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Australian photographers challenge the status quo with new exhibition in Canberra
Ruth Maddison, Jesse and Roger from the series Some men, 1983 Melbourne. Gelatin silver photograph, oil paint, 26.4 x 39.6 cm. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. Purchased 1983.


CANBERRA.- Colour my world is the first exhibition dedicated to this significant aspect of Australian art since the 1970s: the hand coloured photograph. The exhibition draws together a series of engaging and, at times, deeply moving photographs by some of Australia’s most important contemporary artists. The exhibition features work by Micky Allan, Ruth Maddison, Warren Breninger, Julie Rrap, Janina Green, Christine Barry, Fiona Hall, Miriam Stannage, Robyn Stacey, Nici Cumpston, Lyndell Brown/Charles Green and Jon Cattapan.

‘This exhibition brings together some of the most beautiful photographs made by Australian photographers over the last four decades,’ said Dr Shaune Lakin, Senior Curator of Photography. ‘It captures and reflects our diverse community and provides a unique perspective on the place of photography in our lives, at a time when the act of taking photographs has become a daily occurrence for many of us.’

Photography is more accessible than ever before as we all share minute details of our daily lives with friends via social media. But for many, the democratisation of the photograph has a dark side: does the photograph retain any power or significance to us?

In the face of this, an important stream in contemporary photographic practice is a renewal of interest in the photographic object. Contemporary artists are now printing and embellishing photographs in ways that are starkly different to the digital pictures we all share. Many of these artists take their inspiration from pioneering photographers of the 1970s who, for a range of reasons, were personalising photographic prints, and at the same time challenging the photographic status quo.

The photographers in this exhibition seek to create a direct connection between the experiences of the photographer and the viewer. They challenge photography’s technical sameness by personalising the photographic print and imbuing it with individuality, intimacy and warmth.

The exhibition has free entry and is open 3 April – 30 August at the National Gallery of Australia.





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