Spot the Arab opened at Backspace Gallery, Ballarat on March 1, 2018 (see images below) through March 18.
Local artists, photographers, arts administrators, friends and family of the artist, journalists, and the general public from Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Melbourne and beyond were in attendance for the opening of “Spot the Arab” on the walls of this art space (housed in a heritage-protected, former police station), funded and supported by the City of Ballarat.
Deborah Klein (Arts and Culture Co-ordinator), Cash Brown (Curator and Conservator at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka) and Jonathan Turner (exhibition co-curator, Rome), opened the exhibition.
In particular, the “Selfie Stand” was a huge success. This is a portable photo-booth which has been set up, where visitors to my exhibition can use their mobile phones to take a self-portrait wearing Arab head dress or costume provided, standing in front of desert landscape backdrops I photographed in Israel and Palestine.
Visitor summary – Spot the Arab, Ballarat
An estimated 3,000 people visited the exhibition inside the Backspace Gallery. Many more people saw the exterior images pasted on the Backspace building and in the square (20,000 people passed by the gallery building on the Saturday of the White Night Festival)
SOCIAL MEDIA SUMMARY
A total of 20,000 people were reached through Facebook, Instagram and twitter.
3,507 people visited the separate Spot the Arab page on Facebook
John McRae’s personal photography page was visited by a further 3,393 people
6,585 people saw Spot the Arab posts via twitter
5,750 people saw Spot the Arab posts via Instagram (with 965 likes)
There were a further 1,000 likes via other media, and 125 direct comments
The Selfie Stand
From at least 400 people who dressed in the Arab costumes provided and took selfies at the exhibition, 33 people posted their portraits on social media.