Exposure: New Voices in Australian Photography

AAR-PCP-Mary-Lou-Orliyarli-DiviliOpening on Friday 10 March, Perth Centre for Photography (PCP) is pleased to present an exhibition of new photographic artworks by four First Nations artists, in New Voices in Australian Photography.

This showcase will be the first time Kimberley artists, Mary-Lou Orliyarli Divilli, Maria Fredericks, Nuriah Jadai and Maria Maraltadj, have exhibited solo series of photographic artwork.

Mary-Lou Orliyarli Divilli is a Nyikina and Ngarinyin woman, living in Kupungarri Community, on the Gibb River Road. Mary-Lou draws inspiration from Country and her children. Mary-Lou uses her practice as a way to heal and prevail over times of grief and pain. She sees herself in her children and Country as her protector. Since she was a child, safety, and peace have been found in her surrounding natural environment.

Maria Fredericks, a Warnambol Gambera woman and a Traditional Owner for Kingana Country, from Kalumburu Community, explores the feeling she has when she goes back to her Country. Out on Country, I can feel the old people. It’s a feeling. No one else can feel like I feel. Capturing movement on Country, she photographs young people and Elders, at one with the landscape.

Nuriah Jadai is a Martu & Mangala woman currently living between Perth and Bidyadanga Community. As an artist and activist, Nuriah is a prominent voice standing up against fracking on her Country. She uses her photography to show how Country and people are one. She is part of Country and Country is part of her. Through her art, Nuriah conveys feelings of violence, pain, hurt, sorrow, and the strength of her people.

Maria Maraltadj, a Kwini woman from Kalumburu Community, currently resides in Karratha. Using mirrors, reflections, water, and words, Maria faces her own personal trauma by looking at her reflection. She feels her experience of hurt, depression and abandonment can only be healed from within. She encourages the viewer to look at themselves in the mirror, as she is.

The Exposure Project, which I initially developed to carve out new space for artists working in lens-based practices in remote settings, has become a critical professional development program for artists working in photography, in some of our most remote communities here in WA,” said Glenn Iseger Pilkington, Curator, Fremantle Arts Centre.

“This exhibition is the culmination of years of work for both PCP and the artists and will provide Boorloo audiences with a unique glimpse into the lives and imaginations of artists and storytellers living and working across this state.”

The theme of healing is common across all the work and the artists have each used this experience, their photography, and their practice to heal.

Exploring Country and the impact humans can have on the land, children and the way Country and culture can protect children and individual experiences of trauma, the work is delicate yet provides us with a potent voice.

The four artists were selected to participate in Exposure 3.0, a unique mentoring program created to provide skills, resources, mentoring by local, national and international guest artists and curators, professional opportunities, and network development for emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander photographers from Western Australia.

“This is the first time I will have my photos in a solo exhibition in Perth and I’m nervous but I’m also excited,” said Exposure Participant, Maria Marltadj. “It has been a great journey and sometimes hard because my work is a bit emotional so it’s difficult to explain to a big audience.”

With a shared vision, resources, and networks, PCP partnered with Kimberley-focused organisation, Camera Story (CS) to deliver Exposure 3.0.

Exposure 3.0 also welcomed mentors from overseas and Australia-wide, allowing the participants to broaden their network and develop a solid body of work.

Exposure: New Voices in Australian Photography
Perth Centre for Photography – King Street Arts Centre, 357-365 Murray Street, Perth
Exhibition: 10 March – 13 May 2023
Free admission

For more information, visit: www.pcp.org.au for details.

Image: Mary-Lou Orliyarli Divilli