Time Exposures: 60 Life Portraits on display

17 May 2013

Sharon Zwi's composite portrait of former High Court Judge Michael Kirby, part of the 'Time Exposures: 60 Life Portraits ' exhibit.
Sharon Zwi's composite portrait of former High Court Judge Michael Kirby, part of the 'Time Exposures: 60 Life Portraits ' exhibit.

The extraordinary lives of 60 influential Australians will be on display in a new photography exhibition at the University of Sydney's Fisher Library.

Time Exposures: 60 Life Portraits chronicles the lives of a diverse range of politicians, feminists, teachers, scientists, environmentalists and others through black and white portraits taken throughout their lifetimes. Each work consists of a grid of 25 portraits ordered chronologically throughout the lifetime of the subject.

Part of the Head On Photo Festival, the exhibition includes 24 University of Sydney alumni and 11 current and former staff members.

"Photographs address my interest in memory, place, identity and history. Each photo was taken in a time and place of different historical events," says artist behind the exhibition, Sharon Zwi.

"I also find it fascinating to see the changes as people grow up, mature and age; at what stage you see the 'essence' of the person, when their personalities are formed and their faces take on their identity."

The photographs supplied to Zwi were sourced from personal photo albums and archives. Each composite portrait was a personal collaboration with the subject and the artist, with the last portrait in each grid taken by Zwi.

"I want the viewer, in looking at the photos, to be able to identify with some subjects and react to what they see. I aim to show the things all people have in common and also those that make them individuals," Zwi says.

Notable alumni in the project include former High Court Judge Michael Kirby, film critic David Stratton, and women's rights advocate Margaret Whitlam.

University staff may recognise their colleagues, Professor Scott Kable of the Faculty of Science, Associate Professor Robyn McConchie of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment, and Dennis Dwarte of the Australian Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis.

Zwi chose the subjects of the portraits because of the contribution they were making to society - either on a national or international scale or simply in the way they contribute to their local communities.

Event details

What: Time Exposures: 60 Life Portraits- an exhibition by artist Sharon Zwi for the Head On Photo Festival

When: 22 May to 29 June in accordance with library opening hours

Where: Exhibition space, level two, Fisher Library, Eastern Avenue, Camperdown Campus 

Cost: Free and open to the public

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