1971 – portrait of Brian

G.N.-Brian-MacNamara-St-Kilda-1971-3500pxGreg Neville, portrait of Brian MacNamara, 1971

Brian MacNamara was a photography student at Prahran Tech in 1971, a year or two ahead of me. He was an eccentric character with a distinctive humour and wide literary interests. He taught me a lot about cinema which I am grateful for. We shared a flat in St Kilda in a mansion that was once the French ambassador’s residence. It’s gone now, replaced by an ugly block of flats, like so much of Marvellous Melbourne.

The Prahran photography course was confusing, it was not well designed as a curriculum and many students never finished … me, Bill Henson. Brian did finish, getting a Diploma after three year full-time study. How well he did I don’t know. He once advised me to just make sure that I get 51% for all the assignments, that way I’d guarantee to pass. He made it sound like a game. He may have been right but I wasn’t sure that was a path to excellence.