The flavour of Italian Melbourne

12 October, 2009

Amy Calton
Winner Amy Calton.
Image: Nicole Alley
Source: Museum Victoria

Amy Calton of Northcote is the winner of Museum Victoria’s Shutter Up You Face photo competition with her whimsical image entitled Gelato.

The competition, held in conjunction with the A Day in Pompeii exhibition at Melbourne Museum, invited Melburnians to ‘Rome’ around and show what they thought made Melbourne Italian.

Amy’s photograph shows silhouettes of people enjoying gelati from an Italian ice-cream shop on Station Street in Fairfield one sunny summer afternoon.

“It was just one of those perfect moments,” said Amy. “I tend to be really spontaneous with the camera and take it everywhere I go.

“It was a really hot day when I took it. I remember that I didn’t have enough money on me for an ice-cream and I was entranced by the gelato. It was decadent, exuberant, the kind that makes you think, ‘this isn’t gelato, there’s got to be some cream in here!’

“What’s really nice about this photo is that the silhouette of the man on the left looks like my stepfather, Martin, who is Italian.”

Nearly 200 images by 102 photographers were submitted to the competition and encompassed a breadth of approaches and content. The judges considered how the individual pictures told the story of the Italian influence in Melbourne, and how they would sit together as an exhibition.

"Amy Calton's photo Gelato really captures what is Italian about Melbourne,” says Deborah Tout-Smith, Senior Curator at Museum Victoria, and one of the judges. "Many of the photographers show the rich contribution of Italian food. Gelato places people in the photograph – their shadows could be any one of us! – and evokes our hot summer climate. We're thrilled that Melburnians will get a chance to see this display."

Amy has been taking photos for about five years and is also a toy designer. She recently decided to follow her heart and take herself seriously as an artist – so was understandably ecstatic that she'd won the competition and would see her work exhibited inside Melbourne Museum.

“I’m still very taken aback by it all,” she said.

Amy has since been approached by a magazine in LA to feature her Melbourne urban photos in an upcoming issue. Her next creative endeavour will be more gastronomical, however: choosing what to eat as part of her prize of dinner for two at Grossi Florentino restaurant!

The top photographs from the competition are on display in the Melbourne Gallery until the end of the A Day in Pompeii exhibition on October 25.

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Image Gallery

Gelato by Amy Calton Shutter Up You Face exhibition in the Melbourne Gallery.