Exploring Australia’s rich history just got a whole lot easier now that the State Library of NSW has thrown open its virtual doors to “Shot,” the biggest and most captivating photography exhibition in its history, now accessible from wherever you have an internet connection.
Launched online today, “Shot” invites you to delve into the depths of the Library’s extraordinary collection, boasting two million images. As you scroll through the exhibition’s 400 carefully curated photographs, each captured by over 200 diverse photographers across three centuries, prepare to be swept away by a visual feast of captivating moments.
“The State Library is now Sydney’s largest photography gallery,” declared Dr. Caroline Butler-Bowdon, State Librarian.
“But for those who can’t physically visit us, or want to revisit the magic later, photography lovers across the globe can now explore this extraordinary collection of images in their own time.”
From the dawn of Australian photography with the 1845 daguerreotype by George Barron Goodman to contemporary perspectives by talented names like Stephen Dupont and Tony Mott, “Shot” is a comprehensive visual diary of the nation’s evolution. Each decade unveils a fresh chapter, showcasing changes in fashion, architecture, technology, and even societal norms, all reflected through the evolving lens of photography.
“The 400 photos are arranged into decades, creating a unique visual history of Australia over the last 180 years,” explained Geoff Barker, Senior Curator and the mastermind behind this captivating exhibition.
“As you scroll, you’ll witness the fascinating transformations in fashion, architecture, and even transportation, not to mention the evolution of photographic styles and printing processes themselves.”
But “Shot” isn’t just a passive stroll through history. Prepare to be surprised and intrigued by hidden gems like the striking image of two female farmers tending an opium field in Armidale, 1943. This forgotten chapter of Australia’s wartime history reveals the crucial role women played in maintaining morphine supplies for hospitals and battlefields.
And then there’s the iconic Frank Hurley photograph, one of the original Paget plates saved from the icy clutches of Antarctica after Shackleton’s Endurance met its icy demise. Each image whispers a story, inviting you to step into a bygone era and experience the nation through the eyes of countless individuals.
Highlights abound, from the earliest examples of colour photography to contemporary commentary by living artists. You’ll encounter the works of legends like Max Dupain and Harold Cazneaux, marvel at the delicate landscapes of Olive Cotton, and grapple with the social commentary woven into contemporary pieces.
To ensure a seamless experience, “Shot” is currently optimized for desktop viewing, allowing you to navigate the timeline by decade, explore detailed captions, or lose yourself in full-screen, zoomable images. A mobile version is on the horizon, ensuring everyone can access this treasure trove of visual storytelling.
So, dust off your virtual passport, embark on a captivating journey through time and let “Shot” transport you to the heart of Australia’s vibrant past, one captivating image at a time.
Remember, the onsite exhibition remains open until November 3, 2024, for those who crave the tangible experience. But regardless of your chosen path, get ready to be wowed by the power of photography to illuminate history, spark curiosity, and remind us of the rich tapestry that is the Australian story.
To view Shot go here.
Last Updated on Jan 31, 2024