From Carol Jerrems To
Peter Leiss c1973-1975
Consisting of four letters, all hand-written in ink, one letter
with two vintage silver gelatin contact prints attached, each
letter dated and some annotated or stamped with an address, 33
(paper, approx. each); 2.6 x 3.8cm (photographs). Old folds,
some slight tears.
Peter Leiss. These letters cover the period of Jerrems' life
in which she was working on the publication A Book About Australian
Women (1974), teaching photography and filmmaking, and making
a short film about the Sharpie subculture in Melbourne. (Sharpies
were members of suburban youth gangs in Australia, most significantly
from the 1960s and 1970s. Sharpies, who stood out with their
short hair, were known for being violent, although they followed
a moral code. The name comes from their focus on looking and
dressing "sharp." Ref: Wiki.)
ponderings of subjects for her to photograph-her yoga practice;
her lovers [Ambrose Campbell and Esben Storm]; finding a balance
between teaching and photography; and her admiration of Ansel
Adams - lie some heavy confessions: a rape after attending a
performance, and an attempted rape by a renowned blues singer.
Of both of these experiences she reflects "Terror, but submission;
an unpleasant but valuable experience."
and drive, however, would not be diminished: "I hope one
day to still be freaky and getting hung-up over people and disappointed
and jealous but have the strength from freedom and knowledge
and self-confidence to be able to handle it. Living is an adventure."
While Leiss attended the Prahran School of Art & Design in
1970-1971, he met Carol Jerrems at a filmmaking course run by
Paul Cox. Leiss later travelled abroad, but kept in touch with
Jerrems over the years through letters. It was not until 1976
that they met up again.
attached to one letter show Mark Lean (a Sharpie who appeared
in Jerrems' Vale Street) with Sharpie friends; and "Mark
Lean with Flappers," which is illustrated in King, Up
Close: Carol Jerrems, 2010, p51. A detailed list is available
The group $11,000