29 January 2021 

The lights are on and everybody’s home, Manningham Art Gallery’s first exhibition of the year, Empty Streets and Stacked Chairs, documents life in the final two weeks of Australia’s first COVID-19 lockdown in May 2020.

Photographers Bill McAuley and David Wadelton captured this historic moment in a series of poignant images featuring deserted shopping centres, desolated streets, closed schools and masked baristas.

Manningham Mayor, Cr Andrew Conlon said the exhibition has allowed us to document a shared experience from the pandemic and tells many stories of our community and how we’ve been affected in different ways.

“The exhibition tells a tale of the perseverance of the human spirit during an unprecedented time, and explores fear and adaptation with a glimmer of hope shining through,” he said.

“It provides a portrait of Manningham and a snapshot of the different experiences our community has gone through, whether sad or heart-warming.”

The exhibition opens on Tuesday 2 February and is on until Saturday 27 March at Manningham Art Gallery, 687 Doncaster Road, Doncaster. 

In person and online artist talks with photojournalists Bill McAuley and David Wadelton are also scheduled during February. Bookings essential.

Bill McAuley Artist Talk
Tuesday 16 February
11.00am to 12.30pm


David Wadelton Artist Talk
Tuesday 23 February
11.00am to 12.30pm


All visitors to the Gallery will be required to register their attendance via QR code upon arrival and comply with current COVID-19 guidelines, including physical distancing and the wearing of face masks when it is not possible to keep a physical distance.

For more information about the exhibition, visit manningham.vic.gov.au/empty-streets-and-stacked-chairs

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