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Exhibition text

The Australian Centre for Photography

23 August – 26 October 2019

Light Matter presents works by eight lens-based artists responding directly to the shifting ground on which photography now stands. Emerging from the deluge of images flooding all platforms of contemporary media and the ubiquitous act of photographing, the artists in this exhibition provoke conversation. Not between the viewer and the subject of the image, but rather between the viewer, the artist and the photographic medium.


Working across the borders of photography, drawing and assemblage Ioulia Terizis’s still-life images oscillate between the analogue and the digital to challenge the viewer’s visual perception. Yvette Hamilton’s work presents its own challenge to visual perception through disrupting the normally passive photographic image by impairing the viewer’s ability to see. This is echoed in Lucas Davidson’s work, where the viewer is encouraged to consider their relationship between self, site and surface. The fractured visual planes of Field Study (2019) confound the idea of the self as an uninterrupted whole. The deconstruction is also seen in Garry Trinh’s Eye occupy (remixed) (2017), where the artist responds to the devaluation of the photographic image by literally slicing up his own work.


In her series of collages Nature splits (2019), Elena Papanikolakis overlays sections of found images to create abstracted landscapes that project an imagined sense of place. The landscape and its significance in photographic history is central to Amanda Williams’ practice and through the use of analogue processes her work capture and materialise time. The past, present and future coalesce in Ellen Dahl’s still-motion work that straddles photography and cinema to incite an ambiguous sense of place. The past and the present are fused in Dean Cross’ interventions on to the surface of found images inviting the viewer to share his nostalgia for the loss of the photograph as an object.


With a focus on process and materiality, whether analogue, digital, hybrid, appropriated or camera-less, these artists reveal an expanded field of photography where artistic authorship intensifies creative possibilities within the photographic medium.


Yvette Hamilton & Ellen Dahl




Light Matter Symposium was held at University of Technology Sydney 24 August 2019

This forum brought together artists, curators and academics to discuss the nuances of contemporary lens-based practice in Australia. Over the day a series of presentations and panels  considered innovative approaches to creative process and materiality on issues from authorship and identity to politics and non-human vision in the post-photographic era. Presenters include: Dr Donna West Brett (University of Sydney); Dr Cherine Fahd (University of Technology, Sydney); Yvette Hamilton; Prof Melissa Miles (Monash University); Dr Sara Oscar (University of Technology, Sydney); Dr Kate Warren (Australian National University) and the curators and artists from the coinciding exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography.

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