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The Reginald Murray Williams Australian Bush Learning Centre is proud to present the John Elliott exhibition, Gifted Country, opening on 8 October 2022, and showing until 30 November 2022.

Elliott has been photographing people who make Australian music for over 40 years, and this exhibition brings together a selection of his iconic images of stars such as Slim Dusty, Chad Morgan, Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers, John Williamson and many others.

‘I wanted to work in the country music business but I couldn’t sing, so I did the next best thing – I photographed and wrote about the music I loved’, Elliott said.

John Elliott grew up in Blackall in Western Queensland and knew from an early age that photography would play an important role in his life. He has been serious about his photography since first picking up a camera as an eleven-year-old. When John turned 30, he decided to pursue photography as a full-time career. Since then, he has constantly travelled Australia, documenting the Australian bush and photographing people who make Australian music.

He is the author/photographer of sixteen books, including the best-seller, On The Road With Slim – a collection of road stories from travelling with Slim Dusty. He photographed album covers for many of Slim’s best-selling records. His exhibition, Thousand Mile Stare, at the National Portrait Gallery, featured many of his country music portraits and some of these images appear in Gifted Country.

‘Slim Dusty was a childhood hero of mine, and I am blessed to have worked with Slim for about the last twenty years of his remarkable life’, Elliott said. ‘Slim was coming to do a show in Brisbane in 1991 and somehow I made contact with Slim’s office and invited him to come to the studio while he was in Brisbane. Slim said yes.  I picked him up from his motel and spent a couple of delightful hours in the studio and took some great shots of Slim. One of the shots I took of Slim that day is now in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery.’

The official opening will take place at 10:30am, Saturday, 8 October 2022 and will feature talented traditional country musician, Dean Perrett, whose portrait appears in the exhibition. Fourth generation cattleman, Dean Perrett has lived his life on his family’s bullock fattening property, Bowenfels, near Nanango. When Dean decided to pursue a career in the music industry as well, it made sense that he would become a bush ballad singer/songwriter and traditional country music artist. Over the past 35 years Dean has well and truly earned his spurs as the recipient of 5 CMAA Golden Guitars in a recording career of seventeen studio albums. His performance is a much anticipated addition to the opening event at the exhibition opening.


For more information about the exhibition and to RSVP, contact the Reginald Murray Williams Australian Bush Learning Centre on (07) 4165 7272 email: or John Elliott on 0418 119 529

Media Contact

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