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Agence VU - Steven Siewert
Steven Siewert

The career of Sydney born photographer Steven Siewert has taken him from the Sydney Morning Herald to London's Guardian newspaper, from the genocide of Rwanda to Thai drug boot camps to South Pacific cargo cults.
His work has won several domestic and international awards.
Siewert's work has been exhibited in the Leica gallery in Solms, Germany, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, the State Library of NSW, and in the travelling M.I.L.K. exhibition to New York, London and Auckland.
His photos are held in the collections of the State Library of NSW and Albury Regional Art Gallery.


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Portraits

Series

Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly! (2011)

Vintage swimsuits contests, concerts and show of more than 700 classic cars punctuate the 4 days of the biggest Rockabilly rally in the world. Every year, the "Viva Las Vegas Festival" takes place in the Orleans Casino Hotel in Las Vegas. As usual, almost 200 000 lovers of flounced skirts, old cadillacs and Elvis' footwork go on a pilgrimage to the entertainment capital of the world. Las Vegas become for a while a Mecca for the american 50's culture and music. It is a Rockabilly concert after another, with slicked-back haired musicians getting the aficionados jiving to the electric guitars and double basses. After a well-deserved night of rest, people gather around the Orleans Casino 's...

Jane Austen Festival, Australia (2011)

Two hundred years ago was the first time Jane Austen’s "Sense and Sensibility" was published. For the past 4 years, an offshoot of the famous Jane Austen Festival in Bath (England) has been held in April in Canberra, the Australian capital. This year was no exception, and more than a hundred persons gathered to live as they could have in her days: they dress up, attend balls and dinners and go on walks in St John’s Church’s gardens, ... Every year, the organizers of the festival choose one of Jane Austen’s books as the theme of the weekend. This year, it was "Northanger Abbey", her first novel (though the last to be published, after she died), where the heroine plunges herself in gothic...

Tokyo’s Rockabillies (2009)

Japan is reputedly the second largest market in Asia after Australia for sales of Elvis music. In Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku district there stands a statue of Elvis, erected by the country’s ex prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, a self described Elvis devotee who shares his birthday with the late singer. The statue sits outside Love Me Tender, a store dedicated to Elvis memorabilia. And not so far away, lovers of the era gathered on a Sunday in August last year for Tokyo Rockabilly Club’s annual Day of Rock N’ Roller.

Sumo in Japan (2009)

In an austere concrete car park in the wings of the Ryogoku national sumo wrestling hall in Japan’s capital a group of young boys are preparing for combat. Like oversized ballerinas they squat and pirouette on quaking legs to improve balance and strength and follow it with stamping, thrusting and shuffling, all techniques unique to the sumo ring. When Japan was a rice and fish economy boys could enter stables at age 12, now the age limit is 15. Young wrestlers are drawn to sumo not just for the cultural prestige. At the top sumo commands big money and, like boxing, can be the path to fame and fortune. Sumo wrestlers in the top two divisions can command $80,000 to $100,000 a year and the...

Rockabilly, Australia (2008)

The 1950’s were an exuberant decade that saw the birth of rock’n’roll, new fashions and social mores, and a breakaway generation who were the first to be known as teenagers. At the turn of the 21st century there are some for whom the 1950’s never died. Photographer Steven Siewert has spent years documenting Sydney’s rockabillies, a vibrant subculture who live and breathe an era that, for many, predates their birth. The men dress for cool jeans or suits with slick quiffs, while women wear colorful print dresses by day and dazzling cocktail frocks by night. The term «rockabilly» came into existence in 1956 to describe a style of music that combined rock’n’roll with country or...

Crystal Children in Thailand (2007)

Shan Buddist Ceremony for young novice monks held at WatPa Pao in Chiang Mai, North-Western Thailand. The ceremony takes place over three days where children are dressed up with lavish clothing and bright makeup and carried on the shoulders of family members.

Pigeon racing, Australia (2005)

This story is above all an aesthetic research. Following thousands of pigeons, released from a trailer truck, seeing them flying to become little black dots at the horizon. Steven Siewert catches those fowls and fix their wings in a delicate black and white.

Looking for John Frum, Vanuatu (1999)

You could hear them before you could see them, these footsoldiers of John Frum. In clammy equatorial heat, U-S-A scrawled in red paint on bare backs, wearing only blue jeans, they march in step. Soles thud on ground, hands slap on bamboo rifles tipped red for effect. The sound ripples around the rainforest valley at the southern tip of this far flung island of the South Pacific. 'Forward march,' barks the drill sergeant to his soldiers in the local Bislama language. 'Present to the south. Present to the west. . . ' The men follow. It's not quite the ramrod discipline of West Point, but straightbacked enough to be convincing. Screened by the rainforest, in a clearing where pigs roam, they...

Awards


    2008 - Scoop International Festival of Angers, Culture and Art Award.

    2008 - Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism, category photography essay (Australia)

Exhibitions



Rockabilly: living in the 50s (Paris)
From 2009-09-17 to 2009-11-07

The 1950’s were an exuberant decade that saw the birth of rock’n’roll, new fashions and social mores, and a breakaway generation who were the first to be known as teenagers. At the turn of the 21st century there are some for whom the 1950’s never died. Photographer Steven Siewert has spent years documenting Sydney’s rockabillies, a vibrant subculture who live and breathe an era that, for many, predates their birth. The men dress for cool jeans or suits with slick quiffs, while women wear colorful print dresses by day and dazzling cocktail frocks by night. The term «rockabilly» came into...

More information...



Rockabilly: living in the 50s (Sydney)
From 2008-06-07 to 2008-08-17

The 1950s was an exuberant decade that saw the birth of rock and roll, new fashions and social mores, and a breakaway generation who became known as teenagers. At the turn of the 21st century there are some for whom the '50s never died. Photographer Steven Siewert has spent years documenting Sydney's rockabillies, a vibrant subculture who live and breathe an era that predates their earliest birthdays. The boys dress for cool with stovepipe jeans and slick quiffs, while the women wear dazzling cocktail frocks by night and colourful vintage dresses by day.Steven Siewert's work straddles...

More information...

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