John Gollings: Spirit of Place

This exhibition presents the work of one of Australia’s most prominent and acclaimed photographers, and explores his long-standing interest in recording the landscape, particularly ancient sites of spiritual significance to First Peoples. Images on display represent a selection of spectacular photographs taken between 1967 and 2015. Gollings’ aim for the project is to raise public awareness of and respect for the sacredness of these places for Aboriginal people. The site featured most extensively in the exhibition is Nawarla Gabarnmang, a magnificent decorated rock shelter in remote Arnhem Land – described by some as the Sistine Chapel of rock art

Nawarla Gabarnmang, Arnhem Land, 2015. © John Gollings.
Nawarla Gabarnmang, Arnhem Land, 2015. © John Gollings.

The site was excavated and painted by its Aboriginal inhabitants between 23,000 and 35,000 years ago. Its ceiling is supported by naturally occurring and partly excavated sandstone pillars and is embellished with layer upon layer of painted imagery, ranging from hand stencils and abstract motifs to animals and spirit figures. Within its gallery, which tells the rich stories of the shelter’s inhabitants and their ancestors across the millennia, is one of the oldest known examples of rock art – a charcoal drawing dated to 26,000 BCE.
 
The exhibition also includes two monumental montages of symbolic paintings on Nourlangie Rock in Kakadu National Park, and a selection of poetic black and white photographs of landscapes around Victoria that Gollings took to illustrate Aldo Massola’s pioneering publication Bunjil’s Cave (1968). Massola’s book presented stories, myths, and beliefs collected directly from Koori communities at a time when Aboriginal culture was virtually ignored by white Australians. The evocative photographs displayed in this exhibition have been created from the recently rediscovered negatives, which Gollings digitised and printed on an expanded scale to expressively convey the connection to country and age-old narratives that inspired them.

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April

The National Photographic Portrait Prize is an annual event intended to promote the very best in contemporary photographic portraiture by both professional and aspiring Australian photographers.

May

A series of intimate portraits depicting the same group of men as they evolve from childhood to adulthood - from boyhood in 2005, through adolescence in 2012, and into the young men they are today in 2019.

The Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize 2019 exhibition features the 30 finalists from over 3,000 entries, including the winner who took out the $50,000 first prize.

Exploring the emotions and experiences of being a chronically ill, this ongoing conceptual photographic self-portrait series takes the viewer inside the often unbearable world experienced by those with a chronic illness.

The exhibition will be Bill Henson's first in Sydney in seven years.

Now in its fourth year, Refocus Retreat is the premier conference aimed at women in the business of photography. It runs over 4 days and 3 nights (24-27 May).

'Shot in the Heart of Melbourne' is a street photography exhibition by the members of the Australian Association of Street Photographers, exploring the decisive and often indecisive moments that occur in the gritty, yet beautiful city of Melbourne