Emmanuel Angelicas always wanted to be a photographer and on his seventh birthday, his father humoured him with a plastic Diana camera. It took just twelve images on roll film, but Emmanuel took to photography with gusto… and soon ran out of film. Undaunted, he continued to press the shutter, taking images in his mind. His childhood friends never knew whether they were being immortalised or not.
As he grew up in Marrickville, he became serious about the medium. He bought better cameras and graduated from the University of NSW with a degree in Visual Communication and a postgraduate diploma in Professional Art Studies with further visual arts qualifications from the University of Sydney.
Emmanuel always knew that photography was his true vocation. When he had first graduated from university, he travelled with his mentor Max Pam to the prestigious Rencontres d’Arles photographic festival in France. He was encouraged to enter a competition for ‘Emerging Young Photographer Worldwide’. He won. The die was cast.
After 50 years of photography, his photographic archive is huge. He is probably best known for his artistic images of dark fantasy with their frisson of danger, but this exhibition also shows a serious documentation of the people and places in his neighbourhood. His camera reveals the changing culture and character of his environment. Family photographs provide a grounding to his artistic expression.
The technology of photography has changed, but Emmanuel continues to record in black and white and is happy to use both film and digital cameras. His attitude to photography has never wavered either.
“Every time I shoot in Marrickville, either in my home or on the street - I am still this seven-year-old boy curious with his camera…”
Despite a chronic illness that has plagued him for much of his adult life, Emmanuel Angelicas still works in Australia and Bali and his work is collected and exhibited worldwide
- ALAN DAVIES