Dr Kelly Hussey-Smith is a creative researcher focused on photography as a social practice, the politics of representation, and art education. She is a Lecturer in Photography in the RMIT School of Art.
Dr Hussey-Smith is an artist, researcher, and educator with a background in documentary practice and theory, collaboration, art and trauma, social practices, and art and education. She co-leads the Social Practice and Art and Education themes of the Contemporary Art and Social Transformation Research Group (CAST) in the RMIT School of Art.
With a background in documentary photography theory and practice, her research also aligns with the fields of socially engaged art, visual culture, pedagogy, and political theory. Through her co-leadership of the Social Practice and Art and Education CAST research groups, Dr Hussey-Smith regularly collaborates with community and industry and across disciplines to develop research projects that connect the university to local issues and contexts through creative practice. She is currently working on a number of cross-disciplinary research projects in the areas of public pedagogy, community-oriented education, and the labour of care. In 2018 she developed The Photo Lab—a community-oriented education project in Collingwood where undergraduate photography students co-create projects with community partners. Instead of treating collaboration and ethics as peripheral to photography education, The Photo Lab centers these concepts through a community-oriented and relational approach that foregrounds the relational and ethical conditions of collaborative work.
She has published numerous articles in refereed and non-refereed publications and exhibited and published her documentary work nationally and internationally. Most recently she has written several book chapters about the challenges of teaching collaboration and ethics in tertiary institutions, and community-led approaches to collaboration in art education.
Dr Hussey-Smith teaches across studio and theory courses with a focus on praxis. She is interested in the way that documentary and other social practices contribute to civil dialogue and partnerships. She has written and co-developed a number of undergraduate and honours courses including Expanded Documentary, Picturing Power, Forms for Encounter and Exchange (with Dr Marnie Badham), Doing Visual Politics (with Alan Hill), and Research in Creative Practice (Honours theory course). She has spent a number of years developing pedagogical approaches for community-oriented art education projects that center community knowledge/s and causes. In 2019 she was awarded an Innovative Teaching Award from The Australian Council of Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) for her work with The Photo Lab and her involvement in the Doing Visual Politics global intensive and network.
Community and Industry Engagement
Dr Hussey-Smith regularly works with community-led initiatives, advocacy organisations, and industry partners on interdisciplinary research and education projects. Recent collaborators include: The Nepal Picture Library, Care Leaves Australasia Network, Lotus Place, Concentric Curriculum (Bus Projects), Good Cycles, The Centre for Contemporary Photography, Collingwood College, the National Gallery of Victoria, and The Social Studio.
- Hussey-Smith, K. (2021). The Lost Objects In: Out of the darkness: A survivors journey Ballarat, Victoria
- Kakshapati, N.,Hussey-Smith, K. (2019). An Archival Dialogue: the Nepal Picture Library’s Feminist Memory Project In: Photography and Culture, 12, 383 - 391
- Dyson, C.,Hussey-Smith, K. (2019). WITH ME. In: Abbotsford Convent Open Spaces Festival 2019 Melbourne, Australia
- Hussey-Smith, K.,Hill, A. (2016). Aura (part 1) In: Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award Gold Coast, Australia
- Hussey-Smith, K.,Hill, A. (2015). Fibro Coast In: Cast by the Sun, Pingyao Photogaphy Festival, Josephine Ulrick Award, Moreton Bay Art Award, Photo LA Various
- Hill, A.,Hussey-Smith, K. (2014). All but three Christmases In: Fibro Coast (Gold Coast) Gold Coast, Australia
- Hussey-Smith, K. (2014). Apart & A Part: A Need For Narrative In: Photography and Fictions: Locating Dynamics of Practice, Queensland Centre for Photography, Brisbane, Australia
- Hill, A.,Hussey-Smith, K. (2013). The Central Queensland Project In: The Central Queensland Project Brisbane, Australia
5 PhD Current Supervisions
- ALONE TOGETHER - Interactive Sound Installation (administered by Swinburne University). Funded by: Stonnington City Council - Competitive from (2018 to 2019)