(Australia 1957– )
115.0 x 242.0cm image; 124.5 x 260.0cm sheet; 129.0 x 264.0cm frame
Anne Zahalka's career spans more than 20 years and she has exhibited widely in Australia and internationally most recently as part of the Australian exhibition 'Supernatural artificial' at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan in 2004, 'Fieldwork: Australian art 1968-2002', National Gallery of Victoria 2002, and 'Photographica Australis' which toured Asia extensively 2002-2003.
Zahalka has, from very early in her career, been particularly interested in issues of identity and matters of representation. In the 1980s she frequently deconstructed historical images. By the 1990s, Zahalka's work turned to modern urban environments where the issue of the modern identity remained paramount. This has continued through her various series such as 'Open house' 1995 and 'Fortresses and frontiers' 2000.
In 1999 Zahalka exhibited her first 'Leisureland' series. This has become an ongoing project mutating more recently into 'Natural wonders' 2004. Anne Zahalka has commented, 'In Leisureland…we are communally united in our desire to escape from the quotidian in these contrived entertainment worlds where everything is big, loud, colourful and conveniently built in the very heart of the suburb we are trying to escape from', and, in common with her earlier work such as 'Bondi: playground of the Pacific' (which is in the Art Gallery's collection), '…all explore the mythologies of Australian leisure and the sites in which they take place.'
'Crowning ceremony…', as is common with most of the Leisureland series, shows the audience in rapt concentration at the events unfolding before them. Unlike 'Woodchop stadium' the work is panoramic rather than centralised. The image was shot in 2 parts, panning from the left to the middle, then to the right. The 2 negatives were joined digitally.
Grafton Regional Gallery, Leisureland regional 2003, 2003.
Anne Zahalka, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 14 Mar 2007–02 May 2007