Words and pictures interfered with by a "real" job
Queensland Art Gallery
As Australians raged over national identity and the interpretation of history in the lead up the bicentenary in 1988; the Queensland Art Gallery commissioned six photographers to travel through our vast state with a mission to capture Queensland's life and communities. The resulting images produced a unique and rare snapshot of Queensland as it was two hundred years after the first fleet arrived in Sydney Cove.
Photographer Lin Martin said, "It was very unusual for the Gallery to commission a group of photographers to do a body of work. We could shoot what we wanted to. It just had to be about Queensland."
Lin went to North Queensland where the majority of the photographs were taken for the exhibition. "That's where I grew up and I was looking for interesting people, interesting characters in a photographic sense. I was working at the time doing environmental portraits so I wanted the photographs to show the characters that let me photograph them within their home or working environment," Lin explained.
Photographers Graham Burstow, Lin Martin, Robert Mercer, Glen O'Malley, Charles Page and Max Pam spent around eighteen months documenting the lifestyles, attitudes and values of Queensland.
Lin says the images tell a whole lot about the history of the time but also each of us photographers because we had such an open brief. "I remember feeling extremely privileged at the time for being invited to do this and I was so thrilled when it opened to see such a wide range of work."
At 1:00pm on opening day join Jason Smith, the Curatorial Manager of Australian Art, in conversation with Photographer Robert Mercer as he recalls his involvement in the project.
The Queensland Art Gallery will present the exhibition for the first time in Brisbane since 1988 from the 20th of February to the 3rd of July.