Various artists: Re-Generations. PhotoAccess. Until April 4.
Loud & Luminous is an annual celebration of Australian women photographers. It includes a symposium, this exhibition, the launch of the Loud & Luminous book for 2020 and artist talks.
It reveals some subtle shades of meaning relating to the possibilities of female lives today
Re-Generations, curated by Canberra's Hilary Wardhaugh, features five contemporary female artist photographers. It is about experiences of personal growth and change.
It exposes inherited trauma, family relationships and the stories to be learned from inter-generational memories.
It reveals some subtle shades of meaning relating to the possibilities of female lives today.
Addressing issues relating to women's opportunities for personal growth and to the traumas associated with domestic violence through quality photographic art adds greatly to the messages to which we all must respond.
Like many women before them, these photographers have recognised a deep responsibility to influence the conversation and make an impact.
Helga Salwe tells us that time spent in the mountains and deserts of Morocco during a period of radical change in her personal life allowed her painful feelings to emerge and heal.
We are blessed to be able to view her fine monochrome prints and reflect on how we might have felt in the same place with similar feelings. Her image Sandstorm particularly speaks to me, telling about a person's life in this desert place.
Equally, Home of the Earth is remarkable for how the depicted home seemingly merges into the earth around it.
Tamara Whyte, an Indigenous artist from far North Queensland, has contributed three short documentary video works, extending her photographic and video practice.
They focus on the survival of Aboriginal people; their resilience and resistance whilst adapting to change. Buffalo Horns with its insistent but gentle tap, tap, tap sound is both mesmerising and educational.
Suellen Cook describes herself as "a photographer of the imagination" who likes "to tell stories through images that mysteriously bubble into my consciousness". Her stunning conceptual images shown here reveal emotions she has experienced when adversity or life-changing events have initially knocked her down.
Reading the words accompanying each print, we can follow how Cook responded and made her choices to become more resilient and stronger.
Elise Searson, a photojournalist in Batemans Bay, also draws on her personal narrative, sharing with us some of her own intense experience of motherhood. In the exhibition catalogue, she tells us that becoming a mother makes one imagine their past and, especially, how we all begin life; and that it can trigger questions because of generational trauma. The words written directly on the gallery wall to accompany her image After Innocence made me smile as well as think.
Tricia King's contribution explores the importance of memories as a place where identity and meaning can be rediscovered and shared. Each piece is a pair of closely associated portraits of an older woman living in aged-care facilities. On the left of each is an early portrait of the woman, on the right a new portrait. These works reminded me how photographs enable an older person to share memories with others, particularly younger family. King's juxtapositions of the now and then in these women's lives are fabulous.
This excellent exhibition is a credit to all involved.