# 31897

ASHTON, Robert (1950 - )

‘Into the hollow mountains’ – photographs by Robert Ashton (signed copy)

$770.00 AUD

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Text edited by Mark Gillespie. Melbourne : Outback Press, 1974. Quarto, illustrated card wrappers (edges rubbed, light surface wear, small area of mousing to edge of upper wrapper and extreme margin of a few leaves), pp. 96, a few light marks, previous owner’s name to title page, a good copy. Signed by Robert Ashton on the title page.

‘I didn’t really understand at the time that the Fitzroy I had moved into was already deep inside a cultural and historical shift, a moment of transition that had been slowly building for some years … even by 1973, Fitzroy had begun to change. During the late 1960s, a rich multilingual community of hardship and glory had been knocked over to make way for the housing commission flats abutting Gertrude Street.’ – the artist

In 1974 Melbourne photographer Robert Ashton shot on film a series of images in the working class migrant suburb of Fitzroy. Now fully gentrified with a vibrant night life and high priced real estate, in the seventies Fitzroy was without any pretence of being other than what it was, a community of low paid blue collared workers, with families and businesses which served the local residents. In his landmark series, Ashton captures the life of this community, the daily activities of the residents and the character of the locality. Ashton’s photographs were published in this low budget photobook in 1974 titled Into the hollow mountains (Outback Press, 1974), launched alongside another landmark Australian photobook A book about Australian women by Virginia Fraser and Carol Jerrems.

‘In the early 1970s, Robert Ashton shared house with Carol Jerrems and Ian Macrae in Mozart Street, St Kilda, their artist associates being Ingeborg Tyssen, Paul Cox and Bill Heimerman, and Ashton’s cousin Rennie Ellis with whom he shared a studio in Greville Street, Prahran. From 1974 to 1981, Ashton was assistant director at Ellis’s Brummels Gallery in Toorak Road, South Yarra, where he also exhibited. Photography curator Judy Annear notes that; “Robert Ashton’s work is typical of the highly personalised documentary photographs that began to emerge in the 1970s.”‘ – https://peoplepill.com/people/robert-ashton-1/

A rare and ephemeral Australian photobook capturing the essence of a suburb in the midst of a cultural transition.