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Bruce Postle, master storyteller, relaxing with Friends of MGA after his recent artist talk photographer: Stephanie Richter

MONASH GALLERY OF ART NEWSLETTER Published 3 times/year Edition no. 46 ISSN 1444-4577 A 0037650N

Friends of MGA Inc is Monash Gallery of Art’s largest and most important group of supporters. Members are part of a social network that organises events and raises funds to support the continued growth of our great gallery.

Editor and designer: Mark Hislop Printer: Highlight Printing

When you join as a Friend, you become an important part of the life of one of Victoria’s finest art galleries.

The MGA Newsletter is free to all Friends of MGA Inc. The views expressed in its pages are not necessarily those of MGA, or Friends of MGA Inc.

For membership details go to: T: 8544 0500

Every effort has been made to ensure the information is correct at the time of printing, however some technical inaccuracies or typographical errors may occur.


Friends of




















MONASH GALLERY OF ART 860 Ferntree Gully Rd Wheelers Hill, Victoria 3150 T: 61 3 8544 0500 E: Tue to Fri: 10am–5pm Sat & Sun: 12–5pm closed: Monday and public holidays MGA is the City of Monash’s premier cultural facility


COVER IMAGE photographer: Brendan Finn 2013 See our interview with Brendan on p 8



the exhibition were early photographs of Monet, his family and the garden itself. In May, curator and writer Ken Scarlett revealed six sculpture parks on the Mornington Peninsula – some were truly hidden secrets. In the coming months our guest speakers include Dr. Charlotte Smith from Museums Victoria, Jeff Moorfoot from the Ballarat International Foto Bienalle and the very popular Melwitz Folino. See the inside back cover for more details.

We’re nearly mid-way through the year and there’s been some great events and exhibitions at MGA recently. The first Friends’ event of 2013 was our February concert, Jazz in the sculpture park. The weather was perfect and the Clare Castle Jazz Band performed in their usual relaxed and professional style. Friends of MGA Vice President Barry Sanders has brought in some excellent guest speakers for our Morning Coffee program this year including Guy Abrahams speaking on Art in a changing climate in March. Sophie Matthieson, Curator, International Art, NGV was our guest in April and gave us an insight into their current blockbuster Monet’s garden. Some of the most interesting images in

Later in the year our musical soiree will feature the wonderful pianist and singer, Lesley Avril, who will be performing jazz and R&B tunes. Stay tuned for more information closer to the event. As part of the Friends of MGA mission, we support the MGA and we will be donating funds for the purchase of a significant work by a wellknown photographer – more on that in the next newsletter! We are also endeavouring to extend the Friends benefits program, especially with local businesses, so if you know of any that might like to form a business link with us please let us know. — Godfrey Clay, President, Friends of MGA

Friend of MGA committeee member Roberta Ametrano with guest speaker Jack Thompson at the opening of MGA’s PEACE exhibition. photographer: Brian Aldington



The Committee of Management oversees the strategic and operational development of the gallery and has recently farewelled two of its longest serving members. Bill Henson served on the committee for 11 years and in that time made an extraordinary contribution to the gallery’s development, especially our education programs. We all thank Bill for the tremendous care and passion that he brought to the committee. We were also sad to farewell Debra Knight, who joined the committee in 2007 and has been Chair for the last three years. Debra has played an instrumental role in the gallery’s strategic development and we will certainly miss her enthusiasm and drive. Alan Maclean has been appointed Acting Chair of the committee and we will no doubt continue to benefit from his astute and reasoned counsel. We welcome three new members to the committee, each of whom will play an important part in the gallery’s continued growth and success. Dr Les Walkling joined the committee in February and has already taken a great interest in the development of our collection. We also look forward to working with collector and well-known supporter of contemporary photography Dr Milton Harris and Ms Annie Chester, who will bring to the committee significant experience working in fundraising and development in the not-for-profit sector. We have recently hosted our major fundraising event for the year and I want to thank those who helped make the MGA Fundraising Dinner and Auction for 2013 a great success. 150 guests enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere, wines, cuisine and entertainment made possible by valued event sponsors Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove, and NEOZ Lighting, coupled with the superb food and

service of Black Tie, our outstanding master of ceremonies Bryan Dawe, and expert auctioneer Paul Sumner of Mossgreen Auctions. We were particularly honoured to have two state ministers in attendance on the night – Arts Minister Heidi Victoria MP, and our local member and Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells MP. The event raised over $55 000, thanks to the incredible generosity of artists and supporters who donated auction lots and the many buyers who attended. This is a wonderful and admirable show of commitment to MGA’s endeavours to promote Australian photography through collection, exhibition and education to our ever-expanding and diverse local and national audience. These funds will be put to great use over the next twelve months, supporting an ambitious exhibition program that will see MGA host the National Gallery of Australia’s major retrospective of the work of Carol Jerrems in July. In January 2013, we will bring to Melbourne the first major exhibition seen in this city of iconic American photographer Richard Avedon. This exhibition will come to us from the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra and will no doubt become one of the most loved and widely attended exhibitions in the gallery’s history. We at the gallery are very excited by the opportunity this major exhibition presents to engage people in the world’s best contemporary photography. But our focus rests squarely on celebrating and promoting Australian photography. The Bowness Family Foundation has recently made a substantial donation to the gallery to support this end. Our Bowness Gallery is our new dedicated collection exhibition space, where works from our collection of 2 200 amazing Australian photographs will be displayed in ways to meet a range of curatorial and educational needs. We will continue to develop the educational focus of this gallery, ensuring that our collection remains accessible and meaningful to the many students who visit MGA throughout the year. The Bowness family are tremendous supporters of the arts in Melbourne and I thank them for their extremely generous, continued support of MGA and our work. I look forward to seeing you at the gallery soon. — Shaune Lakin, Gallery Director



TOPSHOTS 6 July–11 August 2013 BOWNESS PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 3 October–3 November 2013


2 MAY–30 JUNE 2013

Bruce Postle, one of Australia’s most celebrated photojournalists, has taken thousands of images in over half a century of photojournalism. In 27 years working with The Age, Postle captured some of the most iconic images of our times. This special exhibition presents over 50 photographs from a master storyteller. Every photograph in the exhibition tells a vivid story and Bruce has captioned them to disclose the humorous, profound and moving moments behind their making. The exhibition includes some of Postle’s most reconisable images, such as the ‘one-take’ shot of Bert Newton receiving a kiss from Muhammad Ali during the Logie Awards at the Southern Cross Hotel. It also includes Postle’s legendary photograph of Tommy Woodcock with his horse Reckless on the eve of the 1977 Melbourne Cup, an image that speaks of the love between man and animal. Bruce Postle Ali and Newton (detail) 1979 gelatin silver print Monash Gallery of Art, City of Monash Collection courtesy of the artist


4 MAY–30 JUNE 2013

Photographic portraiture has often been a tool for stereotyping the identity of individuals. From mugshots to passport photographs, photographic portraiture establishes and fixes identity. But our understanding of personal identity has shifted recently; rather than being the immutable essence of an individual, we recognise that identity is enacted and negotiated as part of ongoing social processes. The popularity of face-painting in contemporary culture testifies to this shift. From Cosplay and kid’s parties to sporting events and political rallies, we paint the face as a way of expressing our moods, affiliations and desires. This exhibition surveys a range of recent photographic portrait projects that use face-painting to cast identity as something that is provisional and uncertain, and includes work by Eric Bridgeman, Bindi Cole, Ray Cook, Sandy Edwards, Siri Hayes, Owen Leong, Darren Sylvester, Nat Thomas & Concettina Inserra, Christian Thompson and Justene Williams. Darren Sylvester What happens will happen #3 (detail) 2010 chromogenic print 120 x 90 cm courtesy of the artist and Sullivan and Strumpf, Sydney



6 JULY–29 SEPTEMBER 2013 Carol Jerrems’ gritty, poetic and elusive images show people trying to find a new way of life and action in the 1970s. Her images have come to define a decade in Australia’s history. Carol Jerrems was the first contemporary Australian woman photographer to have work acquired by a number of museums including the National Gallery of Australia. The National Gallery of Australia holds Jerrems’ archive of prints, negatives and films. The archive was gifted to the NGA by Jerrems’ mother soon after Carol’s death in 1980. Before she passed away, Jerrems collated her archive, signing and ordering prints which she felt worthy of being exhibited. This exhibition is the first major survey of the prints Jerrems considered her finest work. As such, it provides the most comprehensive insight into the work of one of Australia’s finest and highly mythologised photographers. Carol Jerrems Butterfly behind glass [Red Symons from Skyhooks] (detail) 1975 gelatin silver photograph National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of Mrs Joy Jerrems 1981 © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems


6 JULY–11 AUGUST 2013 TOPSHOTS celebrates the unique vision of VCE Art, Media and Studio Arts students across Victoria and is the only public gallery exhibition dedicated to exclusively showing the work of VCE photographers. Showing the best photomedia work produced by Victorian graduating students of the past year, TOPSHOTS is a great opportunity to see who the next wave of emerging photographers will be. This year 73 students submitted 215 images for consideration. Entries were considered from all still, photo-based media, including analogue and digital photography. Acknowledging both their talent and dedication of the students this exhibition presents the work of 25 finalists from 21 schools.

Nina BURNETT The surrender from the series The invasion 2012 inkjet print 35.0 x 48.5cm VCE Studio Arts 3&4 reproduction courtesy of the artist and Melbourne Girls Grammar School


3 OCTOBER–3 NOVEMBER 2013 Now in its eighth year the $25 000 non-acquisitive William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize has become one of Australia’s most coveted photography prizes. It is also one of the country’s most open prizes for photography, accepting film-based and digital work from amateurs and professionals. There are no thematic restrictions. This year’s judges are artist, Brook Andrew, Senior Curator of Photography , AGNSW, Judy Annear and MGA Gallery Director Shaune Lakin. This year photographers submit their entries using the new online entry form at MGA’s website. This new process makes entering the prize quicker and easier than ever before. It also allows the MGA Foundation to manage the prize more efficently, streamlining the information management process, saving resources and building the capacity of the prize to become more sustainable in the years to come.



Brendan Finn’s spectacular image of the gallery graces the front cover of this newsletter. An architectural photographer with a growing reputation Brendan Finn recently completed a project documenting the MGA facility. Mark Hislop talks with Brendan about the project, his journey into architectural photography and what lies ahead. View Brendan’s website for his complete portfolio and contact details.

Mark Hislop: Brendan, tell me about your background. I know you gained a degree in science after you left school – what drew you to photography? Brendan Finn: I was living at Mt Glorious in Queensland and working as a scientist in air pollution monitoring for the Environmental Protection Agency, and also working as a blacksmith (I know). Moving to inner-city Melbourne meant different things were possible, and necessary. I was intrigued by photography, the technical process very quickly made sense to me but the greater experience of documenting things was unknown. As a scientist I felt I was limited by my level of understanding, with the camera I felt more comfortable to experiment and express myself. I had always liked photography for its striking presence, that classic idea of capturing something, and I wanted to work with that. MH: Your practice specialises in architectural photography – why have you chosen this area to specialise in? BF: Apart from an interest in buildings, engineering and structure, I’m drawn to working in-the-field and responding to the environment that always presents unique challenges. Also, I like the constraints of architectural photography, the rules create a framework around which I have developed my own style. MH: You have just completed a project photographing MGA. In setting up the project guidelines I wanted a photographer who could respond to the architectural heritage of the building and remain consistent with Seidler’s vision. Can you tell me about how you approached the job and the challenges of photographing the gallery and surrounding parklands?

BF: This was an interesting brief as the use of the building has changed since the original design. I felt it was important to represent how people move through the space, and to present the building as an iconic, sculptural work. A visit to the gallery without my camera informed my decisions on how to approach the project. From that starting point it was then a management exercise to arrange a day for shooting when the critical elements would converge. The fact that MGA is the home of Australian photography was not lost on me, and I felt a weight to my work, an historical importance. MH: You were an assistant to one of Australia’s most respected architectural photographers Trevor Mein, can you tell me about this experience and how it has guided your current practice? BF: Trevor has a great eye for elements of design and manipulation of perspective. This has of course informed and helped to develop my own visual style.

I have spent many long days working with Trevor, and I slowly came to appreciate his unique way of directing people and managing a shoot. I’m sure some of this has rubbed off on me as well. I think most importantly I allow a space and the movement of people within and around a space to guide my work, rather than forcing my own aesthetic to it. MH: As a professional photographer with a growing portfolio of work and a history of awards and exhibitions where do you see your practice heading in the years ahead? BF: I aim to produce more published work. As such I want to photograph more big public projects, and pursue industrial work which I love. I also plan to spend more time on personal projects that have been gestating. I am currently working on a documentary project around the Victorian goldfields for example, which will culminate in an exhibition at some point. I’m using an old medium-format camera and film for the project–which is an interesting diversion.


11 Carol JERREMS Peggy Selinski 1968 gelatin silver photograph National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of Mrs Joy Jerrems 1981 © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems

“...including her extraordinary concertina books, which have not been seen in Victoria since the early 1970s.”

PREVIEW A NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA EXHIBITION Drawn from the National Gallery of Australia’s substantial archive of her work, Carol Jerrems: photographic artist features rare and extraordinary photographs being seen in Victoria for the first time in decades. Departing from other notable exhibitions seen in Melbourne in recent years such as Natalie King’s Up close exhibition at Heide Museum in 2010, Carol Jerrems: photographic artist concentrates on prints signed or formally exhibited by Jerrems in her lifetime, most returning to Melbourne for the first time. In addition to many of the images for which Jerrems is rightly famous, the exhibition features early work, including her extraordinary concertina books, which have not been seen in Victoria since the early 1970s. Jerrems was born in Melbourne in 1949 and from 1967–70 studied photography at Prahran Technical College under Paul Cox and Athol Shmith. Although she practiced as an artist for only a decade, Jerrems has acquired a celebrated place in the annals of Australian photography. Her reputation is based on her intensely compassionate and formally striking pictures, her intimate connection with the people involved in social movements of the day, and her role in the promotion of ‘art photography’ in this country.


MGA is delighted to be the only Victorian venue to host the National Gallery of Australia’s exhibition Carol Jerrems: photographic artist.

The National Gallery of Australia is an Australian Government Agency


“Her images have come to define a decade in Australia’s history” TOP Carol JERREMS Butterfly behind glass [Red Symons from Skyhooks] 1975 gelatin silver photograph National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of Mrs Joy Jerrems 1981 © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems MIDDLE Carol JERREMS Flying dog 1973 gelatin silver photograph National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 1976 © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems BOTTOM Carol JERREMS Outback Press Melbourne 1974 left to right: Colin Talbot (writer), Alfred Milgrom (publisher), Morry Schwartz (entrepreneur, publisher, now publisher of The Monthly), Mark Gillespie (singer/songwriter) gelatin silver photograph National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of Mrs Joy Jerrems 1981 © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems

BOTTOM LEFT Carol JERREMS Vale Street 1975 gelatin silver photograph National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Purchased 1976 © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems

TOP Carol JERREMS Lyn and the Buick 1976 gelatin silver photograph 17.9 x 25.4 cm National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of Mrs Joy Jerrems 1981 © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems

BOTTOM RIGHT Carol JERREMS Judy Morris 1977 from the film series In search of Anna gelatin silver photograph National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of Mrs Joy Jerrems 1981 © Ken Jerrems and the Estate of Lance Jerrems


“...through the extreme elements these figures appeared”

RECENT ACQUISITIONS Visitors to MGA can see Christian Thompson’s striking portrait Howl your troubles 2011, in MGA’s current exhibition Make up: painted faces in contemporary photography on until 30 June 2013.

Christian Thompson’s Howl your troubles (2011) is a head-andshoulders portrait of the artist adorned with feathers and face paint, that suggest both the war bonnets worn by Native American Plains Indian warriors and the colours of the Aboriginal flag. Thompson made the work while undertaking a residency at the Australia Council’s Greene Street Studio in New York. Inspired by the appropriation of indigenous American styles of adornment in contemporary street fashion, Thompson created this strange urbane warrior figure using feathers and face-paint. Thompson states, ‘I was influenced by the colour and vibrant electricity that is New York City and these works emerged from my time there. I used materials that were available to me, gifted to me. It was the worst winter on record at the time, so venturing too far from the studio was virtually impossible and through the extreme elements these figures appeared, with feathered head dresses, dark eyes and bold makeup.’ Like many of Thompson’s works, Howl your troubles involves the artist ‘performing’ a self-portrait for the camera. His practice revolves around questions of Indigenous identity and is informed by EuroAmerican traditions of Performance Art and Conceptual Art. Howl your troubles joins Thompson’s photograph I’m not going anywhere without you (2009) in the MGA Collection, where it forms part of a growing body of photographs that engage with the historical and contemporary construction of Indigenous identity. We are really pleased that this important photograph is part of MGA’s nationally significant collection.

ABOUT CHRISTIAN THOMPSON Born 1978, Gawler South Australia, Christian (Bumbarra) Thompson is a Bidjara man of the Kunja Nation from southwest Queensland; he is also of German–Jewish heritage. Thompson has emerged as a significant Australian artist of the early 21st Century with work that elaborates issues of identity explored by an earlier generation of urban Aboriginal artists, Gordon Bennett and Fiona Foley.

Christian THOMPSON Howl your troubles 2011 from the series Native’s instinct chromogenic print 100.0 x 100.0 cm courtesy of the artist and Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi (Melbourne)

Thompson has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, most recently in Shadow life (Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre, Bangkok, Thailand and Bendigo Art Gallery). Thompson is currently undertaking a doctorate at Oxford University as the Inaugural Charlie Perkins Scholar.


7–8.30PM TUESDAY 18 JUNE FREE event, all welcome. Bookings preferred T: 03 8544 0500 18 June, mini-discussion topic: ‘There is something fundamentally human about holding objects’ (photographer Andreas Schmidt). At this meet we’ll take a look at paper stock, texture and binding styles. If you’ve got a great or a terrible example we’d love to see it! We encourage all forms of photobook, whether it’s a compilation of your travels, work of a favourite photographer, or an unique artist book, bring it along!

Melbourne’s first Photobook Club meets every second month on the third Tuesday. Scheduled dates for 2013 are: 18 June, 20 August and 15 October. MGA has partnered with PHOTOBOOKCLUB.ORG for this event.


MELBOURNE Polixeni Papapetrou: a performative paradox (24 May–14 July 2013) Centre for Contemporary Photography 404 George St, Fitzroy VIC T: + 61 3 9417 1549 Wed–Fri: 11am–6pm, Sat–Sun: 12–5pm REGIONAL Ballarat International Foto Biennale (17 August–15 September 2013) Ballarat Victoria Australia T: + 61 3 5331 4833 Open daily Archibald Prize (8 June–7 July 2013) Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery Civic Reserve, Dunns Road, Mornington VIC T: 03 5975 4395 Tues–Sun:10am–5pm

Sandra Davis photographer: Stephanie Richter

VOLUNTEER PROFILE with Sandra Davis Sandra has been a valued member of MGA’s volunteer team for a year now. She decided to become a volunteer after visiting the gallery several times as a photography student. She fell in love with the gallery and café and ‘wanted to be part of keeping the gallery alive’. As a volunteer Sandra works at the front desk, answering phones, helping with mail outs and occasional café assistance. She has also assisted the curatorial team with research on a new acquisition and was the photographer for two of MGA’s most important recent events, including the 2013 Fundraising Dinner and Auction. Working as a volunteer, Sandra says she has had great opportunities to learn more about the work that each staff member does, and how the gallery is run. I have been privileged to see some of the work in the collection that is not on display, and have felt very appreciated and included as part of the staff and volunteer team that contributes to MGA’s success. It is exciting to see the work of Australian photographers. As a new photographer myself, I am inspired just by being here. I am also very interested to learn how a gallery functions and have been extremely lucky to work with such generous staff members, who answer all my questions with patience and professionalism.

Before moving into the world of photography, Sandra spent 20 years in the travel industry then seven years as a primary school librarian. When she’s not at MGA, Sandra is busy completing a Degree in Photography at Photography Studies College. She is also running a small business, Sandra Davis Photography. She was born in New Zealand and, after a brief period enduring the weather in England, moved to Australia in 1988. She has ‘two fabulous young-adult children (one living in Sydney, the other immersed in Year 12 studies) and a wonderful husband.’ We are extremely grateful to Sandra for all her hard work and look forward to many more Wednesday afternoons and MGA events with her on board to assist. —Stella Loftus-Hills, Gallery and Curatorial Assistant





Enter online ENTRIES CLOSE 10 JULY

JUDGES Brook Andrew, artist Judy Annear, Senior Curator of Photography, AGNSW Shaune Lakin, MGA Gallery Director




Alison Abraham Carolyn Ashton Lesley Bell Peter Black Vicki Boyle Evelynne Brown Lavinia Byron Denis & Gail Carruthers Patricia Cheah Annie Chester Ann Cole Highvale Secondary College Robert Davies Anne Davies Frank De Angellis Michelle De Cesaris The Brownbill Effect Andrew Fairley Silva Fero Daryl Francis Lorraine Fraser Maria & Steven Gordon-Saker Rosemary Grant Christopher Grey Joan Hanger Milton Harris Patricia Heidmann Claudette Henricus Lachie Hill Alison Inglis Kaye Jenvey Lilian Johnston Andrea Kalbusch Brian Kidd Colin & Jacqueline King Debra Knight Jane Margaret Michelle & Patrick Mcardle John Mcdonald Maddison Moore Peter Naughtin John Noble Elwyn Pederson Barbara Pickett Sue Powell Norm & Ann Powell Bronwyn Quint Joel Rainford Maurizio Salvati Mirjana Shaw Christine Smith Rosalind Snelling Trish Sorati Peter Stagg Beverley Stevens Joan Stewart Sandra Taylor Mary Thorney Tony Tulloch Jennie Wunderle Jing Zhang


Dr Charlotte H.F. Smith, Senior Curator, Politics & Society, Museum Victoria Dr Charlotte Smith analyses the museum’s historic collections to enhance our understanding of social, cultural and political change in Australia. She curates a diverse collection of over 120,000 objects that includes military history, politics and protest, and historical archaeology.


Jeff Moorfoot – Festival Director, Ballarat International Foto Biennale. BIFB is the only internationally significant photographic event in regional Victoria. In 2011 BIFB staged 206 events at 73 venues throughout Ballarat attracting 63 000 visitors. Hear the back story from the festival director.


Rod West, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anathetic History. The Geoffrey Kaye Museum holds one of the largest and most significant anaesthetic history collections in the world. Rod West will talk about the museum’s diverse holdings, and the history and development of anaesthesia.


Melwitz Folino Like all interesting people, Melwitz cannot be easily categorised: she is an artist, illustrator, teacher and a muse in the truest sense of the word. She has also established ‘The Boudoir Dada’, a celebration of the senses, of beauty, of texture, of history and of ideas. 10.00am morning tea: talk begins 10.45am $10 Friends of MGA/$5 talk only $12 non-member/$6 talk only Bookings essential T: 8544 0500

MGA Newsletter #46  
MGA Newsletter #46