Photography lovers meet the luminati

Posted on June 8, 2011

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From Alice Springs and Hobart, they all came to Bendigo

'Powerhouse mechanic 1920' by Lewis Wicks Hine. Collection of George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film

Top names included Allison Nordstrom, Curator of Photographs at George Eastman House in New York, and photo journalists and artists Stephen Dupont, David Callow, Nici Cumpston, Anne Ferran and Matthew Sleeth.

Held at the end of May, the University-sponsored free public symposium attracted more than seventy visitors. They came from Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Alice Springs, Hobart and Bendigo.

The symposium was organised by La Trobe as part of Bendigo Art Gallery’s major exhibition ‘American Dreams: 20th Century Photography From George Eastman House’, which runs until 10 July, 2011.

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film is the world’s oldest photography museum, and one of oldest film archives. It holds more than 400,000 photographs and other items.

The Bendigo exhibition focuses on the extensive collection of 20th-century American photography. It features the work of 35 of America’s most celebrated photographers including Diane Arbus, Robert Capa, Robert Mapplethorpe, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, Cindy Sherman, Aaron Siskind and Alfred Stieglitz.

La Trobe head of photography, Julie Millowick, said the ‘American Dreams’ exhibition is a great drawcard for Bendigo.

Walk through history

‘Our regional students are incredibly fortunate to have such an exhibition in their midst. Many of our Melbourne campus students also made the journey up here for this event.’

Melinda Caracella, who came from Melbourne, said: ‘I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from and enjoy such an event.

‘Allison Nordstrom took us on an incredibly informative walk through the history of the archive and the collections of French, American and British photographs it houses, including those that can be seen in the American Dreams exhibition. ‘

Marcus Brownlow came all the way from Adelaide for the day. He said the symposium was ‘pivotal in his decision to attend the exhibition’.

For online photo journalism student, Carl Dziunka, the most memorable part of the symposium was rubbing shoulders with the big names of the industry.

Left to right, back row: Tansy Curtin, Bendigo Art Gallery, Alison Nordstrum, David Callow. Front row: Stephen Dupont, Nici Cumpston, Anne Ferran, and Matthew Sleeth. PHOTO: Carl Dziunka.

‘To be in the same room rather than just to see them in magazines or other media was incredible – and an experience that doesn’t come along too often,’ he said.

Exclusive workshop for students

Fifteen of La Trobe’s top photography and online photo journalism students were selected for an exclusive workshop after the symposium with acclaimed photo journalist Stephen Dupont.

‘Stephen has spent the past 15 years in Afghanistan and generously gave students a valuable insight into his working methods, motivations and inspirations,’ said Ms Millowick