Arts & Entertainment

Martin Smith – Bondi Dreams

Bondi Dreams is a photographic exhibition compiled by Martin Smith, a Bondi beach enthusiast from way, way back. Smith, has been taking photos of Bondi for 70 years to be exact and, his exhibition is a labour of love that documents his solo promenades along Sydney’s most famous beach. Also included will be photos of the lifestyle celebrated on this golden stretch of sand and sea, by those that worship sun, surf, style and sport.

An ex-scientist who originally migrated to Australia from South Africa to work for the CSIRO, arriving in 1966, Smith said he would often take his kids to Bondi from where he lived on the North Shore, to eat fish and chips, and lick ice creams while feeding the seagulls on weekends.

“Back then Bondi was a run down seedy sort of place. There was only one place for coffee and that was The Gelato Bar. No outdoor cafes. Nothing like it is today.”

On retirement from the CSIRO, Smith opened a bookshop on the beach, which he ran for 17 years. A perfect opportunity for taking photographs, with the permission of his subjects, of course. Martin’s photographs, however, are all about the imagery and often his subjects are unrecognisable becoming silouhettes and, shadow like figures, caught in changing light or blended together and overexposed appearing more like impressionist paintings than photographs.

The exhibition will feature 35 large images projected on a wall along with 100 other smaller photos, evoking memories and dreams of Bondi, capturing moments over time.

Mar 24-Apr 5. Bondi Pavilion Gallery, Queen Elizabeth Dr, Bondi Beach. Info: www.waverley.nsw.gov.au

By Renee Lou Dallow

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