November, 2019

A new exhibition showing more than 50 Gunnedah women as they have never been seen before will open at the Bicentennial Creative Arts Gallery on November 22.

More than 18 months in the making, Sirens of Gunnedah is a collection of conceptual portraits by Gunnedah photographers Alyssa Barwick and Marie Low.

Assisted by a “Siren Squad” of volunteer hair stylists, make-up artists and a whole range of groups including the Gunnedah Water Tower Museum, Alyssa and Marie have created unusual portraits which even the subjects themselves have not yet seen.

“It started as an idea to create something special for women during this difficult time - not just a portrait, but a whole experience,” Alyssa said.

“Some of the women have used this to do something they have always wanted to try - to see themselves as something other than what they are in their everyday lives. We want to surprise both our Sirens and their families and friends with an image that captures another side to them.

 “Sirens of Gunnedah has also allowed us to explore a style of portraiture we both love.”

Marie said the exhibition had been named after the mythical Sirens who sang a bewitching song to sailors.

“Sirens has two meanings - the mythical temptresses and the beautiful women of stage and screen,” Marie said.

“This exhibition looks at the Siren song of each of these women aged between 16 and 80 - whether that be as a screen legend of the past or something entirely different.

“Sirens of Gunnedah has been an amazing journey for us - we have had so much help and support from the Gunnedah community, and we can’t wait for them to see what we have been working on.”

All of the portraits have been shot in Gunnedah.

Those who attend the opening night are invited to dress in vintage or retro costume - something other than what they might wear everyday.

Entry is free, but donations at the door will go to Share the Dignity.

Alyssa Barwick and Marie Low would like to thank their Siren Squad, in particular, Addicted to Hair, Bryce Ellis, SL Beauty, Ebonee Gerrard, Gunnedah Water Tower Museum, Top Hat Costumes and One of a Kind Gunnedah.

To find out more about Sirens of Gunnedah, contact Alyssa Barwick on 0423 009 151 or Marie Low on 0417 476 592.

Photo caption: Gunnedah photographers Alyssa Barwick (left) and Marie Low are nearly ready to reveal Sirens of Gunnedah.