Professional development: Contemporary Aboriginal photography

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Teachers and interested members of the public are invited to attend an onsite professional development event based on the Viewpoints: contemporary Aboriginal photography exhibition.

About the event

This professional development event is applicable to teachers of Visual Art, Visual Arts in Practice, Photography, History and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Attendees will learn about the approaches taken by the photographers and how their contemporary viewpoints differ to historical archival collections. The event will include a curator’s tour of the exhibition. Photographers will speak directly about their photographic perspectives and practices.

This onsite experience will include an overview of the Curriculum Connect website and State Library’s current onsite school’s offerings.

Morning tea will be provided.

The exhibition

There are thousands of images in the State Library’s collection depicting Aboriginal people, often taken by non-Indigenous photographers. But what about photography from the viewpoint of First Nations photographers?

Viewpoints: contemporary Aboriginal photography profiles the work of three contemporary Aboriginal photographers working in Queensland; Michael Aird, Jo-Anne Driessens and Naomi Hobson. At the core of each photographer’s work is a desire to involve Aboriginal people in the creation and custodianship of contemporary stories for future generations.

Join photographers Micheal Aird and Jo-Anne Driessens, and exhibition curator Georgia Walsh for a deeper insight into the unique perspectives that contribute to their important work.

The photographers

Micheal Aird is an Aboriginal historian, anthropologist, photographer, and founder of the independent publishing house Keeaira Press. Michael’s photographs focus on peoples’ achievements and celebrate everyday life. He has spoken about initially being inspired by the work of National Geographic, but later becoming more interested in the “stories that were missing”.

Jo-Anne Driessens is a descendant of the Koa people, with historical connections to Cherbourg (Barambah), Woorabinda and Yarrabah communities, who was adopted into a white Brisbane family. Jo-Anne is a practicing photographer with 25 years’ experience predominantly working in south east Queensland and more recently as an arts worker with City of Gold Coast and as a curator with Placemakers.


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The views expressed by the speakers are their own and the promotion of products/services is not endorsed by State Library.

Cover Image: Attendees at the Brisbane DAR Indigenous Art and Culture Festival in King George Square, Brisbane, Queensland, 1998. Jo-Anne Driessens photographs, John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland.

State Library carpark access has changed

Due to Brisbane City Council’s permanent closure of Victoria Bridge to general traffic, all access to the Cultural Centre carparks is now via Stanley Place (from the Grey Street and Peel Street intersection, or Montague Road).

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