About

spiros coutroubas

I have been practising photography since the 1980s both in Australia and abroad. My work focuses on portraiture and social documentary photography, particularly people and things that might not otherwise be recorded. I have concentrated on documenting people in their everyday environments but also in places such as festivals and shows, sporting events, shopping malls and occasions like ANZAC day commemorations. My images are intended to document the present for the future. I am a graduate of the School of Art and Design in Canberra. My work includes a series of studio style portraits taken at the 1990 Canberra Show which were purchased by the Parliamentary Library and are occasionally on display in the members’ area of Parliament House.

books

I’ve made a couple of books based around recent exhibitions of my photographs. I work on the basis that most of my pictures aren’t really home decor and this limits the scope for sales to the public. The book format seems to be an easier and more manageable way for people to take the images home. And besides, they provide a little of story and context behind the projects. There are two books for now, both self-published – SCENES FROM THE MALL – based on my current exhibition, and PEEL STREET – built around by my previous exhibition (see below for details). You can buy the books on my SHOP page.

You can also buy SCENES FROM THE MALL from these good book shops:

recent exhibitions

Scenes From The Mall: Portraits of people and places in the Belconnen Mall, 1989-90
(1.dec.23 to 11.feb.24)

The 25 portraits in SCENES FROM THE MALL were exhibited at the Belconnen Arts Centre, very close to where the pictures were made. The exhibition included three sets of portraits, each documenting people in particular places in the Belconnen Mall. The Belconnen Mall is the largest shopping centre in Belconnen, a district on the north-west of Canberra, Australia’s national capital. The first series captures scenes at a stairwell landing, with passers-by pausing for the camera as they made their way through one of the mall’s parking areas. The next includes salespeople, promotional staff and performers working in the mall’s common areas and supermarkets. In the last series, regular customers of one of the mall’s cafes complement their photographs with handwritten messages that lend an extra dimension to their portraits. A seminar followed on 12.mar.2024 at the Australian National University’s Humanities Research Centre. It was entitled ‘Exploring the balance between recording history and storytelling in everyday life’.

Media and events:
ABC Radio interview (1.dec.2023)
Canberra Daily press article (18.jan.2024)

Working Peel Street: Images and Sound from the 1992 Tamworth Country Music Festival
(16.mar.22 to 7.may.22)

In partnership with the Tamworth Regional Gallery, I exhibited a series of images and audio captured at the 1992 Country Music Festival in Tamworth. It included 19 photographs and two video portraits featuring audio captured by collaborator Peter Wright. The exhibition coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Festival. The show was attended by the Governor-General, David Hurley. In a significant gesture for the local community, the Governor-General acknowledged the Kelly Gang, a multi-generational family of Indigenous Australian musicians for the role they played in the festival since it began in 1972. Desmond Ahoy and his nan Maisie Kelly, both of the Kelly Gang, featured in the exhibition. The first picture below shows Desmond, the Governor-General, Peter and Spiros.

Media and events:
Northern Daily Leader press article (7.apr.2022)
Governor-General’s Diary (20.apr.2022)