A major retrospective showcasing rock ‘n’ roll life – on stage and behind the scenes – captured by Australia’s premier rock photographer, Tony Mott – over an extraordinary 30 year career – will be on display at the State Library of NSW from 17 October 2015.
Tony Mott got his first break photographing Chrissy Amphlett of Sydney band Divinyls in the early 1980s, and the affable British born chef quickly established himself as the rock photographer of choice.
“Without Chrissy I wouldn’t have had a career,” said Tony. “I sort of stalked her with my camera to learn the art of rock photography. What a pleasure and pain it was.”
Tony’s photographs have appeared in more than 700 music magazines and street press journals including Rolling Stone, Juice, Drum Media, RAM and Juke. He has provided photography for more than 450 singles, EPs and albums.
His portfolio features the biggest names in music such as the Rolling Stones, Björk, Elton John and Nirvana, as well as local acts (INXS, Cold Chisel, Midnight Oil the independent band scene in Australia. Among his many career highlights was being asked to shoot Mick Jagger’s solo tour of Australia in 1988, and he subsequently shot four Rolling Stones tours – twice as the official photographer.
Tony breaks the notorious pact of ‘what happens on tour stays on tour’ with amusing anecdotes from official tours, photo shoots and wild after parties! Watching Bjork sing ABBA songs around a grand piano at the Adelaide Hilton was one of his ‘tamer’ memories.
The exhibition also tracks the enormous changes in the music industry in Australia over the last 20 years, including the declining live scene in Sydney, and the impact of digital on the art of rock photography.
What a Life! Rock Photography by Tony Mott
Mitchell & Dixson Galleries – State Library of NSW, Sydney
Exhibition: 17 October 2015 – 7 February 2016
For more information, visit: www.sl.nsw.gov.au for details.
Image: Tony Mott, Prodigy 1997