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Gerrit Fokkema - Australian Vernacular Exhibition

I recently visited the Australian Vernacular Photographic exhibition at the NSW Art Gallery in Sydney. One photographer who stood out for me was Gerrit Fokkema.

Gerrit learnt photography from a school boy age, self taught and contributing for his school magazine in country NSW. He worked as press photographer for the Canberra Times and Sydney Morning Herald and his images show a style of reportage. The thing that attracted me to Gerrit's images were the feeling of everyday Australia and different classes in their environment.

Blacktown Man

Blacktown Man gives a stereotypical feel to the western suburbs of the 1980's. The harsh light, bright highlights and deep shadows fit well with the landscape and the tough environment that was life for many in the west. 

Blacktown Man by Gerrit Fokkema - 1983

Blacktown Man by Gerrit Fokkema - 1983

Woman Hosing

The modern brick veneer housing of new suburbs in Canberra in the 70's and 80's fits well with the neatly dressed woman afforded the time to hose down the gutter and road in front of the family abode. Newly laid turf, street lighting with underground cabling, no sign of rubbish or clutter along with a clear sunny day all help to portray a clean and healthy life in the nation's capital. The element of line is very prominent in this image and add to simplistic and orderly composition - very much suited to life in Canberra in the 70's and 80's.

Woman Hosing, Canberra by Gerrit Fokkema - 1979

Woman Hosing, Canberra by Gerrit Fokkema - 1979

More recent examples of Gerrit's work can be found at http://www.fokkema.com.au

Burnside Uniting Care by Gerrit Fokkema

Burnside Uniting Care by Gerrit Fokkema