The photograph and Australia
Art Gallery of NSW 2015

l-r David Stephenson, Tracey Moffatt, Robyn Stacey
Frank Hurley, Antarctic views – a turreted berg c1912 State Library of NSW, Sydney
Ricky Maynard, The healing garden, Wybalenna, Flinders Island, Tasmania 2005 from the series Portraits of a distant land
various collections

The photograph and Australia is the story of the interactions between people and land, and their representations through photography. The exhibition explores how the photograph operates aesthetically, technically, politically, and in terms of distribution and proliferation, in the Australian context.

The arrival of photography in the 1840s coincides with the development of the colonies and interactions with Indigenous Australians. Importantly, the photographs sent to world expositions in the 19th century present an evolving image of the nation. Indeed 19th century photography is considered the foundational wellspring of the representation of Australia. Further, the exhibition considers how photography invented modern Australia.

Taking a thematic rather than a chronological approach, The photograph and Australia looks at how the photograph images people and place in wonderful and marvellous ways. More than 120 artists and over 400 photographs dating from 1845 by Australia’s first professional photographer George Goodman to recent work by Simryn Gill.

See also WRITING

works collection AGNSW unless noted © the artists

title: Unknown photographer, Australian scenery, Middle Harbour, Port Jackson c1865