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Grande Bruto

David Cossini
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Entry Fee: Free

Some people mellow with age… not my 74-year-old father Leo. To say the man could be a handful would be an understatement!

Leo grew up in Trieste, Italy and left home at the tender age of 15 to join the merchant navy, later serving as a paratrooper in the Italian army before emigrating to Australia in 1968.

A keen student of chess, Leo speaks eight languages, has four degrees and a deep love of classical music and literature.

Following a series of unfortunate events, a mental breakdown and fresh out of a psychiatric hospital, Leo finds himself broke, in the grip of alcohol addiction and living with Glen, an Aussie larrikin who struggles with his own addiction problems, in a run-down house swarming with mosquitos on the outskirts of Newcastle.

This odd couple form an unlikely friendship and become great mates. Their story is a raw, unflinching look, sometimes shocking and often laced with humanity and humour, at life on the margins.

Amidst all the trauma and turmoil of 2020, despite the rough living and his dire predicament, Leo fell in love and married Rosie, a sweet, kind and patient lady from Zimbabwe who saw through all of his faults and decided to love him anyway.

Don’t be mistaken though, this is not a love story.

This story is for everyone out there who has suffered a traumatic experience and suffer from mental health issues or addiction. It’s also for the people who choose to love and care for those of us who find ourselves in these situations, even though at times it’s not easy.

You are not alone.


Please check with the venue for up to date information about COVID-19 restrictions before visiting. 

I’m a photographer and filmmaker from Australia.
My images are evocative, my choice of subjects are extreme, raw and at times unapologetically brutal.
Instinctively drawn to outliers, I choose to document those on the fringes of mainstream society.
Dedicated to making meaningful imagery my approach is authentic, intimate and intense but ultimately humanistic.

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Entry Fee: Free
© Rob Johnston

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