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Jack Tankard, Ambrose State School, Wrestling the Crocodile

Madeleine Cook, Public Programs & Promotions Officer for the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum, reviews the 2014 Intercity Images: Gladstone Saiki Photographic Exchange. The exhibition is part of this years Queensland Festival of Photography 5.

This is the twelfth year the photographic exchange has run between the Gladstone Region and their Sister City, Saiki City, Japan. Each time local photographers are asked to submit up to two images each that capture the spirit of Central Queensland’s lifestyle, people and environment. In 2014 the exchange attracted 95 photographers and a total of 145 images.

Ruth Crosson, Splash Zone

Ruth Crosson, Splash Zone

All images that are submitted are included in the annual exhibition which is running this year from the 5th ‐ 26th of April. Amateur to professional photographers are all welcome to submit and there are no age restrictions. This display is simply for the community by the community.

Before the official launch of the exhibition, judges will decide which of the 145 will be selected and sent overseas to Japan. Only thirty images have the privilege of being enlarged and posted to Saiki City, where they will be displayed during June 2014. Saiki City calls upon their residents to do the same as Gladstone and enter photographs reflecting their unique Japanese culture and lifestyle. Their images will then travel back to Australia with the Gladstone Region images ready for a combined display in July/August 2014.

It is common for Gladstone locals to enter every year in the hope of having a photograph selected while others simply enjoy having their work displayed in a public gallery. First‐timers to the exchange are always excited to enter the exhibition space to see whereabouts their image has landed on the walls. It was a lovely surprise for the Gallery & Museum this year when a teacher from a remote regional school, Ambrose State, encouraged her primary school aged students to enter. Around twenty‐five children (aged 6, 7 and 8) all submitted a photo each that they had taken around their school yard using the classroom iPads. It is hoped that the school may make a special excursion to see the children’s work on display and then encourage them to enter again next year.

Max Simmons, Oops

Max Simmons, Oops

Visitors to the 2014 exhibition will see many family orientated images as well as breath‐taking countryside scenes and beautiful photos of local birds. Each year it seems sunsets and sunrises are the most popular time to take a photo and it is also guaranteed that the Industry and Harbour will leave its mark on the exhibition too. No matter what features in the images however, the locals will always consider this exhibition a favourite and it’s easy to see why. With so much variety, colour and stunning flora and fauna, it is obvious why the locals love living where they do.

After the exhibition has closed, all of the 6×4 submitted prints are retained by the Museum and added to the local history collection. Each year they are collated together with previous year’s entries documenting the day to day changes and concerns of the region’s residents.

2014 Intercity Image: Gladstone Saiki Photographic Exchange is an initiative of the Gladstone Saiki Sister City Advisory Committee and is assisted by the Gladstone Regional Council. The Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum is located on the corner of Goondoon & Bramston Sts, Gladstone and is open 10am ‐ 5pm Monday to Saturday with free admission.

Claudia Wehrli, Catch of the day

Claudia Wehrli, Catch of the day

For more information on the Gladstone Saiki Photographic Exchange and other upcoming exhibitions, please visit the Gladstone Regional Art Gallery & Museum website.

The Queensland Festival of Photography 5 has started, and will run for the whole of April 2014. For more information on other participating exhibitions and the events taking place in conjunction with QFP5, please visit the festival website.

Images featured in this article have been randomly selected from the pool of entries for this year’s Intercity Images: Gladstone Saiki Photographic Exchange.

Featured image credits: Jack Tankard, Ambrose State School, Wrestling the Crocodile

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