Please Step Quietly ... by Trent Park...

... Everyone Can Hear You | Magnum photographer Trent Parke, one of Australia's best-known and most original photographers, was commissioned by Sydney Opera House, as an artist in residence, to shoot behind the scenes. With his characteristic originality and imagination Parke takes us with him backstage. Working amidst the darkness, with strictly choreographed logistics, bizarre props and long hours, he captures, with frankness and affection a side of Sydney Opera House few of us have ever seen. - Whilst it is an architectural masterpiece and Australian icon, it is easy to forget that for some, Sydney Opera House is also a workplace. Behind the architectural statement, the grand operas and the thousands of tourists, there are electricians setting up lights, stage-hands moving props, opera singers eating lunch in the greenroom and people waiting to let the final curtain fall. Parke's eye is drawn to the many details that may, ordinarily, be overlooked. The electric blues and oranges, kilometres of cabling, lines of tape and graphic arrows present a beautiful, if baffling (for the uninitiated) picture. We see wigs without actors, blood-stained props from tragedies, walls grafittied over years of waiting and the intestinal ducts of air conditioning. His wonderfully observant images capture layers of life and time that have accumulated over the years. (mg)

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