Fringe program. BIFB is becoming one of the major events in the regional Victoria calendar, as Australia’s largest photography festival.

Ballarat International Foto Biennale
BIFB aims to promote photography in all its forms, to educate, inspire and question by presenting photography from the world to Australia and from Australia to the world.

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