When Bulli photographer Chris Duczynski walked along the Eastern Breakwater at Port Kembla he didn't see concrete blocks but rather blank canvases.
He decided to turn the concrete blocks into the first photo gallery at the location, unveiled on November 9, to celebrate Port Kembla's maritime and port history.
The "country boy" said he fell in love with the heavy industry and created a series of photos of the ships captured at sunrise and sunset.
"I thought they looked fairly unique so I took a couple of photos of the steelworks, and then a couple of ships came into the harbour and they looked beautiful as the sun was just rising," Mr Duczynski said.
The photos of cargo ships were displayed at the Wollongong Art Gallery in February but on a walk along the Eastern Breakwater, he decided it would be the perfect permanent home for his photos.
"The blocks are just sitting here so why not decorate them with local art," Mr Duczynski said.
"All these blocks here it just looks like a surreal landscape and I thought 'You know what you should be able to make movies out here, and music videos and get street artists to come out here'."
The photos are printed on similar material to signs the Bulli photographer expects them to last for about two years.
Mr Duczynski applied for Wollongong City Council's Small Community Grant of $4000 which funded the printing of the photos and installation. He encourages others to apply for the grant which opens again in January 2024.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery called the project a "very open-air gallery" facing the port and steelworks.
"Interpreting the industrial and port landscape in such a way as to create these images in this setting is really something outstanding ... I invite people to come out here and enjoy this experience," Mr Bradbery said.
NSW Ports granted permission for the installation of the photos, their CEO Marika Calfas said people don't always appreciate the importance of the ports in their lives and in the economy of Australia as an island nation.
"This port is critical to the community. It's essential to the economy. Shipping is the most sustainable way of moving large volumes of foods over long distances," she said.
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