Rennie Ellis Chronology

1940s–1970s

1940s

1940
Rennie Ellis born, Brighton


1950s

1951 – 58
Educated at Brighton Grammar School in Melbourne

1959
Wins a Commonwealth scholarship to Melbourne University. 
Drops out of university to work in an advertising agency

1959 – 62
Works for Orr, Skate & Associates Advertising Agency in Melbourne


1960s

1960           
Begins studies at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

1963  
Embarks on two years travelling around the world as seaman, hitchhiker, stowaway... visiting Europe, USA, Caribbean, the Pacific and Asia which included sailing a 40' ketch from Tangier across the Atlantic to Miami. Buys his first camera, a Braun Paxette to record these travels.

1966            
Obtains his diploma from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Advertising and commences work as copywriter and TV producer with various advertising agencies.
Marries Carol Silk. Divorces 1978

1966 – 67
Editor in chief with Jackson Wain Advertising in Melbourne

1967 – 69           
Creative Director of Monahan Dayman Advertising, Melbourne

1969            
Disenchanted with the artifice of advertising, commences as a freelance photo journalist contributing to Walkabout Magazine and also begins working as an author and filmmaker.


1970s

1971           
First Exhibition: Kings Cross, with Wesley Stacey, Gallery A, Melbourne and Yellow house, Sydney.
Publishes Kings Cross Sydney.
Son Joshua born

1972            
Founder and Director of Brummels Gallery of Photography
First exhibition: Two Views of Erotica – Carol Jerrems & Henry Talbot, officially opened by Paul Cox.
Awarded Silver medallion for Photography from Art Directors Club of Melbourne for his photography in the Kings Cross Sydney book

1973
Part time Lecturer at the Preston Institute of Technology, Melbourne

1974
Founder and Director of Scoopix Photo Library in Prahran, Melbourne, which years later becomes the exclusive agent in Australia for the BLACK STAR agency in New York

1975
Establishes studio Rennie Ellis & Associates in Greville Street, Prahran, Melbourne which he operates from up until his death.

1975
Exhibitions: Aussies All, 500 Collins Street, Melbourne; Snapshots, Australian Centre for Photography; Recent Australian Photography, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs; touring exhibition which travelled through Asia.
Publishes Australian Graffiti.
Acquisition of work by the Australian Embassy, Beijing, China for its Collection

1976
Wins the United Nations Habitat Award in the Australian section for "A Better Way to Live" photographic exhibition to support the U.N. Convention on Human Settlements.
Exhibition: Heroes and Anti-Heroes, with Carol Jerrems, The Photographer's Gallery, Melbourne.
Receives grant from the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council to operate Brummels Gallery of Photography for one year.
Publishes Ketut lives in Bali.
Acquisition of work by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne for its Collection

1977
Brummels Gallery is sponsored by Pentax and is renamed Pentax Brummels Gallery of Photography, opened by Phillip Adams and exhibiting Sarah Moo
Starts working as a ‘spirited but never spiteful’ social photographer for Ragtimes and POL Magazines until 1982

1978
Exhibitions: The Phillip Morris Arts Grant 5th Annual Exhibition, Adelaide; The Way of Flesh, The Australian Centre of Photography, Sydney.
Publishes L'Australie (Switzerland).
Acquisition of work for Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.
Photographs selected by James Mollison, Director of the National Gallery of Australia and purchased by the Philip Morris Arts Grant for its Collection

1979
Exhibition: Australian Photographers, The Phillip Morris Collection, Hyde Park, Sydney
Receives grant from Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council for development of book Decade - An Experience of Australia in the Seventies.
Publishes Australian Graffiti Revisited.
Photographs selected by James Mollison, Director of the National Gallery of Australia and purchased by the Philip Morris Arts Grant for its Collection

1980s–2000s

1980s

1980           
Exhibitions: Australian Photographers, The Phillip Morris Collection, Alexander Gardens, Melbourne; Through The Looking Glass, with Peter Kelly and Glen O'Malley, Ray Hughes Gallery, Brisbane.
Appointed as the Correspondent and Editor in Melbourne for Australian Playboy and continues contributing until 1990.
Pentax Brummels Gallery of Photography closes In January.
Photographs selected by James Mollison, Director of the National Gallery of Australia and purchased by the Philip Morris Arts Grant for its Collection

1982
Publishes Railway Stations of Australia

1983
Exhibition: Australian Street Photography – The 1970's, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Publishes the first of Life's a... series Life's a Beach, in Australia and USA, selling over 30,000 copies.
Acquisition of work in the Phillip Morris Collection by the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Appointed as the Melbourne correspondent and photographer for Mode Magazine until mid 90s.

1984
Publishes Life's a Beer

1985    
Publishes Life's a Ball and The All New Australian Graffiti

1986    
Publishes Life's a Parade

1987      
Publishes Life's a Beach II and Cup Fever

1988
Exhibition: Shades of Light; Photography and Australia 1839 – 1988, Australian National Gallery, Canberra

1989
Marries Kerry Oldfield


1990s

1991           
Daughter Sylvie is born

1992  
Exhibitions: Carnival in Rio, Westpac Gallery, Victorian Art Centre, Melbourne; Uncommon Australians - Towards a National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery of Victoria; Sites of the Imagination -`Contemporary Photographers' View, Melbourne and its People, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
Acquisition of work by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne for its Collection.
Appointed as the Melbourne correspondent and contributing photographer for Who Weekly Magazine until late 90s.
Acquisition of work for the ACMP Photographers Collection

1993
Exhibitions: The Big Little Picture Show, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; Picture Freedom, The Photographers' Gallery, London.
Co-presenter with Deborah Hutton and Jo Bailey on the Nine Network's top rating lifestyle TV programme "Looking Good" for three years.
Is appointed as the official photographer for Melbourne's internationally renowned Spring Racing Carnival for two years

1994
Exhibition: Cup Fever, Myer, Melbourne.
Acquisition of work by the CUB Malthouse for its Collection

1995  
Exhibitions: On the Edge, San Diego Museum of Art, USA; A Collector's Choice, The Photographers' Gallery, Melbourne

1996
Exhibitions: Further Observations, The Photographers' Gallery, Melbourne; The Australian Photographers' Collections, Byron Mapp Gallery, Sydney

1997
Exhibition: Portrait Nus, George Gallery, Melbourne.
Acquisition of work by City of Port Phillip for its Collection

1998
Exhibitions: Further Observations, United States Consulate, Melbourne; Life's Still a Beach, George Gallery, Melbourne; Waterproof, Expo, Lisbon Portugal.
Publishes Up Front and Life's Still a Beach

1999
Exhibitions: Family, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Life's Still a Beach, The Australian Embassy, Paris, France; Images of the Subcontinent, Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne: Further Observations, George Adams Gallery, Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne.
Acquisition of work for the ACMP Photographers Collection


2000s

2000           
Acquisition of work by the State Library of NSW, Sydney for its Collection

2001
Acquisition of work by the Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne for its Collection

2002
Exhibitions: Watermarks, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney; Documenting Australians, A Pictorial History of Australian Photography, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne; Images of Australian Men, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne; Just Married, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne. 
ACMP Collection 6, Melbourne Museum. Acquisition of work for the ACMP Photographers' Collection

2003
Exhibition: POL- Portrait of a Generation, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
Rennie Ellis dies from a cerebral haemorrhage on 19th August

           

 

 

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