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What a Life! Rock Photography by Tony Mott

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Retrospective of rock photographer Tony Mott
You know the musicians, you've seen the iconic images. Now you can go behind the camera lens to learn about Australia's premier rock photographer, Tony Mott, and his incredible career.

What Life Tony Mott Rock Photography Casula Powerhouse
Enjoy a retrospective of rock photographer Tony Mott


With a portfolio featuring the biggest names in music over the last thirty years in his career, Mott has had an astounding 30,000 photographs published in 20 countries. His iconic images have appeared on the covers of CDs, posters and hundreds of magazines.

What Life Tony Mott Rock Photography Casula Powerhouse
The exhibition features legendary musicians and iconic photography


It is interesting to learn that Tony is a French chef by trade and had toured the world in this capacity before settling in Australia in 1981. With a love of rock and roll and an interest in photography, it wasn't long before these two interests collided one evening at the Piccadilly Hotel in Kings Cross. While enjoying a regular gig by the then unsigned band, Divinyls, Tony started thinking about how difficult it would be to photograph and capture the energy of a live music experience. As a result, the following week he brought along his camera to experiment. It was in this way, over a period of 4 - 5 months, Tony taught himself the art of rock 'n' roll photography.

Not surprisingly the first photograph Tony ever sold was of Divinyls frontwoman Chrissy Amphlett when their manager Vince Lovegrove decided to use one of Tony's photos on a poster promoting an upcoming show. It was this widely seen image of Amphlett that gave him his break as a rock photographer. Then after working with Mick Jagger on tour, he became the photographer of choice for some of the biggest names in music.

What Life Tony Mott Rock Photography Casula Powerhouse
A self taught photographer, Tony began his career working with the Divinyls


This exhibition showcases a slice of rock history over the last 30 years and features over one hundred photos of Australian and international artists including portraits, live shots, magazine covers, album covers and more. Artists shown in this exhibition include Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, Kiss, AC/DC, Cold Chisel, Divinyls, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Michael Hutchence and Daniel Johns to name just a few.

What Life Tony Mott Rock Photography Casula Powerhouse
A slice of rock history over the last 30 years


The exhibition can also be seen to chart the enormous changes in the Australian music industry over the last twenty years. The loss of live music venues and the demise of music magazines, as well the rise of digital photography have all affected the music scene and as a consequence the art of rock photography. It is a telling fact that of the 172 worldwide music publications Tony had on his books at the height of his career, only around 12 of these publications remain today.

If you have the time make sure you sit down and watch the video presentation within the exhibition which gives a fantastic overview of Tony's career. It incorporates an interview with Tony and Australian musicians such as Tim Rogers, Paul Mac and Missy Higgins as well as plenty of additional photos and it was one of the highlights of the exhibition for me.

This is a State Library of NSW Travelling Exhibition. The exhibition is open now at Casula Powerhouse and will run until 24th February 2019.

Casula Powerhouse is located at 1 Powerhouse Rd Casula (entry via Shepherd St). It is open every day from 9am until 4.30pm (but is closed on public holidays).

There is free parking available on site. If travelling by train, disembark at Casula Station, conveniently located only 100 metres from the Casula Powerhouse.

For further information, please check the website here. You can also follow on Facebook and Instagram.

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Why? Legendary Musicians & Iconic Photography
When: Until 24th February 2019
Phone: 02 8711 7123
Where: Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre
Cost: Free entry
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