“Poking around the Cross” with Rennie,
to photograph and write up The Cross was Rennie’s idea.
He took the initiative, went there more often than me. I was his accomplice. We adventured lots together, on many occasions, day and night. Rennie did all the interviewing and writing. We both photographed, sometimes on separate occasions.
I was a bit shy about venturing into nightclubs, strip joints – chatting to prostitutes and dangerous looking folks – but not Rennie! He made his way into apartments, dancers’ dressing rooms and risqué scenes. I was happy and intrigued to accompany him.
I used to think he had more pictures in the book and exhibition than me but after having recently looked through my proof sheets (2008), I reckon it was fifty-fifty.
We both shot colour and black and white film, using 35mm and 6 x 6 cm cameras. I printed all the B & W pictures (for the book and exhibition) and lay out / design of the book. Gallery A in Melbourne and The Yellow House in Maclaey Street, Kings Cross, exhibited our works and Nelsons published the book in 1971.
This was before the digital era, so the original transparencies were sent direct to the publisher - and I made the silver gelatin prints by hand in David Moore’s darkroom – where he was sharing his studio with me in North Sydney.
One night up The Cross a bloke told Rennie to put his camera away and not to take a picture – showing his pistol to Rennie in the same moment. He was serious!
Wesley Stacey, 2008