The Rennie Ellis Show comes to SAM

Shepparton Art Museum is proud to host a very special photography exhibition over the summer, titled The Rennie Ellis Show.

For the iconic Australian photographer Rennie Ellis, the 1970s-90s was ‘a great period of change'; one that now seems a world away. It was a world free of risk, of affordable inner city housing, of social protest, of disco and pub rock, of youth and exuberance.

The Rennie Ellis Show highlights some of the defining images of Australian life from the 1970s to ‘90s. This is the period of Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keating and Bob Hawke; AC/DC and punk rock; cheap petrol and coconut oil; Hare Krishnas, and Hookers and Deviates Balls.

Like no other Australian photographer of the period, Ellis was a master of immersing himself in any scene, and photographing it in rich and incredibly frank detail. Best remembered for his effervescent observations of Australia, including his now iconic book Life's a beach, Ellis's huge archive of pictures taken during this period now forms an important historical record.

SAM Director Kirsten Paisley said:
‘The work of Rennie Ellis is no doubt viewed differently in retrospect than it would have been in its day. He has provided a documentary archive of Australian life and the idiosyncrasies of human behavior through a series of encounters with other people's lives. The results are entertaining as ever, and now, deeply nostalgic.'

Monash Gallery of Art's Stephen Zagala said:
‘As the home of Australian photography, MGA is pleased to have developed this important exhibition from one the greats of Australian photography. Photography has changed so much over the last decade or so. Most of the photographs Ellis took on Australia's beaches, streets and in our nightclubs during the 1970s-90s could not be taken now. So this exhibition is about a world that has well-and-truly passed, both in terms of the places it shows and also of photography itself.'

The exhibition will be officially opened by Manuela Furci, Director of the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive, on Friday 12 December at 6pm, together with the Friends of SAM annual exhibition and Christmas Party event. Further information on this event and making a booking can be found on SAM's website

The exhibition will be supported by two important books of Ellis's work – Decade and Decadent (both Hardie Grant, Melbourne).

The Rennie Ellis Show will be open to the public from Friday 12 December 2014 to Sunday 22 February 2015. Entry is free. SAM is open 7 days from 10am to 4pm (public holidays 1pm to 4pm).

Shepparton Art Museum is proudly provided by Greater Shepparton City Council, located at 70 Welsford Street, Shepparton. For general SAM enquiries and bookings please contact: (03) 5832 9861, email, or visit for more information.

The Rennie Ellis Show is a travelling exhibition presented by The Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive along with Monash Gallery of Art, the home of Australian photography who is supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.