Lara McCabe

A new art exhibition in Wollongong promotes the idea that words can be just a powerful as pictures.

‘Cut A Silver Path’ is a new photography exhibition – on from May 5th until June 8th at The Gallery @ Big Fat Smile.

Conceived by Big Fat Smile resident artist, Tamara Gulic, the exhibition tells a visual story inspired by a poem.

Earlier this year, The Gallery commissioned poet, Dr Tamryn Bennett to create a five stanza poem for five invited photographers. Tamryn looked at examples of the photographer’s work and then wrote her allegorical poem ‘Cut a Silver Path’.

Each photographer received just one stanza of the poem – a sort of creative provocation that purposefully created mystery. A bit like the old parlour game where children write or draw a picture on a piece of concertinaed paper.

The photographers are Tim Bauer, Shelley Webster, Tim Anger, Anthony Sawers and Tamara Gulic.

There’s a twist in the ‘Cut A Silver Path’ project – the artists only saw their part of the poem. We specifically kept the whole poem a secret from all the photographers – this was to build excitement and because we wanted to see how different and how alike their responses would be.


The exhibition’s opening night was the first opportunity for all the invited photographers to see the whole poem, as well as their co-exhibitors visual interpretations. It was also the first time that poet Tamryn Bennett saw her poem exhibited in the form of a visual story.

We invited five very different artists to be part of this exhibition; Shelley Webster, a recent graduate of the UOW who is making a huge splash on the contemporary photographic scene is up against an old pro – Tim Bauer. Tim regularly photographs celebrities for the covers of Good Weekend magazine – he’s photographed everyone from Audrey Hepburn and Charlton Heston to John Howard and Kylie Minogue.

All the photographers relished the opportunity to work with Tamryn’s beautiful words although some of them confessed to being initially terrified. All five put a very personal spin on things. Tim Bauer’s photos reflect the recent deaths of beloved family members and his Jewish heritage – he barbecued old bones to create his evocative works while Anthony Sawers very real battle with cancer influenced his take on the human body and its physicality.

As The Gallery Director and Big Fat Smile’s Chief Creative Officer, I’m particularly excited by the opportunity to stage such a unique exhibition. I love the idea of bringing these six very different creative artists together to create one whole, innovative experience. These artists are all so different and wouldn’t ordinarily exhibit together. I love the way this exhibition also breaks down genres and generally mixes things up. Oh, and the photos turned out beautifully and somehow work together in a narrative arc.

The gallery at Big Fat Smile is right next door to the children’s visual arts studio, Artspace, so we have included a ‘story telling photography’ session in the term two program. We can’t wait to take the kids we have enrolled at the studio in to see the photographer’s work at the Gallery. The inspirational baton will then be passed on to them!

What better opportunity to show children and adults that art doesn’t have to be one thing or another and that words can be just as powerful as pictures.


Cut A Silver Path – One Poet. Five Photographers. Opens Thursday May 5th and closes June 8th All works are for sale at $350 each.

The Gallery @ Big Fat Smile is at 98 Railway St, Corrimal.

Gallery Hours are: Friday 11am – 4pm and Saturdays 12 – 4pm.


Jennine Primmer

Chief Creative Officer and Gallery Director


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