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.
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”.
Carol Jerrems is now lauded as one of Australia’s most prominent photographic artist. The National Gallery of Australia, who holds an extensive archive of Jerrems' work, will stage an exhibition of her photographs dating from 1968 to 1978.
The exhibition opens at the NGA on 25 August 2012 and runs until 28 January, 2013.
For more information: National Gallery of Australia
Rennie Ellis took this photograph of Carol Jerrems in her bedroom in the house she shared with fellow photographers in Mozart Street, St.Kilda in 1970.