All posts by Ben Apfelbaum

My photography began when my father handed me the proverbial brownie box camera as a child. As cameras developed I went through Fujica and Olympus range finders graduating to my first single lens reflex camera, the Minolta SRT101, the latter being the greatest facilitator to my growth as a photographer. Digital photography has only added to this. I was a regular contributor to Camera Craft magazine (Australian Camera ) for over three years. During Australia’s Bicentennial year (1988) I made it a personal project to document the celebrations. This culminated in the creation of a book of my photos which was published in 1989. The book was called CELEBRATING AUSTRALIA and came with an accompanying calendar. My works have appeared in a number of publications including the coffee book entitled MY AUSTRALIA (1989), publisher Robertsbridge Severn. This book had a preface by the then Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke. I was a co-photographer on a book entitled SYDNEY- DISCOVER THE CITY with text written by Robert Treborland. Major Mitchell Press was the publisher. Also for two years I was the photographer for calendars celebrating Sydney’s multicultural communities. The two calendars were entitled MULTICULTURAL SYDNEY. My work appeared in a group exhibition held at Sydney’s Town Hall pertaining to the diversity of life in South America to raise money for orphanages there. I have over one hundred photos stored in the New South Wales State Library archive. I had a solo exhibition held in 2007 entitled Ben’s Lens at the Sydney Jewish Museum which celebrated the vibrancy of the Sydney Jewish community. Some of these photos are on the Museum’s permanent display. I have exhibited internationally firstly at the Spruill Gallery in Atlanta Georgia, united states, and in an exhibition entitled Kosher and Co at the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Currently I am a regular contributor to J-Wire and this esteemed publication.

OPERA AUSTRALIA PRESENTS PROKOFIEV’S FOR LOVE OF ORANGES @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE

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BenLens11All images by Ben Apfelbaum.

Sergei Prokofiev was undertaking a successful tour in the US when he was asked by the Chicago Symphony to compose an opera. In 1921 it was performed in the States and in 1926 in Russia. Because it had an unappealing script for the time, it was the antithesis of Puccini’s realism and contained no arias, and it was poorly received. However, this opera reflected the art movement of the time absorbing the fragmentation of Picasso and the surrealism of Dali.

Thank goodness it was revived in 1949 in the States by which time public taste had caught up with its avant garde satire and since then the opera has been regularly performed by a opera companies around the world.

The plot defies a short synopsis but in the Opera Australia production suffice it to say, it is a combination of nineteen twenties movie star allusions, the commedia dell’arte and Alice In Wonderland.

There is a cranky witch Fata Morgana played by Antoinette Halloran who looks like Gloria Swanson, and  a clown Truffaldino played by Kanen Breen, whose warm bass added extra comedy to his zany character. There are characters dressed as cards and harlequins like those encountered by Alice, a  princess with a rats head, and dancing cacti.

The multi hued set design by George Tsypin combined with the crisp direction of Francesca Zambello facilitates the speed and ever nonsensical absurdist passage of the piece to its happy ever after conclusion.

Zambello’s set and the costumes by Tanya Noginova are a riot of colour and the singers sometimes perform from impossibly awkward positions without any diminution of volume and quality.

The farce is overseen by a Lord Of The  Rings type eye or perhaps it is a reference to the eye in Luis Bunuel’s and Salvador Dali’s UN CHIEN ANDALOU.

Rosario La Spina as the hypochondriacal and obsessive Prince is unexpectedly  comedic (due to his casting in more solemn operas) and brings a warmth to his character with his lovely tenor voice.

Julie Lea Goodwin’s sweet soprano complements her character beautifully as the heroine Princess Ninetta.

I mentioned Kanen Breen’s extraordinary clown performance,  but really all the Company must be congratulated on the excellence of their acting abilities which ranged from an S and M dominatrix through to a humongous fat cook.

Like last years’ A Turk In Italy and this years’ Barber of Saville, both by Rossini, this superb production  is a comic triumph.

Running time is 2 hours 15 minutes including one twenty minute interval.

Prokofiev’s FOR LOVE OF ORANGE is playing the Joan Sutherland theatre, Sydney Opera House until July 9.

https://opera.org.au/whatson/events/the-love-for-three-oranges

 

 

NAIDOC IN THE CITY – HYDE PARK

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All images by Ben Apfelbaum.

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme Songlines – the living narrative of our nation- seeks to engage the wider community to know more about The Dreamtime- when ancestral spiritual beings shaped our rivers, lakes, plants, land formation and living creatures.

NAIDOC Week is a great opportunity to recognise and celebrate our indigenous cultural fabric.

NAIDOC in the City was staged at Hyde Park and included areas highlighting indigenous culture including the FOOD ZONE, MARKET PLACE, KIDS’ CULTURE, KNOWLEDGE AND CULTURE, and MAIN STAGE AND ENTERTAINMENT.

NAIDOC IN THE CITY- HYDE PARK on Monday 4 July was the inaugural public event kicking off NAIDOC 2016 with events continuing  until Thursday 14 July.

The remaining NAIDOC events are three events this Wednesday 13 July- A NAIDOC Celebration with Matthew Doyle at Woollahra Library between 10 am and 11 and Underexposed : Shelling Workshop at Waverley Library between 10 am and 12 pm, and a Women’s Weaving Workshop at Hillsdale Community Hall between 10.30 am and 11.30 am, and Thursday 14 July- Underexposed : Art, Health and Community- Public Talk at Waverley Library between 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm.

CHAR SOO BAZAAR VIDEO INSTALLATION @ CARRIAGEWORKS

Carriageworks

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Char Soo, a video installation by Hossein Valamanesh, places us in a four-sided Iranian bazaar to contemplate movement, human interaction and the passing of time.  Char Soo is a metaphor for Iran, a country which has been subject to invasion, religious and cultural interaction for centuries. This immersive four-screen video projection aims to place the audience at its centre.

This video installation is available for viewing at Carriageworks until July 17.

http://www.carriageworks.com.au

STATE MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR DAME LEONIE KRAMER @ SYDNEY CONSERVATORIUM OF MUSIC

Professor Marie Bashir delivering her moving tribute.
Professor Marie Bashir delivering her moving tribute.

Dame Leonie Kramer was a trailblazer for women in the world of academia and commerce. She was the first female Professor to be appointed the Chair of Literature at Sydney University, she was the first female Chancellor in Australia, and she was the first female Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

A State Memorial celebrating her life was held at the Verbrugghen Hall at the Sydney Conservatorium Of Music on Monday 27 June 2016.

Dame Leonie Kramer 1/10/1924-20/4/2016
Dame Leonie Kramer 1/10/1924-20/4/2016

Amongst the attendees were the New South Wales Governor, retired General David Hurley, former Prime Minister John  Howard accompanied by his wife Janette, Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and current Chair of the ABC, Mr Jim Spiegelman.

Former Prime Minister John Howard greets Sister Jocelyn Kramer with his wife Janette Howard in the background.
Former Prime Minister John Howard greets Sister Jocelyn Kramer with his wife Janette Howard in the background.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop chats with current ABC Chairman Jim Spigelman
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop chats with current ABC Chairman Jim Spigelman
Governor David Hurley chats with his aide.
Governor David Hurley chats with his aide.

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In addition to moving reminiscences from her children and grandchildren, an especially moving tribute was delivered by former Governor and current Chancellor of Sydney University, Professor Marie Bashir.

John Gaden
One of the greats of Australian theatre John Gaden AM.

Highlights of the Service included readings from Cymbeline, The Tempest, and Credo recited by John Gaden, and a performance from Gilbert and Sullivan’s Gondoliers There Lived A King performed by David Hidden, Justice Peter Hidden and Judge Robert Cameron, accompanied by Sophie Spargo.

David & Justice Peter Hidden, Judge David Cameron with Sophie Spargo on piano.
David & Justice Peter Hidden, Judge David Cameron with Sophie Spargo on piano.

Dame Leone Kramer was innovative in that she was one of the first lecturers to invite Australian authors such as Les Murray and James McAuley to attend her lecturers and talk to the students, which excited them greatly.

When China began to open up to the world, amongst the first students to study overseas were nine Chinese students who were supervised by Dame Leone in the study of Australian literature. As a result there are a number of English faculties studying Australian literature throughout China. A tribute from The Gang Of Nine, as they were known, was read by Mr Yu Zhang.

Mr Yu Zhang delivers his poignant tribute representing ‘The Gang of Nine’.

 

NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT – A CAMEL RIDE AT BONDI BEACH

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To entice people out into the cold, Bondi Beach holds each year it’s Winter Magic Festival. The first of these enticements is already on show in the form of camel rides on the Bondi Beach sands.

The school holidays will see the presence of an ice skating rink in front of the Bondi Pavilion between July 1 and July 17 , there will be an Arts On The Street event at the Roscoe Street Mall on July 10  and Music On The Streets will be held on July 31.

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WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2016 EXHIBITION @ THE STATE LIBRARY

Sydney is one of the cities privileged to host the World Press photo exhibition, thanks to Canon Australia and the State Library of New South Wales.

As one would expect the bulk of the exhibition dealt with the two biggest news stories of last year, the Nepal earthquake and the plight of the refugees.

The exhibition was held at the State Library between 21 May and 19 June 2016.

Featured photo – Australian photographer Warren Richardson won the World Press Photo of the Year Award for this photo entitled- Hope For The Future. A baby is handed through a hole in a razor wire barrier, to a Syrian refugee who has already managed to cross the border from Serbia into Hungary, near Röszke.

Pic by South African photographer Brent Stinton. The trade in poached ivory continues to finance rebels armed by militia across Africa. SStirton captures a poacher in action.
Pic by South African photographer Brent Stinton. The trade in poached ivory continues to finance rebels armed by militia across Africa. SStirton captures a poacher in action.
Italian photographer Dario Mitidieri. A Syrian refugee in a refugee camp in Lebanon stands beside a chair representing a missing family member.
Italian photographer Dario Mitidieri. A Syrian refugee in a refugee camp in Lebanon stands beside a chair representing a missing family member.
Pic by Australian photographer Daniel Berehuza. A woman weeps as her 3 year old daughter's body is recovered from the rubble of her family home in Gumda after the Kathmandu earthquake.
Pic by Australian photographer Daniel Berehuza. A woman weeps as her 3 year old daughter’s body is recovered from the rubble of her family home in Gumda after the Kathmandu earthquake.
American photographer John J Kim captures a young black man staring down a policeman during a march againt police racial violence in Illanois.
American photographer John J Kim captures a young black man staring down a policeman during a march againt police racial violence in Illanois.
Italian photographer Matic Zorman captures refugee children covered in rain capes waiting to be registered in Presevo, Serbia.
Italian photographer Matic Zorman captures refugee children covered in rain capes waiting to be registered in Presevo, Serbia.
A pic from home.. Australian photographer captures a wild storm approaches Bondi Beach.
A pic from home.. Australian photographer captures a wild storm approaches Bondi Beach.

VIVID SYDNEY – 27 MAY TO 18 JUNE 2016

I tried to get into the city as much as I could to capture images of this years’ Vivid Festival.

Enjoy!

From Galleries Victoria- 

Galeries Victoria (1)

Galeries Victoria (2)

Sydney Town Hall

Sydney Town Hall

Martin Place

Marti Place (1)

Martin Place (2)

Martin Place

Pitt Street Mall

Pitt St Mall

St Mary’s Cathedral

Vivid -Cathedral (1)

Sydney Opera House

Vivid (12)

Vivid (10)

Vivid (13)

Vivid (32)

The MCA and Harbour Bridge

Vivid (2)

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Vivid (38)

Sydney Harbour from Circular Quay

Vivid (3) (1)

Vivid (20)

Custom House

Vivid (5)

Vivid

True Love at Circular Quay

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Eliot Rosenberg’s Sculpture Flurry

Vivid, Eliot Rosenberg's Flurry (1)

MAX DUPAIN AUCTION @ MOSSGREEN GALLERY WOOLLAHRA BREAKS RECORD

The results of the auction at Mossgreen in Sydney is the most significant marker of the maturity of the appreciation of photographic arts in Australia

Gael Newton Former curator at the AGNSW and NGA

Mossgreen’s landmark auction of Max Dupain (1911-1992): Estate Photographs held on 19 June 2016 at the firm’s new glamorous Sydney headquarters in Woollahra totalled a record $1,663,237, establishing a new Australian auction record for any photographs collection.

All 500 original photographs by one of Australia’s most famous and highly regarded photographers were sold, with numerous records established including for Dupain’s iconic Sunbaker 1937 which far exceeded the previous record selling for $105,400 and establishing a new world auction record for the artist after spirited bidding.

I did a walk through of the exhibition and then attended the auction. The quality and scope of Dupain’s work is simply breathtaking. These are some of my photos.

Max Dupain (3)

Max Dupain (15)

Max Dupain (7)

Max Dupain (16)

http://maxdupain-mossgreen.com.au/

TARA MOSS VISITS THE STANTON LIBRARY NORTH SYDNEY TO PROMOTE SPEAKING OUT

I attended the Stanton Library in North Sydney yesterday when Tara Moss, Canadian-Australian author, television presenter, journalist, former model, UNICEF national ambassador for child survival and PHd candidate in gender and cultural studies at Sydney University came through to give a brief talk about her new book, TARA MOSS SPEAKING OUT- A 21st Century Handbook for Women and Girls, and then did a book signing.

Here are a few  of my pics.

Tara Moss - speaking out

Tara Moss @ Stanton Library - 22.6.2016 (10)

Tara Moss @ Stanton Library - 22.6.2016 (3)

http://www.taramoss.com

http://www.harpercollins.com.au/9781460751336/

http://www.northsydney.nsw.gov.au/library_databases/stanton_library

 

 

WARCRAFT – THE BEGINNING : SYDNEY PREMIERE

In WARCRAFT-THE BEGINNING the peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilisation faces a fearsome race of invaders : orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonise another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.

WARCRAFT – THE BEGINNING is currently having a wide release in cinemas around Sydney and should have a lot of appeal for  lovers of the adventure/action/fantasy genres.

I recently went to the films’ premiere held at Event City cinema complex. As you can see from these photos it was a lot of fun.

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Warcraft

Warcraft with sword

Warcraft- freaky

Warcraft-grim photo

Warcraft- tattoos

Warcraft-smile pic

http://www.imdb.com/showtimes/title/tt0803096/AU/2030

 

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS COMING SOON TO THE ROSLYN PACKER THEATRE

The revival of the musical adaptation of Roger Corman’s movie LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, which was a big hit at the Hayes Theatre earlier this year, is returning to a much larger and more accommodating venue, the Roslyn Packer theatre in Walsh Bay. The show is having a short season playing between the 20th and the 28th July.

These are some of my favorite photos from the Media Call before the show’s recent Hayes theatre season to whet your appetite.

Cast (3)
The cast
Esther Hannaford & Brent Hill
Esther Hannaford & Brent Hill
Supreme-esque Trio
Supreme-esque Trio
Esther Hannaford

http://www.hayestheatre.com.au/coming-soon/little-shop-of-horrors.html

 

THE CELEBS @ SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2016

Sydney Film Festival Number 63 has come and gone again for another year. The Festival attracted many celebrities. These are some of my favourite pics.

Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
Grainnie Humphreys, Simo Field, Robert Connolly _ SFF Jurors
Grainnie Humphreys, Simon Field, Robert Connolly- panelists on the Sydney Film Festival main jury
Judy Davis
Judy Davis
Margaret Pomeranz & son Joshua
Margaret Pomeranz & son Joshua
Ursula Yovich
Ursula Yovich
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Ewen Leslie and partner
Jack and Billy Thompson
Jack and Billy Thompson
David Gulpilil
David Gulpilil
David Stratton
David Stratton
Lord Mayor Of Sydney Clover Moore
Lord Mayor Of Sydney Clover Moore
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Simon Baker & Bryan Brown
Leo & Anne Schofield
Josie Lacey & Walt Secord MP
Josie Lacey & Walt Secord MP
Damien Walshe-Howling and Hugo Weaving
Damien Walshe-Howling and Hugo Weaving
Dan MacPherson & Brooke Satchwell
Helen and Michael Caton
Helen and Michael Caton
Gillian Armstrong & Bruce Pleffer
Alex Greewich MP
Alex Greewich MP
Tasma Walton
Tasma Walton
John Jarrett
John Jarrett

ALEXANDER SKARSGARD AT THE SYDNEY WILDLIFE PARK DARLING HARBOUR

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GoodshotalexanderAlexanderIMGL6622IMGL6664Swedish born actor Alexander Skarsgard, the new Tarzan,  was in Sydney recently promoting his new movie THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, directed by David Yates. The film is a modern retelling of the classic story about a boy raised by apes in the jungle.

The pics are a selection of my pics from the Media Call that took place at the Sydney Wildlife Park in Darling Harbour.

DESTINATION ARNOLD PREMIERE @ SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL 2016

Natasha Lawrence, Sascha Ettinger Epstein (director), Kylene Anderson, Jenny Neighbour (producer).
Natasha Lawrence, Sascha Ettinger Epstein (director), Kylene Anderson, Jenny Neighbour (producer).

Natasha Lawrence and Kylene Anderson are two indigenous women who have a dream to make it to the Arnolds – an amateur bodybuilding competition being held in Australia for the first time.

The determined women struggle with diets, exercises and inner demons in their roller coaster efforts to achieve their Arnie inspired goal.

Director Sascha Epstein is building quite a portfolio of work.. Her documentary Painting With Light In A Dark World screened at Sydney Film Festival 2003. Other films include Playing In The Shadows which screened at the SFF in 2008 and Change of Heart which screened in SFF in 2005.
Director Sascha Epstein is building quite a portfolio of work.. Her documentary Painting With Light In A Dark World screened at Sydney Film Festival (SFF) 2003. Other films include Playing In The Shadows which screened at the SFF in 2008 and Change of Heart which screened in SFF in 2005.

Filmmaker Sascha Ettinger Epstein filmed the Sydney duo over two years, making for a warm, affecting and entertaining documentary.

http://www.pursekey.com.au/destination-arnold-two-girls-one-dream/

IRISH FILM ‘SING STREET’ AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE @ SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

 

Nashan Moodley, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Mark McKenna. All pics by Ben Apfelbaum.
Nashen Moodley, Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Mark McKenna.
Ferdia Walsh- Peelo & Mark McKenna of Sing Street
Ferdia Walsh- Peelo & Mark McKenna of Sing Street

Featured pic-  Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Mark McKenna with their guests. All images by Ben Apfelbaum.

Irish eyes were smiling at the Australian premiere of John Carney’s SING STREET. Actors Ferdia Walsh-Peelo and Mark McKeena were guests of the Festival and enjoyed the festivities.

John  Carney’s latest film is a beguiling portrait of eighties Dublin, complete with stone-washed denim, wild haircuts and a nostalgic soundtrack of The Doors, Duran  Duran  and The Police.

With this film Carney has mined his own teenage years to deliver a fresh take on the teen musical genre, whilst giving a knowing wink to the decade that style forgot.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3544112/

 

 

AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE OF THE QUEEN OF IRELAND @ SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL

Rory O’Neill and friends.
Conor Horgan, Rory O'Neill and guest at the screening.
Conor Horgan, Rory O’Neill and guest at the screening.Images by Ben Apfelbaum.

Filmmaker Conor Horgan and Rory O’Neill aka Panti Bliss were Festival guests at the premiere.

Horgan’s film is an uplifting documentary about Ireland’s superstar drag queen Panti Bliss who rose from being a ‘giant cartoon woman’ to being one of the highest profile activists in the LBGTIQ community.

THE QUEEN OF IRELAND took five years to make, during which time Horgan’s camera followed Rory around on his journey of self discovery. The film also captures an interesting time in Irish history with the referendum on marriage equality taking place in 2015 with the Irish voting in favour of same sex marriage.

URSULA YOVICH ANNOUNCED AS THE WINNER OF THIS YEAR’S BALNAVES INDIGENOUS PLAYWRIGHT AWARD

Featured photo- Belvoir Artistic Director Eamon Flack, Ursula Yovich and Hamish Balnaves.

In an event held in the foyer of Belvoir Street Theatre celebrated indigenous thespian Ursula Yovich was announced as the winner of the this year’s Balnaves Foundation Indigenous Playwright’s Award. The Award is for $20,000 which compromises $7500 prize money and a $12500 commission for a new play. Here are some of my pics from the function.

A beaming Ursula Yovich
A beaming Ursula Yovich
Peter Carroll and Ursula Yovich
Peter Carroll and Ursula Yovich

balnaves poster

Chairman of The Belvoir Board Andrew Cameron and General Manager of the Balnaves Foundation Hamish Belnavis
Chairman of The Belvoir Board Andrew Cameron and General Manager of the Balnaves Foundation Hamish Belnaves.

 

 

PREMIERE OF EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! : RICHARD LINKLATER’S LATEST

Richard Linklater’s follow up to Boyhood  which was a highlight of the 2014 Sydney Film Festival is an infectiously funny ‘spiritual sequel’ to his classic Dazed and Confused  about college kids in the early 80s.

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! premiered at the Sydney Film Festival on Sunday 12 June 2016.

Lead actor Tyler Hoechlin attended the premiere as a guest of the Festival and these are my  pics of him together with Festival Director Nashen Moodley together with a solo pic.

Tyler Hoechlin & Nashen Moodley (2)

Tyler Hoechlin of Everybody Wants Some (2)

MATHIEU BRAND : THE SPIRAL @ CARRIAGEWORKS

Five turntables play samples on an endless loop, inviting audiences to intervene, creating a sonic chaos that is simultaneously cut to vinyl.

MATHIEU BRAND : THE SPIRAL transforms Carriageworks into an experimental sound recording studio and performance space. Visitors can manipulate looping beats and electronic sounds to record tracks on a vinyl-cutting machine.

The person who cuts the record becomes the main attraction, while people can observe the entire process from the seats that form a ring-like area called “The Spiral.”

The work has travelled around the world since 2002, in one form or another, including exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon in France, the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles, and the Tate Modern, London.

I walked through this exhibition and here are some of my photos.

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The Spiral- second

The Spiral- second

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The exhibition continues at Carriageworks until June 13.

http://carriageworks.com.au/

 

SEMI PERMANENT CONFERENCE @ CARRIAGEWORKS

I recently attended the exhibition entitled SEMI PERMANENT at Carriageworks. The exhibition enabled creative thinkers by bringing together internationally renowned leaders across the arts and cultural industries to share their work over three days at Carriageworks between the 26th and the 28th May.

Here are some of the photos that I took whilst walking through the exhibition.

 

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SYDNEY WRITER’S FESTIVAL 2016

Featured photo – Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales

The Sydney Writer’s Festival has concluded for another year and was once again a great success. Events were held around Sydney between the 16th and the 22nd May.

Here are some of my favourite portrait photos from the events that I attended :-

 

Ann Goldstein
Ann Goldstein
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Anna Broinowsi
Carmen Aguirre
Carmen Aguirre
Deepti Kapoor
Deepti Kapoor
Don Watson
Don Watson
Frank Moorehouse
Kate Tempest
Kate Tempest
Mark Tedeschi QC
Mark Tedeschi QC
Stan Grant
Stan Grant
Susie Orbach
Susie Orbach
Vivian Gornick
Vivian Gornick
Ye-Xin
Ye-Xin

http://www.swf.org.au/

SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS AYAD AKHTAR’S ‘DISGRACED’ @ WHARF 1

Disgraced_STC_credit-Prudence-Upton-172

Production photography by Prudence Upton

Playwright Ayad Akhtar won a deserved Pulitzer Prize for this play in 2013. It is in part based on what occurred to him at a dinner party a few years earlier.

I was on the edge of my seat as my mind was bombarded with a cavalcade of ideas and concepts involving Islam, Islamic aesthetics, and the West, Velasquez art, pride and betrayal.

Like Othello in his finery we find Amir, played by Sachin Joab, surveying his kingdom, an upscale split level Manhattan apartment- a striking set by Edith Gadsby, wearing a $600 shirt and an expensive suit. Amir is a successful corporate, this overwhelming pride, his hubris is that he is living the American Dream complete with a blonde Desdemona, his wife Emily, played by Sophie Ross. We just know that Amir is going to fall but the downward tragedy is not as linear as a Shakespearean tragedy.

Continue reading SYDNEY THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS AYAD AKHTAR’S ‘DISGRACED’ @ WHARF 1