Via Yours & Owls, Music Farmers and Farmer & The Owl, both Ben Tillman and Jeb Taylor have been booking shows for over a decade each around Wollongong. Between them they have been responsible for bringing artists including Tame Impala, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Jezabels, Passenger, Boy & Bear, The Rubens, Royal Blood, Dune Rats, Violent Soho, Parkway Drive, Client Liaison and hundreds more to the area. There to document nearly all of these shows have been local photographers Ian Laidlaw and Chris Frape.
Growing up in Wollongong, Ian was a regular fixture snapping shows at the Oxford Tavern, Harp Hotel, The Grand and other events. He has since based himself in Melbourne where he has become one of the most in demand music photographers in Australia, but always makes sure he returns to Wollongong for the Yours & Owls festival where he leads a team of photographers capturing Wollongong’s biggest weekend.
Chris grew up in Sydney and established himself as both a musician and photographer during the nineties, since moving to the Illawarra, Chris has become the official photographer for Wollongong Unibar and has also photographed many other shows across the region over the last five years, as well as still regularly shooting Sydney venues such as The Lansdowne Hotel.
Sound Exposure was a concept that developed after discussions between the photographers and promoters as an exhibition to share the works that both Ian and Chris have captured at events promoted by Yours & Owls, Music Farmers and/or Farmer & The Owl locally as well as related artists on the national stage. The exhibition will be held over two levels of Moving Mountains Gallery as part of the Wollongong Fringe festival based around the Yours & Owls festival.
I’ve shot a lot of artists around the world in the last ten plus years and while the last seven have been spent working in Melbourne, I started documenting on a regular basis in Wollongong.
The town was lucky enough to have a few venues bringing artists from around the country and the world to venues booked by Jeb and Ben. With the initial Yours and Owls festival happening almost five years ago I came up to photograph it and have been coming back each year, watching it grow into easily one of my favourite festivals I get to work on. This exhibition is very personal to me, showcasing the town I initially started in my photography career and once called home.
Four years ago I packed up my life in Sydney and was lucky enough to purchase my first (and last) house, in Austinmer. Over the past twenty five years I have spent a lot of time documenting various music scenes shooting tonnes of shows. Focusing on grunge music in Sydney in the 90s, then also closely documenting the rising Australian hip hop scene over the past fifteen years. Once down south I decided to focus on the Wollongong scene and I made good mates real quickly connecting through photography, music and surfing. My wife and I were welcomed into a warm community of like minded individuals. As I met heaps of great people and integrated, I started documenting the local music scene. I was lucky enough to be taken on board by Wollongong Uni Bar and and the Yours and Owls crew gaining an insiders view whilst documenting a community supporting emerging musicians, venues, labels and promoters. Music fans in Wollongong have revitalised the scene, and over the last four years I’ve shot over 150 shows including local bands, festivals and backyard parties. In this show I’ll be featuring some of my favourite images of this community, where I found a new home.