Photo 2022: Student highlights at Australia’s largest photography event

Photo 2022: Student highlights at Australia’s largest photography event

Photography from RMIT students was on display at Photo 2022, responding to the theme: Being Human.

Photo 2022 saw more than 120 artist and photographers display their works in 90 exhibitions across Melbourne from 29 April–22 May.

RMIT News spoke to some RMIT students who displayed their works at the International Festival of Photography.

Alice Duncan – History

Duncan’s work was exhibited at RMIT’s First Site Gallery in a group show, Dark Room Encounters, alongside Lesley Turnbull and Ciaran Begley.

Her work reflects her PhD research, focusing on the landscape of Lake Mungo, situated on the lands of the Barkindji, Mutthi Mutthi and Ngiyampaa people.

The discovery and removal of ancient human remains in the 1960s at Lake Mungo resulted in a tense and ongoing discussion between Traditional Custodians and scientists, inspiring Duncan’s work.

“I’m really interested in history and looking at the ways that histories – and our recollections of histories – affect our present and our future,” she said.

“More recently, I think society’s understanding of history is beginning to change.

“Especially in colonial countries like Australia, there are important conversations being had around the ways in which the Australian story has been told.”

Duncan is a PhD candidate in the School of Art and says her time at RMIT has helped inspire her work.

“The people and artists I’m fortunate to know and see regularly really inspire my practice,” she said.

“I find speaking with others and showcasing my work to be a challenging but rewarding process.”

news-photo2022-alice-1220x732 Photo: Alice Duncan, from the series Dark Room Encounters. Courtesy of the artist.

Karen Song – Female Monologues

Karen Song, a China-born and Melbourne-based photographer, has been honing her skill in portrait and fashion photography since 2017.

In this series Female Monologues, Song explores the concept of the female gaze and self-representation through black and white photography.

Karen’s work is inspired by feminist theory and gender study and aims to evoke female identity people to be empathetic, embracing, belonging, and nonjudgmental to their authentic self.

“Being Human is such an inclusive program that allows individuals to express the uniqueness and beauty of being an authentic self,” she said.

“Female Monologues aims to evoke individuals' empathy, belonging, and a deeper connection with their authentic selves and seek a new pathway to express feminism through photography practices.”

Song said her time at RMIT helped inspire her practice.

“RMIT is such a place that is always fulfilled with creativity, and it is a place that made me feel safe and can freely express who I am and who I want to be without the worry of being judged,” she said.

news-photo2022-karen-1220x732 Photo: Karen Song, from the series Female Monologues. Courtesy of the artist.

Ioanna Sakellaraki – Truth is in the Soil

Ioanna Sakellaraki’s Truth in the Soil investigates the capacity of images not only to document an underlying reality, but also to endlessly extend our perception.

Sakellaraki said her work mobilises the domains of time and space and how a personal experience of grief becomes a universal journey through memory and memory loss.

“My work acts as a visual representation of the gradual and irreversible loss of the departed in the mind of the living, and simultaneous reconstruction of memories,” she said.

“In the wake of witnessing loss globally within our cultures and civilizations, revisiting these images contributes to the recollection of tales of human struggle for meaning.”

Sakellaraki’s work was on display in the Parliament Precinct throughout the duration of Photo 2022.

news-photo2022-ioanna-1220x732 Photo: Ioanna Sakellaraki, from the series The Truth is in the Soil. Courtesy of the artist.

Story: Mark Moffat


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.