DINO FERRARI, TOORAK ROAD, 1976: Of this picture, Rennie Ellis said: “Sitting in Barollo Bistro, South Yarra. Attention taken by the exit of an unsubtle lady. Intuition encourages me to follow her. She engages the Dino Ferrari. The wind blows. Snap!”
DINO FERRARI, TOORAK ROAD, 1976: Of this picture, Rennie Ellis said: “Sitting in Barollo Bistro, South Yarra. Attention taken by the exit of an unsubtle lady. Intuition encourages me to follow her. She engages the Dino Ferrari. The wind blows. Snap!”

Photographer Rennie Ellis captures many faces of Australia

BEFORE selfies and snapchat, Rennie Ellis captured the images of a nation, who we were and what we looked like.

This is the period of Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keating, Bob Hawke, AC/DC, punk rock, cheap petrol and coconut oil, Hari Krishnas, and Hookers and Deviant balls.

This Australian photographer, who lived from 1940 to 2003, is a key figure in our nation's visual culture.

And now his work is scheduled to be exhibited at the Lismore Regional Gallery from Saturday, July 18, to September 5.

Reynolds Mark "Rennie" Ellis was a social and social-documentary photographer who also worked as an advertising copywriter, seaman, lecturer and television presenter over the course of his life.

However he is best remembered for his observations of Australian life.

Indeed some of his photos have become icons of what we now call "Australiana".

Ellis saw his photographic excursions as a series of encounters with people's lives.

His photos can be as straightforward and blatant as a head-butt or infused with enigmatic subtleties that draw on the nuance of gesture and the significance of ritual.

The Rennie Ellis Show highlights some of the defining images of Australian life from the 1970s and 1980s.

The 100 photos provide a personal account of what Ellis called "a great period of change".

Although invariably infused with his own personality and wit, the thousands of social documentary photographs taken by Ellis now form an important historical record.

The photographs explore the cultures and subcultures of the period, and provide a strong sense of a place that now seems a world away. A world free of risk, of affordable inner city housing, of social protest, of disco and pub rock.

This travelling exhibition is presented by the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive and Monash Gallery of Art with support from the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

At the Pub, Brisbane 1982: This photo displays Rennie Ellis's classic photojournalistic skills. It captures the quintessential Aussie bloke and the mateship that is fostered over a glass a beer. Most of the men are dressed shorts and thongs but one is bare-chested which surely nowadays, he would be denied entry as would be the dog that waits patiently on the bar's floor beneath his master.
At the Pub, Brisbane 1982: This photo displays Rennie Ellis's classic photojournalistic skills. It captures the quintessential Aussie bloke and the mateship that is fostered over a glass a beer. Most of the men are dressed shorts and thongs but one is bare-chested which surely nowadays, he would be denied entry as would be the dog that waits patiently on the bar's floor beneath his master. Rennie Ellis

The Good Light - Peter Derrett

The Good Light - Peter Derrett

Peter Derrett - The Good Light

US environmental singer songwriter tours The Northern Rivers

US environmental singer songwriter tours The Northern Rivers

US environmental singer songwriter tours The Northern Rivers

Guy Sebastian confirms Northern Rivers show

Guy Sebastian confirms Northern Rivers show

Tickets go on sale today

Local Partners