An image of Vale Street

Carol Jerrems

(Australia 14 Mar 1949 – 21 Feb 1980)

Vale Street

Not on display
Further information

A quintessential image of the 1970s, 'Vale Street' has lost none of its capacity to enchant and disturb in the intervening years. In one sense it can be read as a sociological document; in another as a wholly subjective work of art. Like the mediumistic spirit-photographs of the nineteenth century, Jerrems's photo seems to disclose the very souls of its subjects. As they respond, each in their individual fashion, to the regarding presence of the camera lens, the figures compose themselves, without theatrics, into telling attitudes. The prominence and bodily confidence of the open-faced young woman is set against the reticence of her boyish companions. As a portrait of relationships as well as individuals, 'Vale Street' speaks of gender relations, adolescent sexuality, suburban mores and the photographer's own subtly partisan demeanour in regard to these themes.

Art Gallery Handbook, 1999.

gelatin silver photograph
20.1 x 30.4 cm image; 30.2 x 38.0 cm sheet
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. sheet, pencil "Carol Jerrems '75" and c.r. verso, pencil "Carol Jerrems. 1975".

Purchased 1979
Accession number
© Ken and Lance Jerrems