New exhibition revisits image-making during lockdown in Sydney’s west

Awake dreaming, Café, 2020, Sally Tsoutas

A new exhibition at Western Sydney University will explore image-making in Western Sydney – a region that was subject to some of the harshest conditions enforced across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presented by Western Sydney Creative, Slow Shutter  will feature the work of accomplished University photographer Sally Tsoutas during this challenging time.

Curated by Margaret Hancock Davis, the exhibition presents a range of photographs and videos, including Zoom portraits taken at the height of lockdown, slow-motion videos highlighting changes to the urban landscape, and face-to-face portraits taken as the region slowly opened back up.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, said the exhibition reflects on the experiences and resilience of the region.

Slow Shutter  offers an expression of identity and community and captures a rich picture of Western Sydney’s experience during this extraordinary time.”

Ms Tsoutas, who has been capturing the collective memory of Western Sydney University for 17 years, said Slow Shutter will provide an opportunity to revisit storytelling during a period in our history.  

“Humanity is hard-wired to be visual, so the evolution of storytelling over the last 2-3 years was vital to reflect the changed state that we were all plunged into, in a world that was locked down,” said Ms Tsoutas.  

“As we move away from this slow and quiet existence, back to fast-paced busy life, the slow time seems a distant and surreal dream that we cannot quite grasp or define, but which had positives within in it.”

Ms Tsoutas said the last series of portraits taken when the region was opening up saw her gain access to the private lives of students and staff of Western Sydney University – an experience she will never forget.

“These portraits tell us about the relationships, meaning and powerful bonds forged in this time of disconnect, the connections with those dear to us given the luxury of time,” she said.  

Slow Shutter  will be launched at the Margaret Whitlam Galleries on Thursday, 9 June at 6pm by Western Sydney University’s Chancellor, Professor Peter Shergold AC.

The exhibition will run 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday, 10 June to 30 September, at the Margaret Whitlam Galleries – Female Orphan School located at Western Sydney University’s Parramatta South campus.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit the web page (opens in a new window).


8 June 2022

Ali Sardyga, Senior Media Officer