Nights of Noir: New Launch and Exhibition

Coinciding with the launch of Matthew Asprey’s ‘Noir’ edition of Contrappasso Magazine on November 27 at Newtown’s ‘Midnight Special’ bar, crime writer and researcher Peter Doyle will be launching his new exhibition, Suburban Noir, on November 30. The exhibition explores the “darker side of 1950s and 60s Sydney”. The launch will feature Peter Doyle discussing his research and latest work, and will take place at 11:30am-12:30pm on Saturday, November 30 at the Museum of Sydney. Below is a description of the exhibition:

Postwar Sydney wasn’t only about shiny cars, motor mowers and happy families. Suburban Noir explores the raw, half-built Sydney of the 1950s and early 60s through recently uncovered crime-scene images from the NSW Police Forensic Photography Archive, as well as contemporary artworks. The exhibition breaks with the tradition of presenting Sydney as a visual splendour, finding instead a more reserved city. The police photographs capture the spaces left behind: a moody catalogue of vacant lots, empty roads, desolate interiors and everyday fragments of life in these hard-bitten slices of Sydney. Look at these images long enough and everything starts to look like a crime scene.

Guest curator Peter Doyle invited a group of visual artists to loan existing works or create new works in response to the forensic photographs. They have responded with diverse visual sensitivities and understanding, finding drama and tragedy but also surprising stateliness and dramatic beauty. The artists are Vanessa Berry, Dallas Bray, Rhett Brewer, Charles Cooper, Theresa Darmody, Di Holdsworth, Bruce Latimer, Michael Lewy, Frank Littler, Reg Mombassa, Peter O’Doherty, Ken Searle, Susannah Thorne and Anne Wallace.

Matthew Asprey’s fourth, double issue of Contrappasso is now available on, or else purchase copies at the launch, held at The Midnight Special, Newtown, November 27, from 6pm. See their website for more details.


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