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Carol Jerrems, Paddington
, 1976 (printed 2003)

by Roger Scott

gelatin silver photograph (sheet: 40.7 cm x 30.2 cm, image: 32.9 cm x 22.6 cm)

Carol Jerrems (1949–1980), photographer, was born and grew up in suburban Melbourne and studied art and design at the Prahran Technical School between 1967 and 1970. While training and working as a teacher, she began exhibiting in the early 1970s at venues including Brummels Gallery, Melbourne; the National Gallery of Victoria; the Arts Council Gallery, Sydney; and the Australian Centre for Photography. Initially working in a photo-documentary style, by the middle of the decade she was known for her intimate portraits of friends, lovers and others occupying the progressive social and creative circles in which she moved. She documented people involved in activism and creativity, evoking the ideals that informed the lives and pursuits of her sitters; images such as Vale Street (1975) are considered emblematic of Australia’s 1970s counter-culture. In 1979, Jerrems became ill with a rare liver disease. She died in Melbourne in February 1980, aged thirty. Ten years later the National Gallery of Australia showed a touring retrospective, Living in the 70s: photographs by Carol Jerrems. In 2012 the National Gallery presented Carol Jerrems: photographic artist, with images drawn from its major archive of her work.

Roger Scott is a freelance documentary photographer known particularly for his images of protests and rallies in Sydney in the 1970s. He printed Carol Jerrems’s photographs and became a friend of hers.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2010
Accession number: 2010.98