CL 180 - Anne Zahalka: Playground of the Pacific < Main | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 >

Anne Zahalka
This collection of iconic beach-themed images was assembled for a major survey show at Manly Art Gallery & Museum by one of Australia's most prominent photomedia artists.

From her acclaimed exhibition Bondi: Playground of the Pacific, 1989, a series reflecting on the mythologies of the beach and its community, through to the celebrated Leisureland (1999) series which documented the central place of leisure in Australian culture, and more recently a series of images titled Homeground which delves into the cultural characteristics of Sydney suburbs, Anne Zahalka has continued to explore the place of the beach in contemporary Australian culture.

Reflecting on the imagery of traditional oil painting and photography, cinema and advertising, Zahalka has continued to play with the 'scenic backdrop', becoming one of a number of tropes within her work. Alongside the repeated motifs of the 'great outdoors' ocean, and seaside, Zahalka has continually investigated and challenged ideas of national, cultural and gender identity. Her work often deals with imagery that is very familiar to Australians, but subverts these with an ironic and critical voice. In the range of settings for her portrait figures, Zahalka has never strayed for too long from the image of the beach, whether real or contrived.

She has created new images generated in part by her observations and research of the seaside and harbour suburb of Manly and, through her investigations, uncovered an obscure 1930s painting by Nancy Kilgour from the MAG&M collection. She has reflected and re-figured that image to be both artwork in itself and a backdrop for the creation of other works. Her fascination with the scenic backdrop, iconic oil paintings and 'the portrait' directs much of her work.

Anne Zahalka's artworks feature in major public collections across the nation, prominently in published collections of Australian art photography, and have been commissioned for airports, hotels, galleries and houses of Parliament. She has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally for over thirty years and held over 40 solo exhibitions. A major survey of her portrait work was prepared by the Centre of Contemporary Photography titled Hall of Mirrors: Anne Zahalka Portraits 1987 - 2007, and toured regionally and to major venues including the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.

This catalogue features her most significant works from the beach and water-themed series including The Bathers, 1989, Sunbathers No. 1 and 2, 1989 and a revisiting of these works such as The New Bathers, 2013 made for the documentary The Art of Australia presented by Edmond Capon in which Anne was included and most recently a new version titled The Sunbather, 2015 featuring the same model who appeared in the original work now 26 years on.
We are very excited to be able to offer the original vintage collection from Anne's formative exhibition Bondi: Playground of the Pacific, 1989, printed by the artist from this period, as well as her newer works.

CL 180 - Anne Zahalka: Playground of the Pacific < Main | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 >