As born-raised-educated Tuggeranonian who pulled up stumps a few years ago to chase the money to Melbourne, I’m used to the piteous looks of my trendy Fitzroy neighbours when I try to talk up Canberra’s artistic and cultural credentials.
Well it turns out that those southern Philistines aren’t cooler, just more ignorant. My partner and I are working from Sydney this week, and she tells me her office is abuzz (for certain definitions of “abuzz”) with news of a photography exhibition showing at the oh-so-contemporary Australian Centre for Photography in the Sydney cultural hub of Paddington.
The photographer is Belconnen refugee/returnee Lee Grant (see link for a short interview with Lee). A quick search of The RiotACT reveals that Lee has been around the Canberra photography scene for a while, and we’ve enjoyed some of her work on the site before.
Lee’s Exhibition, “Belco Pride”, explores “the intricacies of living in suburbs that may be dismissed by many but cherished by some. A place where residents take ownership of where they are from, a place that can engender a sense of pride so strong it is literally written onto the body”.
That last point is a none-too-subtle reference to the famous Belco tattoo, as modelled by “Dan” in one of Lee’s photographs. The ACP’s full blurb on the exhibition (including the quote that inspired the title of this post, as well as a sample of pictures that could have been taken from the opening credits of “Angry Boys”) can be found here. I’m no kind of photographer but despite my instinctive reaction to rag on Belco at every opportunity I found myself enjoying the few pics I saw online.
I’ll unfortunately be saying goodbye to Sydney tomorrow night just in time for a Canberra Christmas, so I won’t be able to give you a first hand review of the exhibition. If anyone makes it, I’d love to hear about it. I mean I could go and experience Belconnen first hand, but my Hep-C shots are out of date.
In all seriousness, good work Lee and good work ACP for recognising her talent. Belco Pride is showing at the ACP until January 15.
P.S. Tuggerz 4 lyfe, Wanniassa High reprezent etc etc.