THERE’S an interesting exhibition in the Mid-North Coast NSW town of Wauchope. I found it pasted on the walls.
Faces of the Hastings (the Hastings is the river that runs by the town) is the production of local photographer Ronnie Grammatica with the support of Port Macquarie-Hasings Council. It is part of the 2019 Creative Wauchope Festival.
The photographs are accompanied by a QR code so viewers can hear the stories of the people in the images.
The photos are found at two locations in the town centre.
The internet-enabled exhibition links physical images with online audio files, taking advantage of different informational formats.
The photos, reproduced at A1 scale, are monochromes. All are frontally-posed portraits, some addressing the camera directly, others with the figures angled slightly to one side with the heads facing the camera. All have eyes peering at the lens, making the figures appear to be looking at the viewer. The similarity of the images brings visual cohesion to the exhibition.
Looking at the photos, I got the idea that the exhibition reflected the town back at itself, making the work something of a social history document.
I think the concept a good idea. It highlights ordinary people rather than the economically, politically or socially dominant. In doing this it is a model that could be replicated in other towns. It is also the type of project citizen journalists could reproduce in online format.
It is to the credit of the townspeople that the photos have not been defaced or graffitied.