Digital storytelling at PhotoAccess
Digital storytelling allows people to tell their own stories in their own voice. Workshops run over a total of 26 hours and provide professional support for the making of a short film of three to five minutes. Working with Artistic Director Jenni Savigny (Gen S Stories), a photographer and a filmmaker, people write their own film script, record their own voice-over and create their own images. The workshops are fun, safe and highly creative.
Digital stories are a simple and powerful way to celebrate people and also their organisations and communities. The stories are a way of changing attitudes, providing insights, hope or humour. For example, the project Moving Minds (by Mental Illness Education ACT) used digital storytelling as a way of addressing stigma and discrimination towards people living with mental illness. This project won an ACT Health Promotion Award, and also a national award at the Mental Health Services Conference (2011).
Digital storytelling also allows many people to have a voice that would otherwise not be heard and it allows many people to participate in the arts that would otherwise not have the opportunity. PhotoAccess has collaborated with many marginalised communities whose access to the arts is limited for reasons of gender, geography, income, disability or other reasons. For example, In 2012/13 PhotoAccess worked with A Gender Agenda to create Being True to Ourselves – a collection of digital stories by the sex and gender diverse community in Canberra. This project won a national award at the Mental Health Services Conference (2013). We have also worked with people recovering from drug and alcohol dependency (Karralika, Love Stories), people coming out of crisis (Inanna Inc, Now I’m Here), and people living with disability (ADACAS, Being Heard).
An integral part of the digital storytelling process is the screening. It is a chance for people to celebrate with family and friends, for people to know they are not alone, and for everyone to experience the power of real stories. Many of the digital stories have been screened in the Arc Cinema at the National Film and Sound Archives. The following collections are published online:
- Now I’m Here, Inanna
- Being True to Ourselves, A Gender Agenda
- Moving Minds, Mental Illness Education ACT
If you would like to find out more about digital storytelling, and how you or your organisation could get involved, please contact us.
(Image: Innana, Now I'm Here DVD splash page)
YWCA Canberra recently partnered with PhotoAccess on an eight-week Black-and-White film photography workshop for students of Lake Tuggeranong College in mid 2014. The students took photographs with analogue cameras, developed the film and printed the images in the PhotoAccess darkroom. The resulting works will be exhibited in the Tuggeranong Arts Centre Foyer Gallery in an exhibition titled The Big Picture - opening 6pm Thursday 24 July and running until 2 August 2014.
100 Views of Canberra book
Published in 2013, the 100 Views of Canberra book showcases the work of over 100 Canberra photographers. It is important and insightful, documenting the grand, not so grand and human faces of Canberra in its Centenary year.
Cost: Only $45.00
You can pick up a copy of the book from PhotoAccess, or order online. To order online simply send an email to email@example.com with your name and the number of copies you wish to purchase, then follow the Online Payments link to pay. You can collect your books from PhotoAccess. Please note that there will be a charge for postage if you would like to have copies mailed.
Click here for a preview of the first few pages of the book.
You can also pick up a copy from:
- Canberra Visitors Centre
- National Library Bookshop
- The Botanical Bookshop, Australian National Botanic Gardens - Canberra
- The Portrait Gallery Store
- Paperchain Bookstore
The 100 Views of Canberra publication and accompanying exhibition (exhibition was held in the PhotoAccess HUW DAVIES GALLERY in August 2013) were supported by the ACT Government's Community Centenary Initiatives Fund.
(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 emerging Indigenous photomedia artists.
We are inviting proposals now for 2015 NAIDOC Week. If you would like to be considered for a residency in 2015 read the information in this article and then email firstname.lastname@example.org attaching a CV.
The PhotoAccess emerging Indigenous photomedia artist program
With assistance under the ACT component of the Visual Arts and Craft Strategy we have been able to provide emerging Indigenous artist residencies based on digital storytelling and exhibition projects since 2006.
The aims of the residency 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:
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)
(Image: Kerry Baylor, Breach)
PhotoAccess 25th Anniversary Print Portfolio
This limited edition print portfolio is 16 images donated by artists associated with PhotoAccess as board members, board advisors, staff, course tutors and exhibiting members to commemorate the PhotoAccess 25th Anniversary in September 2009. Macquarie Editions printed the portfolio with UltraChrome HDR pigment inks on 310 gsm Canson Infinity BFK Rives 100% rag in a numbered edition of 25, with one artist’s proof. Boxed sets have been acquired by private collectors and Canberra Museum and Art Gallery. Seven boxed sets remain for sale. Images numbered 11 to 20/25 are for sale individually and a number have been acquired by private collectors. Proceeds from the sale of the edition help PhotoAccess continue its work providing community access to the photo based arts through exhibitions, courses and special projects.
The portfolio would not have been possible without our supporters:
Macquarie Editions: Stephen Best is a PhotoAccess member, master digital printmaker and owner of Macquarie Editions. His first solo exhibition, Coast, was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in 2007. Stephen has printed a significant number of exhibition images for PhotoAccess members and other artists around Australia and is renowned for the quality of his work.
Abell’s Kopi Tiam Restaurant at Manuka: Lorna Sim is a partner in Abell’s Kopi Tiam restaurant and a long-standing member of PhotoAccess. She and Abell Ong have supported and shown photography in the restaurant for many years and are very pleased to be associated with PhotoAccess and the commemorative print portfolio.
Barbie Robinson: Barbie Robinson is a member and staff member of PhotoAccess. Her exhibition 256 Shades of Grey was shown in the HUW DAVIES GALLERY in 2005. She is supporting the edition in memory of her mother, Beb Bartholomew. Beb came to openings at PhotoAccess and sat happily in 'her' chair at the front desk sipping champagne and people-watching. She loved encouraging and supporting people she saw as 'having a go'. She had a special affection for PhotoAccess, observing a supportive environment for both its staff and its artists. Ed Whalan was her particular pin-up boy because of his role in introducing Barbie to the intricacies and boundless delights of photography.
The PhotoAccess 25th Anniversary Print Portfolio was exhibited in the PhotoAccess HUW DAVIES GALLERY from 18 March - 14 April 2010. Download Catalogue
The Tocumwal Archive is a collection of stories and photographs, about living in the houses that were moved from the Tocumwal air force base in New South Wales, to the Canberra suburb of O'Connor. The base was built during the Second World War as an inland defence against Japanese invasion. As camouflage, the sleeping quarters for air force personnel were built in the form of houses. After the War, the acute housing shortage in Canberra gave the houses a new purpose. From the late 1940s, about 200 of them were transported to the growing suburbs of Ainslie and O'Connor. In O'Connor they were located in two groups of four cul-de-sacs meeting at a central park and bounded by Macarthur, Macpherson, Miller and Tate Streets. The area is listed as an Australian Capital Territory (ACT) heritage precinct. Collection for the Archive began in 1996 with a PhotoAccess project supported by the ACT Heritage Council. Stories and photographs are archived according to the donor's name. Ongoing community collection and maintenance of the Archive is encouraged. The Archive is open for research use and the contribution of material at the ACT Heritage Library in the Woden Town Library. The Tocumwal Archive website is hosted by PhotoAccess and was initiated as part of Party in the Park , a 2005 ACT Heritage Festival event co-ordinated by Northside Community Service. It features a fraction of the material held in the Archive.
For privacy reasons house numbers and full names are not included with recent stories and photographs featured on the website. The Tocumwal Archive