SURFACE GLITTER AND UNDERGROUND GUTSThe late Rennie Ellis’ photography concentrated on documenting both popular culture and the demi-monde, examining...

Kings Bloody Cross: Surface Glitter and Underground Guts


The World Bar
2011 NSW

Kings Bloody Cross - Surface Glitter and Underground Guts


Mandy Sayer

Mandy Sayer

As a child, Mandy Sayer lived in the basement of a Victoria Street house during the green ban era. She wrote her first short story there at the age of nine. Seventeen years later she won the Vogel Award for her first novel, MOOD INDIGO, and has since published five works of fiction, and five works of non-fiction, many of which are set in Kings Cross.


Manuela Furci

Manuela Furci

Manuela Furci was Rennie Ellis’ close friend of twenty years and his personal assistant for almost a decade from the early eighties. After his premature death in August 2003, Furci and Ellis’ widow, Kerry Oldfield, established the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive in April 2004 with the objective to ensure that Ellis’ photographs were made available via the release of posthumous limited edition prints, exhibitions in public and private galleries and as an educational resource for all.

Over the past 13 years, Furci has collaborated with major public galleries and museums to stage exhibitions of Ellis’ body of work, including the National Gallery of Victoria, Monash Gallery of Art, State Library of Victoria, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of Sydney and the Art Gallery of South Australia. Furci has also curated numerous commercial exhibitions and produced two award-winning photographic books Decade: 1970-80 and Decadent: 1980-2000. Furci continues to showcase Ellis’ photographs to ensure that his significant body of work is preserved and his legacy celebrated.

Dr Martyn Jolly

Dr Martyn Jolly

Dr Martyn Jolly is an artist and a writer. He is head of photography and media arts at the Australian National University School of Art. He completed his PhD on fake photographs and photographic affect at the University of Sydney in 2003. In 2006, his book Faces of the Living Dead: The Belief in Spirit Photography was published by the British Library, as well as in the US and Australia.

His work is in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Canberra Museum and Gallery. In 2006, he was one of three artists commissioned to design and build the ACT Bushfire Memorial. In 2011, he undertook a Harold White Fellowship at the National Library of Australia and a Collection Scholar Artist in residence Fellowship at the Australian National Film and Sound Archive.

In 2014, he received an Australian Research Council Discovery grant along with Dr Daniel Palmer to research the impact of new technology on the curating of Australian art photography. In 2015, he received an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant to lead the international project Heritage in the Limelight: The Magic Lantern in Australia and the World. He is also researching Australiana photobooks.

Event Details


The late Rennie Ellis’ photography concentrated on documenting both popular culture and the demi-monde, examining Australia as a hedonistic society. In his own intuitive way he was committed to capturing on film those moments in time that offer insights into the human condition. His taunting images of 1970s Kings Cross are world famous, and inherently capture the zeitgeist of the era. Join Curtator and Director of the Rennie Ellis Archive, Manuela Furci, and long-time collegue, Artist and Writer Dr Martyn Jolly.

Presented alongside Head on Photo Festival’s Rennie Ellis exhibition Kings Cross 1970-71. Running Tuesday 9 May-2 June, Mossgreen Gallery, 36-40 Queen St, Woollahra. 

Host: Mandy Sayer
Guests: Manuela Furci - Director of the Rennie Ellis Photography Archive, Dr Martyn Jolly - Head of Photography and Media Arts at the Australian National University School of Art. 

For more details visit

This session is part of a curated season of raw and riveting 'in conversation' events featuring Kings Cross luminaries. Rub shoulders with artists, idealists and opportunists and hear fascinating stories about 'ungentrified' Sydney — the heady days of rock 'n' roll, free love, corruption, opportunity, sex and politics during the twentieth century. Presented over three weekends, Kings Bloody Cross will engage audiences with thrilling insight into the dirty half mile's people, bohemia and place. 

Curated by Olivia Ansell. 

Presented by Live Ideas and Working Management.

Image: Rennie Ellis

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