During the shutdown of 2020, when photographer Tracy Ponich walked her dog through the ghost-like streets of Katoomba, she decided to create a record of the pandemic and her community. Like so many artists, her commitments for the year were cancelled or postponed indefinitely - she had the time in her schedule to take on this project. Just over a year later, the result is an exhibition of contemplative black and white portraits in the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exposé Program called Business Not Usual. Local visitors to the exhibition will see many familiar faces: the proprietors of shops, cafes, bakeries and galleries from the streets of the Upper Mountains. Ponich also photographed essential services off the main streets, including the neighbourhood veterinarian and smash repairer. Some of the proprietors photographed for the project closed their businesses temporarily. In their portraits they are strangely alone in their empty premises. In other photographs trade continues, but with rearranged spaces: Tables and chairs pushed to the walls, service over blocked doorways, or through a window. While each proprietor has a unique story in this exhibition, together they represent a shared experience - here and in every community. Initially Ponich planned to photograph about 10 people for the project. In the end Business Not Usual grew to more than 30 portraits. Every business owner that she spoke to generously gave their time and shared their stories for this exhibition. A book will also be available in late June. From July 31-November 7, one portrait from the series will hang in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra: a finalist in the Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize 2021. Business Not Usual opens Friday, July 2, 6-8pm (RSVP essential on Eventbrite). The exhibition runs from June 26-August 15 at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, 30 Parke Street, Katoomba. Open every day: Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm. This project is supported by the Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust Quick Response Grants Program 2020.