TELEVISION icon Ray Martin has launched his first major solo photo exhibition on the Central Coast – and residents in the Upper Hunter are invited to check it out.
Ray Martin’s World will take place at the Ken Duncan Gallery, Erina Heights, until Sunday.
He is a legend in Australian journalism, with an unmatched record of Gold and Silver Logies and People’s Choice awards.
In 2011, he was recognised with an Order of Australia for his journalism career and charity work.
Beginning as a cadet at the ABC in 1965, he travelled the world as a foreign correspondent for a decade, reporting for a wide range of high-rating programs - everything from Four Corners, This Day Tonight, Sixty Minutes, A Current Affair and Sunday.
Over his 50-plus year career Ray has also hosted countless TV specials including the Australian Bicentenary, Federal Elections and Carols by Candlelight.
Although best-known for his award-winning reporting and interviewing skills, he has spent almost as much time taking photographs – a private love affair that he has only recently made public.
“I’ve finally come out of the closet!” he says with a laugh.
In a mock explanation for this reticence, Ray blames the great Mahatma Gandhi who once said, “I believe in equality for everyone - except photographers and reporters”.
When Ken Duncan first met Ray on the set of The Midday Show almost 30 years ago, he had no idea that Ray harboured a deep passion for photography.
Ken was just there to be interviewed by Ray about his new book.
But it quickly became obvious to Ken that he had met a kindred spirit.
Their somewhat serendipitous encounter was the beginning of a firm friendship.
In the intervening years there were occasional lunches, dinners and book launches, plus a few photographic forays - all squeezed into the hectic schedules maintained by these two energetic globetrotters.
Last year, the intrepid pair launched “Chasing the Light” documentary - an award-winning film about their grand adventure into the remote Kimberley region of WA.
And now, Ken Duncan’s Gallery on the beautiful Central Coast is hosting Ray’s World – an impressive image collection that constitutes his first major photographic exhibition.
From dazzling landscapes to haunting portraits, from bustling European street scenes to graphic aerial shots and tranquil Asian temples, this eclectic compilation of images taken on Ray’s extensive global travels speaks of his fascination with the human condition in all its forms and facets.
The images also testify to Ray’s long-held desire to capture the soul of a location – whether he’s there in pursuit of a story, or on a family holiday.
“What excites me most about Ray’s photography,” says Ken, “is that he doesn’t allow himself to get bound up by technicality.
“He keeps it simple and gets stunning shots.
“In fact, most of his images are shot with a little Panasonic Lumix camera.
“I believe we can all learn – as even I have - from his simple approach.”
Ken insists on presenting Ray’s images to the highest archival standard - printed on Hahnemuhle paper, through an Epson printer with Ultrachrome inks. Prints will be available to purchase during the exhibition and Ken says he is looking forward to adding some of Ray’s work to his own collection.
During the course of the exhibition, Ray will be hosting “In Conversation with Ray” – a few intimate one-hour sessions (max 40 people each), during which he will share the stories behind a selection of his favourite photos and answer questions from the audience.
Everyone who has met him will testify that he’s a great bloke with loads of fascinating stories to share.
This is the man who was chosen to interview David Attenborough. He is a master storyteller whose private sessions promise to be entertaining and enlightening.
Apart from the exclusive sessions, Ray will be available to chat with visitors and sign copies of his books over the weekend.
Admission is free and Ken’s Gallery is open daily from 10 am.