A quintessential image of the 1970s, 'Vale Street' has lost none of its capacity to enchant and disturb in the intervening years. In one sense it can be read as a sociological document; in another as a wholly subjective work of art. Like the mediumistic spirit-photographs of the nineteenth century, Jerrems's photo seems to disclose the very souls of its subjects. As they respond, each in their individual fashion, to the regarding presence of the camera lens, the figures compose themselves, without theatrics, into telling attitudes. The prominence and bodily confidence of the open-faced young woman is set against the reticence of her boyish companions. As a portrait of relationships as well as individuals, 'Vale Street' speaks of gender relations, adolescent sexuality, suburban mores and the photographer's own subtly partisan demeanour in regard to these themes.
Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.
gelatin silver photograph
20.1 x 30.4 cm image; 30.2 x 38.0 cm sheet
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. sheet, pencil "Carol Jerrems '75" and c.r. verso, pencil "Carol Jerrems. 1975".
© Ken and Lance Jerrems
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Three years on: acquisitions 1978-81, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Oct 1981–01 Dec 1981
Photographs from the Collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Mar 1993–09 May 1993
Critic's Choice, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Apr 1994–10 Jul 1994
Inheritance, Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington, 21 Mar 1996–04 May 1996
World Without End - Photography and the 20th Century, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 02 Dec 2000–25 Feb 2001
Australian postwar photodocumentary, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Jun 2004–08 Aug 2004
What's in a face? aspects of portrait photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 Sep 2011–05 Feb 2012
The photograph and Australia, 21 Mar 2015–08 Jun 2015
Referenced in 7 publications
Judy Annear, World without end - Photography and the 20th century, 'World without end: Photography and the 20th Century', pg.8-29, Sydney, 2000, 23, 122 (illus.).
Natasha Bullock, Australian postwar photodocumentary, Sydney, 2004. no catalogue numbers
Helen Ennis, Photography and Australia, London, 2007, 102 (illus.). fig.57
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Australian Photography', pg. 198-207, Sydney, 1999, 206 (illus.).
Robert McFarlane, Critic's Choice, Sydney, 1994.
Gael Newtown, Three years on: a selection of acquisitions 1978-1981, 'Photography - Australian, European and American', pg. 67-84, Sydney, 1981, 77 (illus.). cat.no. 24
Daniel Palmer (Editor), Photogenia, 2005, (illus.).