Media release: John Gollings exhibition
Gollings: The History of the Built World, showcasing the work of John Gollings AM - one of Australia’s most celebrated photographers, opens at the Museum of Sydney on 30 November.
With a career built over decades of visiting and re-visiting modern and ancient sites, John Gollings is recognised as Australia’s pre-eminent photographer of the built environment. His work combines his interests in photography and architecture, capturing the cultural construction of social spaces.
Gollings: The History of the Built World is the first major survey of this internationally renowned photographer’s practice and career. The exhibition showcases 65 photographic works spanning Gollings’ extensive portfolio.
“We are delighted to be hosting the Gollings exhibition, offering visitors a rare opportunity to see the depth and diversity of work by this extraordinary photographer,” said Adam Lindsay, Executive Director, Sydney Living Museums. “Exclusive to this exhibition is a section on Sydney which documents significant heritage sites such as The Mint and Rose Seidler House, both managed by Sydney Living Museums.”
While Gollings is well known for his documentation of new buildings and cityscapes, this retrospective exhibition situates the images within the broader context of his photographic practice. His distinctive visual style conveys a personal or physical connection with the structure. By employing a range of compositional techniques and visual effects, Gollings portrays architecture with personality rather than as static monuments.
Gollings describes his style, “My purpose is to identify the quintessential elements and intrinsic dignity of architectural works and to convey these often nebulous attributes through the visual power of form. I try to encapsulate this in a single image.”
From images of sacred rock art sites and ancient temples to commissioned shots of suburban dream homes and monuments of cultural and corporate architecture, Gollings’ characteristic images provide a remarkable visual history of how we have chosen to inhabit the world.
Gollings’s prolific recording of the architectural world through imagery is unparalleled. His photographs are widely reproduced and continue to play a significant role in shaping public perceptions of Australian architecture.