Dorothy and Jack

This slideshow is titled “Dorothy and Jack” and is edited from a collection of about 600 slides dating from the early 50’s until the late 70’s taken by an American photographer Dorothy Elizabeth Elsberry.

I purchased them on e-bay in 2001.

A love story emerges of a relationship that is not in the fresh flush of youth, yet reveals a deeper romantic ideal; of old age spent together with the one you love.

This work has been exhibited as 35mm slide show, A video with narration, and as a series of photographs. The work edits a this collection of slides into 2 groups of 80 images each. One carousel is filled with slides of a dinner table, always set for two where elaborate and hearty meals are displayed - they mark special occassions as the notes on the slides record - St Patricks Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and so on.

The second carousel is filled with images of Jack who was an outdoors man and horse rider, each image seems to depict an idealistic vision of a lone cowboy.

The dual projection creates pairs of images; interiors and domestic settings and outdoor heroic male cowboy a distinctly male female version of events. In this collection it was the wife Dorothy who was the photographer and she meticuously wrote exposures and details on every single slide which date from 1940s to the mid 1970’s. As she was the photographer she became invisible in the outdoor shots of her husband Jack and from writing on the slides seem to suggest that it may have been Jack who was the ‘cook’ of their house, further disrupting nostalgic gendered ideals depicted in these images.

If you leave me now can I come too curated by Bec Dean, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney

Canberra Contemporary Art Space

Rooms curated by Mary Pridmore, Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart

Photographer Unknown curated by Kyla McFarlane, Monash University Museum of Art

Slide Show Land, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide

Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne

Gallerie Pompom, Sydney
Substation Art Award 2014

Slide Show Land - Dorothy and Jack reconstructed cupboard, HD Video with sound, screen and pole. Installation @ Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne. Photos: Tim Gresham
Installation Gallerie Pompom, Sydney