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Victorian photo exhibitions: From women to wildlife

Melbourne’s Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) is kicking off 2023 by hosting four concurrent exhibitions that explore women’s experiences, while Geelong’s Wool Museum is again hosting the 58th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

Centre for Contemporary Photography

Exhibitions by Australian photographers, Ying Ang, Miriam Charlie, Odette England and Lisa Sorgini, will open on Friday, 27 January, at the CCP.Photo: Lisa Sorgini.

‘These four shows make visible stories which are often not seen or represented in the general media or culture,’ said curator, Catlin Langford. ‘These projects by leading artists are witness to girls’ and women’s experiences, from the anxiety and unknown of pregnancy and childbirth, the often invisible and unacknowledged care given by women, to the lives and experiences of girls and women in rural locations.’

Here are the CCP’s exhibition descriptions:

Ying Ang, ‘The Quickening
‘The Quickening’ explores the transformation and lived experience of a woman in her motherhood/matrescence and postpartum period. The work interrogates the under-represented transition of biological, psychological and social identity during a complex and yet ubiquitous phase of life.

Lisa Sorgini, ‘Behind Glass
Whilst informing of a particular time Behind Glass aims to offer a layered exploration of motherhood and the domestic space. These images also speak more broadly of the maternal experience. Its most blatant subtext is that of motherhood as contextualised within the modern western milieu; mothers lie at the core of an intense and transformed inner landscape whilst concurrently remaining detached from the outer, as societal constructs and representations forge distance and remain vastly at odds with lived experience. Yet central to this story is also the concept of hope and connective awareness. Mothers joined through a collective experience. Through this work, I hope for the unseen to be seen.

Miriam Charlie, ‘Getting to Borroloola
In ‘Getting to Borroloola’, Yanyuwa Garrwa artist Charlie captures her return to her hometown in the Northern Territory. The instantaneity of the Polaroid process gives Charlie complete agency over her image-making, and she depicts both intimate, off-hand familial moments and the vast expanse of the landscape, as witnessed during her journey.

Odette England, ‘Dairy Character
Dairy Character is the autobiographical story of the animalisation of rural girls and women, and the sexualisation of female dairy cows. It offers a unique perspective on the early introduction of girls to unpaid reproductive labor – cooking, cleaning, child-rearing – through photographs emphasising the tangle of gender, power, and patriarchy. It tells of a girl fenced in by interconnecting forms of vulnerability and repression. A girl who wanted a pink room. A girl who had a cow named after her.

The CCP will host a panel discussion on 28 January 2023 at 2pm with curator Langford, with photographers Ang, England, and Sorgini.

Click here for more info.

Geelong Wool Museum – Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The London Natural History Museum’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is currently showing in Geelong until 7 May 2023. Entry is $10.

The Big Buzz, Wildlife Photographer of the Year overall winning picture. Photo: Karine Aigne.

‘The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition showcases the best of the best in nature and wildlife photojournalism from around the globe,’ said Geelong mayor, Trent Sullivan. ‘I highly recommend community members get along to this exhibition, as they’re guaranteed to learn more about unique animal behaviour and be left in awe of our beautiful natural world.’

Four Australian photographers have pictures in the exhibition. Here’s an excerpt from Inside Imaging‘s coverage of the winning image:

The winning image, The Big Buzz, by US photographer Karine Aigne, shows ordinarily solitary cactus bees in a ‘mating ball’, an event that occurs once a year in the Southern USA desert. Male bees scout the ground looking for a mate, and when a female emerges from a burrow in the ground, the gents scramble and stack upon her to secure their chance at fathering the next generation.

Click here for more info.

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