© 2018 by Monash Gallery of Art for LEGACY. Your collection. Our story.

Contemporary

Central Gallery

 

Since first established as an art form, photography has continued to develop and redefine itself. As new technologies have become available, photographers have pushed the medium into what was unrecognisable or unthinkable as photography 30 years ago. 

Our Australian contemporary photographers are at the forefront of photography globally. They continue to challenge, respond, speak and reflect our times and our generation. It is incredibly exciting to think where photography and its artists will take us next. 

 

John F WILLIAMS

Sandra, Tom, Aerial, Rose (cat) and kittens, Newtown  1980

gelatin silver prints

14.8 x 21.8 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by Guy Abrahams in memory of Christine Abrahams 2009

MGA 2009.068

Ruth MADDISON

Jo's 18th birthday  1986
gelatin silver print
22.7 x 22.6 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Ruth Maddison 2014
MGA 2014.093
courtesy of the artist

Ruth Maddison (1945– ) is a self-taught photographer and artist. Maddison began working as a professional photographer in 1976, and she has been regularly exhibiting her work since 1979. Photography has been her primary medium, but in later years her artistic practice has expanded to include moving-image, textiles and sculpture. An interest in personal biography and the celebration of everyday existence informs her artistic practice. She is most well-known for her hand-coloured photographs of domestic life. In 1996 Maddison relocated from Melbourne to Eden, on the south coast of NSW.

 

Mike PARR

Integration 3 (Leg spiral)  1975
gelatin silver print
60.7 x 50.7 cm

photographer: George Goldberg
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2008
MGA 2008.100.c
courtesy of the artist

Mike PARR

Integration 3 (Leg spiral)  1975
gelatin silver print
60.7 x 50.7 cm

photographer: George Goldberg
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2008
MGA 2008.100.d
courtesy of the artist

 

Mike Parr (1945– ) studied arts and law at the University of Queensland from 1965-66. He then moved to Sydney, and in 1968 briefly studied painting at the National Art School. In Sydney in 1970, together with the artist Peter Kennedy, Parr established the Inhibodress Cooperatirve Gallery, which was devoted to performance and conceptual art. Parr is now recognised as a highly significant artist, and while his practice encompasses a broad range of media, he is best known for his performance works. Parr has made extensive use of photography and video to document his performances and creatively represent them in exhibition spaces.

 

Robert ASHTON

 Bucket  2006
pigment ink-jet print
45.0 x 59.8 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist 2010
MGA 2010.036
courtesy of the artist

 

  

Robert Ashton (1950– ) graduated from the photography program at Prahran College in 1970. Between 1974 and 1976 he worked for the photographer Rennie Ellis. He also ran Brummels Gallery of Photography with Ellis between 1974 and 1981. Ashton brings a highly personalised or poetic dimension to documentary photography. His early work focuses on inner-city subjects, but coastal landscapes have been a persistent and ongoing theme. He is an accomplished printer and has used various printing techniques including photogravures. He is based on Victoria’s Surf Coast, where he continues to make and exhibit his photographs.

 

Ingeborg TYSSEN

Untitled  1981

from the series Ryde Pool, Sydney

ink-jet print

22.9 x 34.3 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by John F Williams 2013

MGA 2013.048

Heidi VICTORIA

Three members of the Eifman Ballet, St Kilda  2012

chromogenic print

60.0 x 90.0 cm cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by Bruce Parncutt and William Donald Bowness 2013

MGA 2013.094

courtesy of the artist

Donna BAILEY

Charlie and the pink biscuit  2004
chromogenic print
48.0 x 63.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2006
MGA 2006.14
courtesy of the artist

 

Donna Bailey (1963– ) lives on a semi-rural property in central Victoria. She took up photography in the late 1990s while studying at La Trobe University in Bendigo. From the outset, Bailey’s children have been her primary subject and she has continued to document their lives as they’ve matured and started their own families. Bailey often accentuates her embedded perspective on family life by using a hand-held flash and an oversaturation of colour to affect a snapshot aesthetic. Bailey is a member of the documentary photography collective, Oculi.

 

Robyn STACEY

Knights of the Cross  c. 1979

hand-coloured gelatin silver print

63.1 x 87.6 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Robyn Stacey 2014

MGA 2014.097

courtesy of the artist, Darren Knight Gallery (Sydney) and Jan Manton Gallery (Brisbane)

Georgia METAXAS

Lower your ears #7  2007
pigment ink-jet print
74.5 x 60.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist 2008
MGA 2008.104
courtesy of the artist

 

Georgia Metaxas (1974– ) completed a Master of Fine Arts at Monash University in 2012. She works with both portraiture and documentary photography and has been exhibiting her work frequently since 2004. A common theme in her photography is the exploration of social identity and its connection to heritage and family history. She has worked as a freelance social documentary photographer and has also been commissioned to photograph events, people and projects around Australia. She has worked as an assistant to Ponch Hawkes and has contributed to The Age and other local and international magazines and newspapers.

 

Jacky REDGATE

WORK-TO-RULE IV  (detail) 1986–87
from the series WORK-TO-RULE
silver dye bleach print
98.4 x 78.5 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Jacky Redgate 2012
MGA 2012.041
courtesy of the artist

 

This photograph is a meticulously constructed studio image that juxtaposes ice-cream cones with a royal crown. It is the fourth in Redgate’s series WORK-TO-RULE 1986–87, which also includes photographs of cotton reels and playing cards. For this series, Redgate moved away from the plastic cameras she’d used previously and instead employed a professional 6 x 7 inch camera and all the necessary equipment used in studio photography. She adopted many of the conventions of advertising photography, including special lighting techniques to emphasise and glorify her subjects. Redgate printed the works in this series at a 1:1 scale so that her subjects are presented at life size when printed. These techniques allowed Redgate to comment on photography’s inescapable link to the subject it records as well as its ability to glorify and flatter its subject. This series combined Redgate’s interests in sculpture and photography and led her to produce other photographs that interrogate the relationship between these two media.

 

Stephen DUPONT

Sumo, Tokyo, Japan  2000
from the series Fight
pigment ink-jet print
52.0 x 78.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist 2007

MGA 2007.12
courtesy of the artist

 

Stephen Dupont (1967– ) is a Sydney-based photographer, artist and documentary filmmaker. Since covering the Vietnamese withdrawal from Cambodia in 1989, Dupont has established an international reputation for his documentation of global conflicts. He has twice been an official war artist for the Australian War Memorial, with commissions in The Solomon Islands (2013) and Afghanistan (2012). Dupont is also well known for his interest in cultural traditions that are either disappearing or in a state of transition. He has been the recipient of some of photography’s most prestigious prizes and his works have featured in numerous exhibitions and publications around the world.

 

Brook ANDREW

 Tensio (currawongs and snake)  2003
from the series Kalar midday
silver dye bleach print
99.6 x 300.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Dr Robert Piaggio 2017
MGA 2017.50
courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries (Melbourne)

 

 Brook Andrew (1970– ) is a Melbourne-based artist who completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at University of Western Sydney in 1993 and a Master of Fine Arts at College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in 1999. He has been exhibiting his work since the 1990s and is now known both nationally and internationally for his multidisciplinary practice, which reflects his Wiradjuri heritage and explores the construction of colonial history and Indigenous identity. His works comment on local and global issues relating to race, the media, consumerism and history.

The title of Brook Andrew’s Kalar midday series refers to the Kalare (renamed Lachlan River in 1815), which is one of the three river systems that demarcate the Wiradjuri tribal lands of Andrew’s mother’s family. In creating this series, Andrew’s stated ambition was ‘to remove the idea of an ugly race’ and create seductive images of Aboriginal bodies, land and animal totems ‘stripped of history and violence’. Andrew has accentuated the seductive quality of these images by using a silver dye bleach printing process to produce photographs that have a glossy surface and deep black tones.

For ‘Tensio’, Andrew used a taxidermied currawong from a museum and mirrored it to get the second bird. He juxtaposed the birds with a taxidermied snake, which is shown coiled in the centre of the image to create the feeling of tension referred to by the title. In this work the animals have been stripped of their status as museum objects and are shown as totemic creatures in a composition that is dark, mysterious and dreamlike.

 

Del Kathryn BARTON

of childhood dreams (a place to stand)  2014
pigment ink-jet print with acrylic
130.0 x 92.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by Del Kathryn Barton 2015
MGA 2015.050
courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Sydney)

Polixeni PAPAPETROU

Study for Hattah man and Hattah woman  2013
from the series The Ghillies
pigment ink-jet print
69.9 x 105.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
acquired with the funds raised by Friends of MGA Inc 2013
MGA 2013.027
courtesy of the Estate of Polixeni Papapetrou, Michael Reid (Sydney) and Jarvis Dooney Galerie (Berlin) 

 

 Polixeni Papapetrou (1960–2018) first began taking photographs in the 1980s, creating documentary-style portraits of drag queens, body builders and Elvis fans. Soon after the birth of her first child, Papapetrou’s artistic practice began to focus on projects that employed her children, Olympia and Solomon, as models. Her work has been exhibited widely since 1996 and she is now recognised nationally and internationally for her staged images that show her children dressed in costumes and masks while performing in front of real and imaginary backgrounds. Papapetrou completed a Master of Arts at RMIT in 1997 and a PhD in Fine Arts at Monash University in 2002.

 

Polixeni PAPAPETROU

Study for Dune man  2012
from the series The Ghillies
pigment ink-jet print
70.0 x 105.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by Barbara OAM and John Thompson OAM 2014
MGA 2014.091
courtesy of the Estate of Polixeni Papapetrou, Michael Reid (Sydney) and Jarvis Dooney Galerie (Berlin)

 

These two works form part of Polixeni Papapetrou’s series The Ghillies, which depicts figures sheathed in camouflage (ghillie suits) standing in a desolate landscape. Although their identities are concealed by their costumes, the models are Papapetrou’s children, Olympia and Solomon, who have been featuring in the artist’s works since 2002. The photographs were taken in various desert, rural and coastal landscapes around south-eastern Australia. In ‘Study for Hattah man and Hattah woman’ and 'Study for Dune man', the ghillie suits match the palette of the landscape, suggesting the possibility of camouflage, but the figures are adrift and seem to hover between states of concealment and disclosure. The windswept suits and moody countenance of the sky add to this sense of transition and help to create a strange, surreal quality.

 

Polixeni PAPAPETROU

 Olympia as Lewis Carroll's Xie Kitchin sleeping on chaise  2003
from the series Dreamchild
chromogenic print
120.0 x 120.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2004
MGA 2004.44
courtesy of the Estate of Polixeni Papapetrou, Michael Reid (Sydney) and Jarvis Dooney Galerie (Berlin)

 

Bill Henson was born in Glen Waverley, in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs in 1955 and continues to live and work in Melbourne. Henson studied photography at Prahran Technical College in 1974 and as a 19 year old held his first solo show at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1975. Since then, Henson’s works have been exhibited extensively in Australia and overseas. In 1995 he represented Australia at the Venice Biennale. Henson is now one of Australia’s most highly-regarded photographers, and his work can be found in major public collections throughout Australia and overseas, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Houston Museum of Fine Art, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. Henson was the subject of a major retrospective staged in 2005 by the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the National Gallery of Victoria.

 

Bill HENSON

Paris Opera Project  1990-91
chromogenic print
124.5 x 124.5 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist 1992
MGA 1992.03
courtesy of the artist, Tolarno Galleries (Melbourne) and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery (Sydney)

 

In 1990 Bill Henson was commissioned to produce a body of work that responded to the world-renown Opéra de Paris. He decided to focus on the audience, and while at the Opéra photographed the faces of people while they sat enveloped in darkness, their features softly illuminated by the reflected glow of stage lighting. The photographs shot in Paris subsequently became Henson's source material, as he restaged the portraits in his Melbourne studio to accentuate the mood and atmosphere of an evening at the opera.

 

Bill HENSON

Untitled  1979–80

gelatin silver print

42.0 x 33.0 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by Guy Abrahams in memory of Christine Abrahams 1999

MGA 1999.05

Bill HENSON

Untitled sequence 1977  1977–78

gelatin silver print

30.2 x 26.7 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by Christine Godden 2011

MGA 2011.112

Bill HENSON

Untitled sequence 1977  1977–78

gelatin silver print

26.6 x 30.1 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated by James Mollison AO through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program 2008

MGA 2008.013

Peta CLANCY

She carries it all like a map on her skin  2014–15
from the series Punctures
chromogenic print
52.5 x 80.0 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by Peta Clancy 2016
MGA 2016.59.2
courtesy of the artist

 

Peta Clancy (1970– ) is a Melbourne-based artist who is a descendant of the Bangerang people from south-east Australia. She has extensive art school training, including a bachelor degree from RMIT (1992) and a PhD from Monash University (2009). While her practice has incorporated a number of different media, Clancy is primarily a photographer. She has been exhibiting her work since the early 1990s, and has a strong history of residencies and participation in academic conferences. An interest in corporeality runs throughout her work, and she has demonstrated a sustained interest in the physicality of photographic prints.

This work is from Peta Clancy’s series Punctures. It shows a tightly cropped view of a woman’s lips. To create this work, Clancy produced an earlier print of this image and perforated it with a very fine silver needle. She then re-photographed the work and created a second print with a further layer of perforations. The numerous and intricate punctures serve to create a lace-like pattern or mapping over the surface of the print, highlighting existing lines and markings on the subject’s skin and alluding to future marks that will come with the passing of time.

As with other works in her Punctures series, this work illustrates Clancy’s interest in the material qualities of the photographic object. Her perforations disrupt the smooth surface of the photographic print and her presentation allows the work to be viewed as a three-dimensional object. It is shown in an acrylic box that protrudes from the wall at a 90 degree angle, allowing both sides of the print to be viewed.

 

Ponch HAWKES

Untitled IV  2009

from the series Seeing is not understanding

pigment ink-jet print

45.6 x 45.6 cm

collection of the artist, promised gift

 

Ponch Hawkes (1946– ) took up photography in 1972 while working as a journalist for the counter-cultural magazines Digger and Rolling Stone. Her early photography was informed by her role as a commentator on alternative social issues, and she has often used her images to engage with contemporary critical debates. During the 1970s Hawkes was part of a loosely formed feminist collective based at Melbourne’s experimental arts and theatre space the Pram Factory. Since that time she has continued to work closely with community groups around Australia and remains a key figure in contemporary photographic practice.

This series of photographs invites the viewer into what Ponch Hawkes called the 'realm of glimpsing'. The term 'glimpse', originally derived from the word 'glimmer', refers to the visual information that is fleeting and superficial, like a shimmer of light reflecting off a moving surface. To glimpse something is to catch a partial view or passing impression in a world where nothing stands still. Ponch Hawkes has drawn on memories of these uncanny apparitions to compose a series of photographs that celebrates the mystery of life and looking.


In restaging these scenes, Ponch Hawkes has avoided making them appear like gritty documentary images, hastily snapped by a street photographer. Instead, she has composed them as poignant tableaus that float outside the time of our daily routine. Sometimes she even allows supernatural figures to lurk in the shadows, setting the glimpse adrift in the timeless darkness of dreams and myth.


In their ambiguity, these images resist the proposition that a photograph provides proof; in turn, they offer enigmatic glimpses that excite the imagination.

 

Sharon GREEN

Untitled  2000

from the series Fallen

chromogenic print

99.0 x 99.0 cm

Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection

donated through the Australia Government's Cultural Gifts Program in memory of Poppy and Eric Rogers 2009

MGA 2009.090

Jesse MARLOW

Grandstand, Yuendumu Community  2000
from the series Centre bounce
chromogenic print
36.0 x 97.5 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated by the artist 2008
MGA 2008.215
courtesy of the artist

 
2016118.jpg

GO TO LANDSCAPE/ARCHITECTURE

John GOLLINGS

Suburban aerial, Cheltenham, S 037 54 10.45 E 145 05 20.52 elev 462M  2013
pigment ink-jet print
55.5 x 83.2 cm
Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection
donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program by John Gollings 2016
MGA 2016.118
courtesy of the artist