Lady with Red Hat, Melbourne Cup 1986

Melbourne Out Loud: Life through the lens of Rennie Ellis

1 March 2024 — 28 January 2025

State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Victoria
Daily 10am-6pm

Free Entry

If there was ever a photographer to take Melbourne’s portrait, it was Rennie Ellis.

Rennie had an uncanny ability to slip into all kinds of social circles and his photographs are the ultimate story of life on the town.​

He roamed our places: St Kilda Beach, the MCG, Swanston Street, Sidney Myer Music Bowl. He met superstars: Tina Turner, Mick Jagger, Grace Jones. He stood with crowds on the biggest days of the year: Melbourne Cup, the AFL Grand Final, the Boxing Day Test. He befriended people from all walks of life: athletes and celebrities, punks and protesters, beach goers and party lovers. And he captured it all on camera.

Melbourne Out Loud is a collection of iconic, many unseen and everyday photographs from one of our greatest chroniclers. A celebration of going out, being seen and being yourself.

At the Pub, Qld 1982

Australiana: Designing a Nation

18 March 2023 — 25 June 2023

Bendigo Art Gallery
42 View Street
Bendigo 3550

Free Entry

Australiana: Designing a Nation surveys the iconography of Australiana in art and design. Curated by and presented exclusively at Bendigo Art Gallery in partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria, this expansive exhibition showcases works by over 200 artists and designers, including many Australian masterpieces. Spanning the visual and decorative arts as well as photography, illustration, furniture, jewellery, moving image and fashion, this exhibition charts Australia’s social and popular cultural history. Works from The Australiana Fund, the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive and a new major commission by Kenny Pittock, 100 Ice-creams. A selection of contemporary Australian artists will also be featured, highlights include: Ken Done, Paul McCann, Tony Albert and Romance was Born.

Hippie, Kings Cross 1970-71

Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now

16 September 2022 — 30 April 2023

National Library of Australia
Parkes Place
Canberra ACT 2600

Free Entry

Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now explores 50 years in the lives of Australians. Pulling exclusively from the Library's photography collection – now made up of more than a million photographs – the 125 images in this exhibition reveal a changing Australia and the evolving nature of photography.

Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia 1978

Pub Rock Exhibition

5 September 2020 — 14 March 2021

National Portrait Gallery
King Edward Terrace,
Parkes, Canberra, ACT

Free entry

Your backstage pass to 70s and 80s sounds and scenes

Gettin’ robbed, gettin’ stoned, gettin’ beat up, broken boned

Two of the music industry’s highest-selling performers originated in suburban Australia. The Bee Gees started out in Brisbane, for instance, and AC/DC – whose Back in Black (1980) has sold more than 50 million copies – played their first gigs at a nightclub in inner Sydney.

Drag Queens Security Guard 1973

Dressing up: clothing and camera

23 November 2019 — 9 February 2020

Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Rd
Wheelers Hill Victoria

Free entry

'As necessity or luxury, to integrate or rebel, in freedom or oppression, dress is the nexus of selfhood. Photography and dress are forever entwined; from its inception in the 1840s one of photography’s main objectives has been the making of portraits. Clothing has been imaged by photographers ever since. In documentary mode, photography provides a record of the ways we dress and how clothing has changed over time...'

Dressing up: clothing and camera exhibition draws together photographs from the MGA collection that feature dress or clothing as a significant element in their making. Some of the photographers included have produced works with documentary intent. For many, a classification of their practice is not so clear cut. These artists photograph dress, clothing and the body to actively question appearances. They use photography as a tactic for testing the nature of consumer culture, challenging social norms or protesting histories of colonisation and discrimination. Shaping and shaped by the individual, our clothes can conceal, reveal and transform who we are. Like the photographs in this exhibition they are the bearers of memory, emotion and time.
Curator: Gareth Syvret

Richmond fans, Grand Final, MCG 1974

The Rennie Ellis Show

3 August 2017 — 7 October 2017

Whitehorse Artspace
Box Hill Town Hall
1022 Whitehorse Road,
Box Hill, VIC 3128

Free entry

Photographer Rennie Ellis (1940–2003) was a key figure in Australian visual culture. Ellis is best remembered for his effervescent observations of Australian life during the 1970s and 1980s.

The Rennie Ellis Show highlights some of the defining characters of Australian life during this period, including politicians, punk rockers, spiritual leaders and advocates of the sexual revolution.

The photographs in this exhibition explore the subcultures of the time, and take us back to a moment in our history when inner city housing was affordable, social protestors were optimistic and a sense of community could be achieved without the internet.

All the photographs in this exhibition have been drawn from the two Rennie Ellis award winning books Decade:1970-1980 and Decadent:1980-2000



MC Paradise Club, Kings Cross 1970-71

Kings Cross 1970-71: Rennie Ellis Exhibition

9 May 2017 — 2 June 2017

Mossgreen Gallery
36- 40 Queen Street,
Woollahara NSW 2025

Head On Photo Festival, Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive, and Mossgreen Gallery are pleased to showcase Kings Cross 1970-1971: Rennie Ellis, an exhibition of Rennie Ellis’ photographic observation of life in the infamous Kings Cross during the summer of 1970-71.

Kings Cross remains a place of intrigue… as Ellis wrote in the book, Kings Cross Sydney, by Rennie Ellis and Wesley Stacey - “It has a pulse rate and a lifestyle unlike anywhere else in Australia”.





Carol Jerrems, Mozart Street #1, 1970

Carol Jerrems (1949 - 1980) Exhibition

3 December 2016 — 11 February 2017

Josef Lebovic Gallery
103a Anzac Parade
Kensington 2033
New South Wales, Australia

When Rennie Ellis founded Brummels - the first photography gallery in Australia - in December 1972, he officially opened the gallery with the exhibition Two Views of Erotica that showcased works by Henry Talbot and the then relatively unknown photographer, Carol Jerrems.  Now, Jerrems is lauded as one of Australia’s most prominent photographic artist.

For Jerrems, photography had a crucial social role: 'the society is sick and I must help change it'.  She produced a body of photographs that symbolized the hopes and aspirations of the counter-culture in Australia in the 1970s. Sadly, Jerrems fell ill in 1979 with Budd-Chiari syndrome - a rare blood disease. She died on 21 February 1980 without having reached her 31st birthday. Back then, Rennie Ellis sensed that she also died of "a broken heart”.

Ellis had a close relationship with Jerrems who permitted him to photograph her nude in her bedroom at Mozart Street, St. Kilda in 1970. These intimate photographs by Ellis are included alongside rare vintage and highly collectable works by Carol Jerrems at the Josef Lebovic Gallery.




Don and Patrizia, St.Kilda Beach 1985

The Rennie Ellis Show

3 December 2016 — 29 January 2017

Art Gallery of Ballarat
40 Lydiard St North, Ballarat, Vic 3350
Free entry
Open 10am – 5pm

The Rennie Ellis Show highlights some of the defining images of Australian life in the 1970s and '80s.

For the iconic Australian photographer Rennie Ellis, the period from the 1970s to the 1990s was a great period of change — a world free of risk, of affordable inner city housing, of social protest, of disco and pub rock, of youth and exuberance.

Ellis was a master of immersing himself in any scene, and photographing it in rich and frank detail, and is best remembered for his effervescent observations of Australia, including his now iconic book Life’s a beach.

This exhibition highlights some of his most defining images of Australian life from the period of Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser, Paul Keating and Bob Hawke; AC/DC and punk rock; cheap petrol and coconut oil; Hare Krishnas and Hookers and Deviates Balls.

The Rennie Ellis Show is presented by the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive along with Monash Gallery of Art, drawing on photographs from the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive, and is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.

The exhibition will be supported by two important books of Ellis’s work – Decade and Decadent.



Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia 1978

The Rennie Ellis Show

19 August 2016 — 16 October 2016

106 - 114 Kentucky St Armidale NSW
Tickets: $5.00 / Free - Friends of NERAM

The Rennie Ellis Show highlights some of the defining images of Australian life in the 1970s and '80s.

This was the period of Gough Whitlam, Paul Keating and Bob Hawke; AC/DC and punk rock; cheap petrol and  coconut oil; Hare Krishna's and street protests and Rennie Ellis was there to take photos of everyone in all their glory...



Gay Protest March # 2, 1973


3 March 2016 — 10 April 2016

Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road
Wheelers Hill Victoria 3150
Free entry

In 1973 the Australian Gay Liberation movement upped the ante by instigating a series of Gay Pride festivals in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. This was a time when homosexual sex was classified as a criminal act across Australia, and the Gay Pride events sought to challenge these repressive laws and openly celebrate gay and lesbian culture in public spaces.

Rennie Ellis, the most prolific photojournalist of Australian society during the 1970s and 80s, documented Melbourne’s Gay Pride Week with his characteristic warmth and candour. Commissioned to photograph the event for the National Review, Ellis captured everything from transgressive cross-dressers and camped up political banners to same-sex couples enjoying romantic interludes on the lawns of the Botanic Gardens.

This is the only substantial visual record of Melbourne’s first gay and lesbian festival, and most of the photographs in this exhibition have never been exhibited before now.





Four Sunbathers, Lorne c.1968


11 December 2015 — 28 February 2016

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
Civic Reserve, Dunns Road
Mornington, Victoria 3931
Free entry to exhibition

"On the Beach" considers the place of the beach within Australian life. A public space of recreation and leisure the beach epitomises the liberties of Australia’s democratic society. While in the lead up to Federation many 19th century artists looked to the bush to galvanise a fledging nationalism, by the mid-20th century this had shifted and increasingly the beach became the site of Australian identity. The exhibition considers this history in light of the Cronulla race riots. 2015 marks the 10th anniversary of the riots and provides an opportunity for reflection about these events and the significance of the beach as the place where tensions boiled over. 

Bringing together over 75 works, including paintings and photographs by some of Australia’s acclaimed Modernists, together with works by contemporary artists, the exhibition considers the ways in which people relate to the beach, its place in understandings of national identity and its history as a contested site.

Includes works by Arthur Boyd, Gordon Bennett, Daniel Boyd, George Caddy, Max Dupain, Rennie Ellis, Tracey Moffatt, David Moore, Sidney Nolan, Polixeni Papapetrou, John Perceval,