Only in Fitzroy... or Southern Namibia: Emma McEnvoy's Sand Castles
Just last night, at the closure of our 'No Lilies' Photo Exhibition at Magnet Galleries in the CBD, we photographers were talking about alternative ways to showcase our work. That's when someone mentioned a unique exhibition opening off Brunswick Street today. It only took a reminder from my son Alix and his partner Jode this afternoon and I was off. This was the view that confronted me as I locked up my bike near the venue:
|Classic inner-city street art|
And that's when I noticed a long snaking queue of adults and kids waiting patiently, and not so patiently, to enter Emma McEvoy's 'Sand Castles' photo exhibtion:
The artist, who was stationed to greet guests at the entrance to the soon-to-be-demolished house explained how she had lucked on such a perfect setting for her exhibition.
McEvoy's extraordinary images were taken in Southern Namibia, where she travelled to photograph the ghost town of Kobmanskop. The town features many examples of traditional German architecture, built by and for German miners who came to the area hunting for diamonds. But when the diamonds disappeared so too did the miners, leaving their houses to fill with sand as the desert inexorably reclaimed its own.
McEvoy wanted to hang her pictures in just such a sand-filled place and when she saw a developer's sign on a house she asked the developer if he knew of any space she could use. He generously offered this very house for a 'pop-up' exhibition in advance of its demolition this coming Tuesday. The artist seized the opportunity and in so doing created the perfect setting for her photos. I'm sure I'm not the only one overawed and inspired by this demonstration of ingenuity and entrepreneurial flair.
That the exhibition and the story behind it has captured the popular imagination was evident in the droves of people who changed their weekend plans to include an impromptu visit to Fitzroy beach. And did the kids love playing in that sand! Congratulations Emma.