The Getty Institute is so much more than the glamorous LA Getty Center. There’s the Institute’s specialist research and conservation, particularly around the built environment, and this year an enormous global project has focused on the architectural conservation of iconic structures around the world. No surprise that one key source of study is the Sydney Opera House and the delicate work undertaken over its 50 years to update the cultural centre, making it compliant with contemporary civil and safety regulations while maintaining Danish architect Jørn Utzon’s vision. Afterglow was the Sydney producer for six video presentations on what the Opera House means to the city and NSW, how to approach Utzon’s legacy, and the tricky conundrums that arose in improving acoustics and safety issues and replacing worn materials.
Moyra Jones’ frocks and textiles label Surface Art has been ticking over steadily for years and Afterglow regularly shoots still photography and video for each season’s range. Since migrating from Edinburgh, Scotland, where she trained in the historic textiles sector, Moyra worked for the noted Sydney painter Ken Done’s fashion house before setting up on her own and selling her clothes at Sydney weekend markets. Her garments now feature in retail shops in NSW, Victoria and South Australia and online.
The opportunity to spend two weeks on the road with Year 10 and 11 History students might not thrill everyone but these kids were awesome. Smart, funny, endlessly curious, even well-read, they made the experience of shooting educational and promotional content for the scholarship scheme a joy, if a little exhausting. And as with so much of Afterglow’s work, there was the opportunity to enter worlds normally off-limits, like the Australian Navy’s Garden Island base, a bizarre recreation of a pre-1900 shoot-out (thanks, Brad), the Navy’s Air Force base south of Nowra, and more. It was a great insight into the thinkers of tomorrow and how they are coping with the tricky demands of the current world.
It’s 75 years since fighting in the Pacific finished and 75 years since the official end of World War II. The veteran servicemen and women’s numbers are dwindling as age finally wearies them and Afterglow was commissioned to conduct the majority of the 75 interviews to document veterans’ military and personal battles. The stories are extraordinary, even when they’re not about direct conflict. In fact, many of the vets’ accounts are about the day-to-day issues of answering your country’s call to arms: the heavy uniforms, the training, dealing with health issues in the wilds of Papua New Guinea, the slow anticipation of shipping to unheard-of places, being away from your family, the loss of those close to you, living at close quarters with other soldiers, maintaining operational secrecy, etc. For many women there was the allure of unprecedented opportunities to learn skills and gain expertise that wouldn’t be possible in peacetime but knowing it won’t last, and being in work units with other women who felt exactly the same way. There was also the humour that overlay these powerful flickering memories. These stories were shared with us in a spirit of collective resolve that all these crises, the world war, the Covid pandemic, will pass and that it’s only together our communities are able to survive. The text and video stories were finalised and posted to the NSW Office of Veterans Affairs website here.
We love this! Belvoir St Theatre has a reputation for edgy intimate productions and for the last year Afterglow has been helping document them. Sure, you can go and watch the live telecast of Britain’s National Theatre productions at your local cinema on Sunday mornings, but nothing beats the adrenalin rush of being only breathing and spitting distance from the actors.
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