On 28 December 1989 at 10:27am, an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the richter scale shook Newcastle and resulted in 13 deaths and massive property damage.
December 2014 marked the 25-year anniversary of the earthquake that altered not only the built environment of Newcastle, but also the community’s identity.
Headjam were engaged by Newcastle Museum to collaborate with them on the production of an exhibition to mark the anniversary.
The objective of the exhibition was to photograph people in present day holding photographs of themselves from the earthquake in 1989 , which were then published in the local newspapers at the time and to recount their stories of the day.
Headjam in collaboration with the Newcastle Museum produced 25 portraits to represent the 25-year anniversary. The images were crafted using a Mamiya Leaf medium format camera to ensure they could be re-produced at larger than life size for the exhibition. The portraits were taken over a 3-day period with just over 8 subjects a day. As the photographs were taken Julie Baird, the Museum Director and Curator of the exhibition, interviewed the subjects about their experience during the earthquake 25 years ago. For some this was an incredibly emotional recollection, and for others a positive one with memories of the local community banding together to help one another throughout the event and subsequent weeks.
An exhibition was held at the Museum over the course of three months with all 25 portraits on display with the subject’s story accompanying each portrait.