As a fledgling rock photographer having cut his teeth shooting live music for the past couple of years throughout Melbourne and Australia, it was with immense excited anticipation that I wanted to check out Tony Mott’s new exhibition at South Melbourne’s Raw Gallery.
Based in South Melbourne, the Raw Gallery specialises in fine art music photography. They have featured such legendary photographers such as Bob Gruen, Neal Preston and Terry O’Neill amongst many others. Gruen and Preston in particular are names synonymous with music acts I grew up with throughout the 70′s such as the Ramones, KISS and Led Zeppelin.
So yeah, I just couldn’t wait to check out the gallery for myself and more importantly, get to rub shoulders with Australia’s rock photography legend, Tony Mott who has just released a new book Rock ‘N’ Roll Photography Is The New Trainspotting: A Retrospective of Work From The Last 30 Years. The book has just been released and a book signing and floor talk was held at South Melbourne’s Raw Gallery.
Chances are, some of you may have not heard of Tony but it is highly probable you have seen his work many, many times. His portfolio features some of the world’s most iconic rock stars. If they’ve ever plucked at a guitar, beat on a drum or swung a mike round their neck Roger Daltrey style, Tony has been there to photograph them. Without fail.
The gallery was already packed by the time I arrived and Tony was busily signing copies of his wonderful new book for the punters. After the signing, Tony partook in a floor talk and discussed his career with select tales about many of the photos in the exhibition and of life on the road shooting rock royalty and beyond.
As wonderful as it was to hear the stories behind his photos, he needn’t have spoken a word… his photos say so much and reveal plenty just by looking at them.
It was a great honour today to see and hear Tony Mott reflect on the past 30 years behind the lens.
I felt inspired listening to him talk but at the same time it was tinged with overwhelming feelings of sadness as I often am so critical and harsh of my own abilities and my complete lack of communication which Tony has in spades.
At the same time, it amazed me that he talked of experiences that I too have encountered over the past two years I have been shooting bands and I felt so empowered to soldier on and persist with the ‘dream’ even when at times it is such a thankless, difficult job.
Do check out the show running at the Raw Gallery until 22 December 2010 and if you get a chance, pick up the new book, it is sure to please and mesmerise.
Tony will once again be speaking at the gallery on 11 December 2010 at 2pm. Entry is free.
The Raw Gallery is located at 250 Park Street, South Melbourne
Thumbnail image: rock photographer Tony Mott at The Raw Gallery (photo by John Raptis)