This winter, visitors to Kambri will have their day brightened by artworks from six iconic Australian photographers

Where I Stand is a stirring photographic exhibition that tells visual tales captured simply but powerfully in single frames. These 24 intensely personal works take viewers into realms of transformation, rebirth, identity, history, nature, connection and the Dreamtime, from artists Michael Cook, Dr. Judith Crispin, Sarah Ducker, Murray Fredericks, Barbara McGrady and Michael Jalaru Torres.

The works will be shown on Exhibition Avenue, a new outdoor public art space set along University Avenue, which launched on 27 July – an innovative initiative of Kambri at ANU, produced and curated by aMBUSH Gallery. It will feature a free year-round program of multidisciplinary exhibitions and activations, with an aim to showcase and support our world-class talent – both emerging and established – and provide an ever-changing ‘walk of art’ for staff, students, locals and visitors to Canberra alike.

In tumultuous times such as these, the artists serve as influential mentors, assisting us with our own reflection and reassessment in the face of difficult universal experiences. Though the current challenges may feel apocalyptic, their art speaks of radical change and is ultimately uplifting, connecting the audience to the strongest bonds of all – people, place and culture.

Where I Stand is curated in partnership with aMBUSH’s long time collaborator, the Head On Photo Festival, founded in Australia by Moshe Rosenzveig, OAM. Bill Dimas, co-director of aMBUSH Gallery says, “We joined forces with Head On Photo Festival not just because they’re the largest and most important photography festival in the world, but because we wanted to demonstrate the power of collaboration and how creative organisations can support each other. We’ve worked together with the artists to bring a carefully selected body of artwork, rich in storytelling and meaning at this critical time where our world is overwhelmed by a negative news cycle. Where I Stand transports you into a beautiful world of ancient wisdom, cultural renaissance and human connection.”

Where I Stand will be on display 24 hours a day (thanks to solar powered lights) until Saturday 31 October.

The artists involved are:

Michael Cook (QLD): an award-winning photographer who worked commercially in Australia and overseas for twenty-five years. In 2009, he began to make art photography, driven by an increasingly urgent desire to explore issues of identity. His photographic series are unique in their approach, evocatively recreating incidents that emerge from Australian colonial history.

Dr. Judith Crispin (ACT): a Canberra-based poet and visual artist, with a background in music. Her work includes themes of displacement and identity loss, a reflection on her own lost Aboriginal ancestry, but primarily it is centred on the concept of connection with Country. 

Sarah Ducker (NSW): Sarah has a creative life that’s evolved through a number of different media, from theatre direction to documentary filmmaking, before finding its most eloquent expression in photography. Regardless of the subject matter, Sarah’s work reflects the pure charisma of nature through a refined and sensitive eye. Every image is invested with the lyricism of the poetic in nature. 

Murray Fredericks (NSW): Murray studied politics and economics at Sydney University before traveling in the Middle East and in the Himalayas. Spending large amounts of time in these powerful locations provided the basis for his essentially self-taught photography. Some years into his exhibiting career he completed a Masters of Art and then his MFA. His work is derived from a perspective that views culture as something that cannot be wholly accounted for through social construct.

Barbara McGrady (QLD/NSW): a Gamilaroi/Gomeroi Murri Yinah (Woman) and a passionate advocate for telling the true stories of contemporary Aboriginal life, documenting her mob’s achievements, humanity and beauty through a unique lens. As both an observer and protagonist in the ongoing conflict between Aboriginal culture, spiritual connection to country and Australian colonial sensibilities, McGrady clearly defines the implications of this disconnect in her work. 

Michael Jalaru Torres (VIC): an Indigenous photographer and media professional inspired by the unique landscapes and people of the Kimberley region. His photography draws on his personal history and explores contemporary social and political issues facing Indigenous people. Much of his work involves conceptual and innovative portraiture and abstract landscape photography.