Darwin-based photographer Baz Ledwidge has been chronicling life in the Top End for over 40 years. He moved to Darwin in 1974 not long before Cyclone Tracy and was one of the first to photograph the city in the wake of the cyclone’s aftermath. His camera has documented events both epic and small along with the famous and the infamous characters that made and continue to make the city and region move to its own unique beat. Indeed Ledwidge has not been a detached observer in this overall process. Darwin Daze includes images of his own unique social and larrikin-esque affiliations (such as the Darwin Rocksitters’ Club). The exhibition comprises a selection of around 35 photographic prints in Gallery 2 along the themes of ‘Characters’ and ‘Lifestyle’, and a larger selection of images projected in the Screen Room.
Baz Ledwidge’s photographic career began with a cadetship at age 17 working for the Wagga Daily Advertiser in his hometown Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. There he was thrown into the thick of it, ‘sent from football matches to murders, car accidents to street parades’. After a variety of jobs in London and Papua New Guinea, Ledwidge picked up photography again when he settled in Darwin, initially employed by the federal AIS (Australian Information Service) and later as the photographer at the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University), a position he held for 22 years. Ledwidge was one of the co-founders of Darwin’s independent Star newspaper. He continues to work in Darwin as a freelance photographer.