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Martha Cooper

Street Shots 1970 - 2019

Presented by Martha: A Picture Story in partnership with Brisbane Powerhouse

In the late 1970s and early ’80s as New York City was in the throes of economic collapse, Martha Cooper was one of a handful of photographers to capture the colourful graffiti appearing on the city’s subways.

Decades later her book Subway Art, a collaboration with Henry Chalfant, became the ‘bible’ of graffiti and a catalyst for the spread of urban art globally. In addition, Martha’s early b-boy photos introduced youth worldwide to the emerging culture of hip hop.

Martha’s extensive body of work before and after NYC’s graffiti explosion highlights many forms of street creativity that are often overlooked by a passersby.

In this FREE exhibition at Brisbane Powerhouse, Street Shots 1970 – 2019 features photos taken from over four decades in such diverse places as New York, Japan, Haiti, Baltimore, Berlin, Japan and Sao Paulo, and includes Martha’s personal mementos and collections.


1977, the Bronx was burning down. No one really wanted to write that graffiti was an interesting thing. But I don’t want to shoot something that’s done with permission. It’s an outlaw art. That’s what makes it thrilling.

Martha Cooper

More Info

This exhibition is presented by the feature documentary Martha: A Picture Story, produced by Australian production company Projector Films. A Picture Story charts the remarkable life of maverick photographer Martha Cooper and her unexpected rise to fame. It premieres internationally at Tribeca Film Festival, in Australia at Sydney Film Festival and will be released in Australian cinemas in 2019.

About the Venue

Common Questions

How do I get to Brisbane Powerhouse?
See our Getting Here page.

Is parking available?
There is limited free-of-charge, all-day, on-site car parking at Brisbane Powerhouse. If you are travelling by car, please arrive early to secure a park. Additional free parking is available in New Farm Park accessible via our link road, which is opened after 5pm on performance days.

What time should I arrive?
It's best to arrive at least 30-40 minutes before the show start time to find a car park, pick up your tickets at box office and make your way to the venue. The doors of the venue will open approximately 10-15 minutes prior to show time.

Where do I pick up my tickets?
Tickets will be available for pick up from Box Office 60 minutes prior to show time.

Is there food and drink available

Brisbane Powerhouse has two on-site restaurants. More information can be found on our Eat + Drink page.

See more common questions and learn everything you need to know about your visit to Brisbane Powerhouse on our FAQ page.

Get the most out of your visit

See an exhibition
See the world for free with awe-inspiring visual art from just about everywhere. Make sure you don’t miss anything – explore all of the foyers on the main and bottom floors. See what's on.

Explore New Farm Park
Brisbane Powerhouse is located next to the beautiful New Farm Park, one of Brisbane’s most popular and much loved recreational facilities. Pack a picnic, smell the roses in the garden, play a game of tennis, let the kids loose in the playground, enjoy a coffee, or just sit back and take in the sunshine.

Brisbane Powerhouse recommends The JohnsonTryp Hotel, and The Fantauzzo.