Our latest exhibition ‘On William - Front to Back’ by Dylan Tarbett documents the spaces and characters of a William Street share-house using black and white 35mm film. No posing, no set-ups, no editing – just people and spaces as they are.

The exhibition was the first public show for the Perth-based street photographer, and the launch at Bivs was a great success! Customers love coming in, sharing a meal and taking a look at the many scenes Dylan captured over the years.

We have a chat with Dylan about the exhibition and how these photos came to life.


Your exhibition launch had a great turn out. You sold a few photographs too! Did you expect it to be such a success?

I honestly had no idea what to expect. This project has been a few years in the making and the photographs are really close to my heart, so being able to firstly share this project with my friends, family and the public has been very humbling. Selling some photos was something I really didn't expect and meant a hell of a lot to me.   

How do you know the Bivs crew?

So, I first met the boys (Tony, Jez and Luke) about a year back when they moved into Juanita’s in Subiaco. I’m a part-time barista at Boucla cafe, which is just next door and I guess we all just got along. 

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For someone who hasn't seen ‘On William - Front to Back’, can you describe the kinds of scenes they will see?

I would describe ‘On William - Front to Back’ as a classic look at a first-time youth share-house. The exhibition takes you on a journey through the house on William Street, starting in Hyde Park and then ending in the sketchy alleyways of Highgate. 

What’s your favourite and least favourite thing about sharing a home with others?

My favourite thing was just living with your best friends every day, cooking dinner, food shopping and just waking up. It was a really beautiful time in all our lives and the photos in ‘On William’ are some of the fondest memories I have. My least favourite would have to be the bathroom – it was cold, wet and disconnected from the house. So early morning winter runs to the toilet were probably the toughest decisions of the day. 

Did you plan to take photographs on this particular subject or did the collection materialise quite naturally?

It actually was a combination of both. I was taking photos pretty much daily and there was just some really good energy. The environment felt like it needed to be captured. I always had the intention of doing something with them, I just didn’t know what. When Tony mentioned the idea of having an exhibition at Bivs, it all just fell together.

What kind of everyday occurrences inspire you to take a photograph?

One thing about myself that I've learnt, I guess through travelling, is that I'm able to connect with people quite easily. I don’t always need to speak the same language or have known that person for a long time but I’m able to get a sense of who they are and give them a sense of myself. So with my photography, I always try to capture that connection in a moment, and then share it with the viewer. 

Tell us about your first brush with a camera and how it became the regular practice it is today?

I actually won a Town of Vincent photo competition when I was about twelve for a photo series called ‘Locked in Nature.’ Pretty arty… It was a photo story about a lock that had been embedded in a massive tree. $150 was a big deal for me as you would imagine. But it definitely became a regular practice when I first started ‘On William’ a few years back.


What have you got planned for your artistic future?

I really want to start looking into art residencies around the world. My passion is street photography and I've been travelling around Asia documenting people for the last few years on and off. So finding a residency somewhere would be a goal for sure. 

Anything cool, interesting or intriguing you’ve seen on William street lately?

If I'm honest, I haven't been photographing on William since this project, but I did recently travel to China and document that. Such a chaotic place, with so much activity going on. Definitely recommend heading there if you're looking to do some street photography. 

Stop by Bivouac to see Dylan’s exhibition ‘On William - Front to Back’. You can follow him at @hoy.robbert.photo