A metaphorical rollercoaster ride of emotions, Grande Bruto is a photographic exhibition that will provide audiences with a sense of connection, no matter where they find themselves in life.

Produced and presented by aMBUSH Gallery as part of the Head On Photo Festival, Grande Bruto is an intimate, poignant and fascinating documentation of the recent life events of 74-year-old Leo Cossini, as captured by his son, Australian photographer and filmmaker, David Cossini.

Leo grew up in Trieste, Italy and left home at the tender age of 15 to join the merchant navy, before emigrating to Australia in 1968. He speaks eight languages, has four degrees and a deep love of classical music and literature.

Following a series of ill-fated events, a mental breakdown and fresh out of a psychiatric hospital, Leo found himself broke, in the grip of alcohol addiction and living with Glen, an Aussie larrikin who struggles with his own addiction problems, in a rundown house on the outskirts of Newcastle.

Over 120 images detail their life on the margins – backyard shenanigans, haircuts in the kitchen, hanging out with friends, and summertime dips in the lake – and allows audiences to take on a voyeuristic role as Leo navigates circumstances that are by turns unfortunate, astonishing, unlikely, hilarious, traumatic, and romantic.

Despite his dire predicament, Leo fell in love and married Rosie, a sweet woman from Zimbabwe who saw his faults and decided to love him anyway.

The intensely personal works are intended for anyone who has suffered from mental health issues, addiction or trauma, and for the people who choose to love and care for them.

Join us at aMBUSH Gallery Sydney (4a James Street, Waterloo) on Thursday 11 November from 6-9pm for opening night, including drinks supplied by Capital Brewing Co. Grande Bruto will then be on show daily, 12noon until 4pm, from Friday 12 November until Sunday 14 November, with all works for sale.

aMBUSH Gallery is a Covid-safe venue operating according to current government rules and regulations and the event is subject to social gathering restrictions.

Follow aMBUSH Gallery on Facebook and Instagram for exhibition updates and catalogue.

David Cossini

Waterloo Gallery
4A James Street
Waterloo, Sydney
NSW 2017

Visiting by Public Transport: Train to Green Square Station or Bus 309, 310 or 355.
Accessibility: please call the gallery prior to visiting if special assistance is required.
Interstate Visitors: please view aMBUSH’s Curated Guide to Sydney.




For venue hire enquiries please contact:
[email protected]
+61 2 8399 0707