Bygone arts and political scenes captured

September 11, 2021 BY

Power art: Bob Hawke sporting his famous, gravity defying hairdo. Photos: RHONDA SENBERGS

WHILE the start date of this year’s Ballarat International Foto Biennale remains on tenterhooks, several outdoor exhibitions have been made ready to enjoy.

This includes Time and Place by Rhonda Senbergs, which can be found in Police Lane, outside the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

“What we’ve done is gotten the outdoor exhibitions ready so that the Ballarat community can enjoy them if it’s within five kilometres from their homes,” Biennale artistic director Fiona Sweet said.

“All of those exhibitions are getting really strong interest, and it’s great to see people walking around looking at the outdoor element.

“We’ve developed a little Google Map that’s on our website now, so they can find out where all the exhibitions are, which is great.”

Printmaker and sculptor George Baldessin with cartoonist, philosopher and poet Michael Leunig.

According to Ms Sweet, Time and Place will be of even extra interest when the festival proper is eventually launched, thanks to its parallel themes to the much-anticipated Linda McCartney show.

“The reason we put Rhonda Senbergs in that particular laneway was to, in a way, have that discussion with the Linda McCartney exhibition,” she said.

“Rhonda was a self-taught photographer. This series of works are photographs that she took of the Melbourne and Sydney art scene, and a little bit of the political scene in the 60s and 70s.

“Her husband at the time, Jan Senbergs, was a significant painter, so she had that ability to be invited to these social events, and because she knew her subjects personally, when she took their photos, she got this beautiful immediacy within her images.

“Linda McCartney, of course, photographed celebrities and rock stars and writers in the 60s and 70s also, but in London, so it’s a great comparison.”

The 2021 BIFB Outdoor Program Exhibition Map can be accessed via

Police Lane, next to the Art Gallery of Ballarat, is playing host to Time and Place by Rhonda Senbergs.

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