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Australian Athletes in Focus

Saturday 15 July until Sunday 12 November 2006

The National Portrait Gallery’s photographic exhibition Flash: Australian Athletes in Focus explores various interpretations of Australian sporting men and women.

Shane Warne, 2006 by Robin Sellick
Shane Warne, 2006 by Robin Sellick

Although working in the medium most associated with sport, the photographers do not necessarily portray their subjects’ sporting prowess and achievements. Instead, all the photographers investigate the personal dimensions of elite athletes. While some of the artists focus on the social aspects of sport and on particular groups within the broader Australian sporting community, others celebrate and acknowledge the sporting achievements of Indigenous Australians.

Flash brings together the work of five Australian photographers, drawn from around Australia. The artists, Sahlan Hayes, Leah King-Smith, Selina Ou, Robin Sellick and Toni Wilkinson, have been specially commissioned for the exhibition. The National Portrait Gallery has worked extensively with these individual photographers over the past year. During this period, the photographers have developed and honed their concepts prior to the implementation of their series. The resulting series of photographs illustrate a range of styles and techniques, with a number of the artists extending from their usual practice, and provide an inquiry into aspects of our sporting stars seldom explored in mainstream sport photography.