PhotoAccess Indigenous Photomedia Artists Program

(Images: Kerstin Styche)

PhotoAccess has a long history of supporting Indigenous artists. A particular focus for our support has been artist residencies and NAIDOC Week exhibitions each year for Indigenous photomedia artists.

PhotoAccess Indigenous Photomedia Artists Program
With assistance under the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy we have been able to provide Indigenous artist residencies based on digital storytelling and exhibition projects since 2006.

The aims of the program are to:

  • assist emerging artists to develop their practice and present work to a wider audience
  • provide established artists with opportunities to acquire new skills and produce and show new work.

Support for artists in residence includes membership of PhotoAccess, use of facilities and equipment, free enrolment in courses and workshops, help with grants applications, informal mentoring and advice, technical and creative support with projects and, in some cases, exhibition opportunities. Details of each residency and the support provided are decided on a case-by-case basis and normally run for one year.

We also work in partnership with community organisations to provide learning and exhibition opportunities for young Indigenous people in the photo-based arts. Below is a brief summary of our recent work with Indigenous artists and young people:

Adelaide-based artist James Tylor probes the paradox of practicing traditional Indigenous culture in National parks, conservation parks and recreational bushland - presenting hand-coloured inkjet prints in an exhibition in the PhotoAccess Huw Davies Gallery titled Un-resettling.

Kerry Reed-Gilbert is a Wiradjuri woman from New South Wales, and Megan Cope is a Quandamooka woman from North Stradbroke Island in South East Queensland - In July 2014 Kerry exhibited inkjet prints in the PhotoAccess Huw Davies Gallery in an show titled Spirit of Country, and Megan exhibited a video work titled The Blaktism in the HUW DAVIES Multimedia GALLERY. Spirit of Country Catalogue, The Blaktism Catalogue

Marissa McDowell is a Wiradjuri woman, from Cowra in the Central West of New South Wales. Marissa was our 2013 Emerging Indigenous Photomedia Artist and presented her first solo exhibition Colours of India in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY during NAIDOC week. Colours of India catalogue

Jenni Kemarre Martiniello's exhibition Grandmothers’ Countries was exhibited in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY during NAIDO week in 2012. Jenni is a poet, writer, visual and glass artist. Jenni was one of three artists involved in the second PhotoAccess Indigenous Artist Digital Storytelling project in 2007 and her River story, inkjet prints and fabric banners were shown in the PhotoAccess 2007 NAIDOC Week exhibition. Grandmothers' Countries catalogue

Kerstin Styche, a Wiradjuri woman with family connections to Western New South Wales, born and raised in Canberra, was our fourth PhotoAccess Emerging Indigenous photographer. Her NAIDOC Week exhibition Walan Budhang Yinaagirrbang (Strong Black Women) showed in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in July. Kirsten was also selected for our Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) graduate emerging artist residency. Her second exhibition, Identity Through Our Eyes, showed in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in November and December 2011. Catalogues for both exhibitions can be accessed by following the links below. As well as her two PhotoAccess residencies and exhibitions, Kerstin was presented with the Len Barratt Award for the outstanding CIT graduate in photography in October, and named ACT NAIDOC Artist of the Year in July. Walan Budhang Yinaagirrbang catalogue Identity Through Our Eyes catalogue

Nick Radoll, Tyrell Kamira Sams, Lyndy Delian and Jo Kamira were involved with the ACT Indigenous Strategic Arts Initiative run in 2009 by Ed Whalan for PhotoAccess and Jennifer Martiniello for Billabong Aboriginal Corporation. Their residencies and exhibition were supported under the PhotoAccess Emerging Indigenous Photographer program. The 4 Emerging Indigenous Photographers exhibition was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in July 2010, opening during NAIDOC Week. 4 Emerging Indigenous Photographers catalogue

AUtonomies by Jessie Boylan with Emma King was based on the Australian Government’s ‘Intervention’ in Northern Territory Indigenous communities. Jessie is a non-Indigenous woman who has worked extensively with Indigenous communities in northern Australia. Emma King spoke about the project and exhibition at a Sunday in the gallery event and we assisted with a short tour of the exhibition later in the year. AUtonomies catalogue

Our second Emerging Indigenous Photographer was Lyndy Delian, whose exhibition 12000 was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY during NAIDOC Week in July 2009. Lyndy spoke about her work and exhibition at a Sunday in the gallery event on 12 July. Lyndy Delian catalogue

Working with Billabong Aboriginal Corporation and coordinator Jennifer Martiniello, we conducted two 10-week workshops as part of a photography project for young Indigenous people under the ACT Indigenous Strategic Arts Initiative.

Otis Williams was our 2008 Emerging Indigenous Photographer. Crossing, his exhibition based on the Fitzroy Crossing community in Western Australia was opened in NAIDOC Week 2008. Crossing catalogue

(Images: Duncan Smith)

Duncan Smith is a Wiradjuri man resident in Canberra. He is an outstanding cultural practitioner and leader. His PhotoAccess residency and Back to Country exhibition was supported by the ACT Arts Fund and the ACT Indigenous Arts Officer. Duncan spoke about his Back to Country exhibition and the return to Wiradjuri country project which was the basis for his images at a Sunday in the gallery event on 26 October. Back to Country catalogue

We provided technical and creative support for a film project with partner Southside Community Centre. I’m Awesome U Know was made by 22 Indigenous primary school boys involved in the ACT On Track Program. The project was coordinated by Cathy Laudenbach (Southside Community Centre) and Edwin Daughtry (PhotoAccess) with support from Ed Whalan. The project was assisted by a grant from the ACT Arts Fund. I’m awesome U Know was shown in the Multimedia Room in October and November 2008. I'm Awesome U Know catalogue

Our second Indigenous Artists Digital Storytelling Project culminated in a NAIDOC Week exhibition of digital stories and other works by three artists — River by Jenni Kemarre Martiniello, Wiradjuri Echoes by Duncan Smith and Telling My Story by Renee Smith; the project was led by Ed Whalan and assisted by the ACT Indigenous Arts Officer. 2007 NAIDOC Week catalogue

The first Indigenous Artists Digital Storytelling Project culminated in a NAIDOC Week exhibition of digital stories and other works by Indigenous visual artists Leise Guthridge (Sisters’ stories—Anna) and Liz McNiven (Spiritual Land)