LISTEN AND READ

Kevin Ballantine

Born 1950 in Perth
Lives and works in Perth

Across his artistic practice, working primarily with photography, Kevin Ballantine has captured Perth’s metropolitan beaches, the distinct landscapes of Western Australia’s Great Sandy Desert, street scenes in Paris, and Easter processions through Sicilian villages, among many other subjects.

His work is represented in major public collections including The National Gallery of Australia, The Art Gallery of Western Australia, The City of Perth, The University of Western Australia and The City of Fremantle. In 2017 a major retrospective of Ballantine’s work, Kevin Ballantine Photographs 1986 – 2001, was held at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth.

Ballantine’s work, together with that of his artistic alter ego Arno Blax, are documented on the website arnoblax.com

 

 

Cup City (Rad Series) 1983/4/01, 1983
black and white photograph
100 x 100 cm
Courtesy of City of Fremantle Art Collection

Cup City 09/01/1987/02/09, 1987
black and white photograph
100 x 100 cm
Courtesy of City of Fremantle Art Collection

Cup City 16/04/1987/27/18, 1987
black and white photograph
100 x 100 cm
Courtesy of City of Fremantle Art Collection

Cup City 17/01/1987/11/03 18, 1987
black and white photograph
100 x 100 cm
Courtesy of City of Fremantle Art Collection

The Capri, 1987
black and white photograph
100 x 100 cm
Courtesy the artist and Joseph Landro

Eats Stirling Highway, 1987
black and white photograph
100 x 100 cm
Courtesy the artist and Joseph Landro

North Cottesloe, 1987
black and white photograph
100 x 100 cm
Courtesy the artist and Joseph Landro

Following the dramatic victory of the Australia II team at the 1983 America’s Cup, which had been previously held by the New York Yacht Club since 1851, Perth spent three years keenly preparing to host the defending series, which was held in Fremantle in 1987. Bankrolled by notorious local businessman Alan Bond, and widely anticipated as a significant event that would help put Perth on the global map, the 1987 America’s Cup also led to the redevelopment of Fremantle, infrastructure projects such as Hillarys Boat Harbour and extensions to the Perth to Fremantle railway line, and the issuing of vehicle registration plates reading WA: Home of The America’s Cup. While ultimately unsuccessful in the defence of the cup, Fremantle’s hosting of the America’s Cup has become one of the abiding legends of recent Perth history; an allegory for the city’s ongoing cycles of boom and bust.

Kevin Ballantine’s series Cup City (1983–87) captures the streets of Fremantle at this time, depicting the fashions, architecture and aesthetics of the day. Hindsight allows us to reflect upon the vast changes to the city over time, and also to consider sentiments that might remain the same. Ballantine’s deadpan photographs depict a hopeful but ultimately laid-back city, for which potential remains just out of sight, somewhere over the horizon.