An outdoor photography exhibition celebrating the Illawarra’s port and maritime industry has been officially unveiled at Port Kembla today.
The installation – created by Thirroul-based photographer Chris Duczynki – was funded as part of Wollongong City Council’s Small Cultural Grants program with support from NSW Ports.
NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas said the business was delighted to support the project that’s now open for all who visit the port’s Eastern Breakwater – one of the precinct’s publicly accessible spots popular with local fisherman, dog owners and walkers alike.
Image Caption: NSW Ports CEO Marika Calfas, photographer Chris Duczynki and Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM, officially opening the exhibition at Port Kembla.
“Port Kembla has a long and valued history in the region that dates back almost 125 years. The port has evolved over the decades to address the changing trade needs of the day and continues to be a major employer, with many workers living nearby the port today,” she said.
“Chris has done a fantastic job capturing the vibrance and diversity of the commercial shipping activities that occur at Port Kembla each day – including the vessels that help import all the state’s motor vehicles and other machinery that support the people and businesses of NSW."
“I hope the exhibit gives the community some extra insight into the variety and importance of the port’s operations and I encourage people to come for a visit to check it out.”
The exhibition includes nine photographs printed on weatherproof materials that have been affixed to large concrete blocks on the breakwater that protect the port from tides and storms.
Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said the eye-catching artworks bring creative expression into a well-loved community space.
“It’s lovely to see Chris’ work adding to the vibrancy of this area. These artworks work well in this space as it’s an area that’s heavily industrialised and the images provide a real contrast to the environment in which they’re placed,’’ he said.
“Wollongong City Council awarded Chris $4,000 through our small cultural grants program. The program is run every year, so if this piques the interest of other artists, I’d encourage them to keep an eye on Council’s website and social media in the New Year for 2024 applications.’’
Chris Duczynki, who’s been a professional photographer for more than four decades, said he was excited to see the free exhibition open to the public after working on the series for nearly three years.
“The cargo ships coming into Port Kembla and their proximity to us is a spectacular sight, especially at first and last light when the sun reflects off the panels of the hulls forming abstract patterns and placing them on the breakwater is the perfect gallery," Mr Duczynki said.
"I thank Wollongong Council for funding the project as well as NSW Ports for making the space available and managing the installation of works.”
Port Kembla handles motor vehicle, project, agricultural, mining and construction cargoes, supporting farmers, businesses and the people of NSW. It will continue to grow and diversify its import and export trade and be a critical part of NSW’s green energy future. Learn more here.