Acclaimed photographer Paola Talbert is renowned for her unique and surreal underwater aesthetic and submerged figure photography, and her work is represented in public and private collections in Australia and Europe. For EDGE GreenWay, Paola has turned her lens to the Leichhardt Wanderers, Blackmore Oval’s 110-year-old junior rugby league club.
Working with historical photography and contemporary portraits, Paola has developed a series of photographs to showcase the extensive community engagement the club has provided over the decades. Featuring composite layering using digital software and Cyanotype printing, a nineteenth-century photography technique will provide another visual approach to these layered artworks.
“Acknowledging the land of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation, where Blackmore Oval and the Greenway are situated was foremost in my thinking when it came to creating one of the first layered artworks for the residency. In this work – ‘In memory of George Ellis and Burnum Burnum’ – the photograph and text pay tribute to George Ellis and Harry Penrith – who was known as Burnum Burnum – both accomplished First Nations players who were invited to join the Leichhardt Wanderers when they were living in Glebe in the 1950s.”Paola Talbert
“There are many motivations that inspired this project; having never played rugby as a child or teenager I still enjoyed watching the game on television and occasionally I followed the Manly Sea Eagles.
Craig Barnett, or Barney as he is widely known, is the Club president; Barney’s father was the Club president before him, and Barney’s son and daughter both play at the Club. The Club’s motto ‘Friends for Life’ really sank in when I observed this deep generational connection among many families.”The artist
Paola talks of meeting the broader community associated with the Wanderers, the vollies, the bar staff, the people who run the canteen, the mothers, fathers, grandparents and cousins, all who play an integral part in this strong community. And it is this deep connection that shines out from her work.
And she notes that In 2021, the Leichhardt Wanderers introduced a new polo and training shirt for their 110th anniversary with a commemorative artwork by Aboriginal Artist Kathryn Dodd Farrawell. The design incorporates the land, water, Country and People of this land.
Always was and always will be Aboriginal land…
The artist will be installing her work this Sunday 23rd May at Blackmore Oval for the Club’s 110-year anniversary celebration.