The Parrot Press

Parting Shots : the last nights of the Arthouse in mugshots

Anna Brown

216 pp. • hardback • ISBN 9780987155610 • $56

Published July 2014

Book cover - Parting Shots, Anna Brown

From the introduction to the book by Tom Lyngcoln

It has been a little over a year since The Royal Artillery Hotel closed its doors for the final time under the tenancy of the Kelly family. More commonly known as The Arthouse or more affectionately as The Arty, the Royal Artillery became a host to some particularly stringent strains of original musical output in Melbourne. For two decades the Arthouse fostered vibrant punk, hardcore, metal and grindcore scenes and more within it's garish walls. …

What began with Maree and Mel at the familial nucleus has grown outwards to the adoption of a cast of thousands. Its an extended family that is not just contained to the greater Melbourne, the Arthouse's roots mine deep interstate and around Australia. These are the bonds have taken my bands around the country dozens of times and the hospitality we first encountered walking through the doors of the arty is a familiar template found Australia wide.

And this is what Anna brown has achieved so beautifully with this book; she has captured an extended family in all its many guises and forms. Her collection of over 1400 portraits of patrons of the Royal Artillery Hotel in its final days of operations serve as a vital document of a rich and uniquely cohesive community. …

The photos are beautiful and stark. The subjects, by the very nature of the scenes to which they gravitate, employ unique physical expression. This makes for a wildly varied and visually enthralling spectacle and Anna's ability to capture her subject is focussed and tangible. To find a better archivist you could not. And it is this archival process that is so important.

The photographer interviewed

Anna Brown explains her book to Noisey Blog (24 July 2014).

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