State Library hosts Indigenous photo exhibition

Historic and contemporary images tell contrasting stories.

The work of three contemporary Aboriginal photographers is contrasted with stark historical images of First Nations people in a new State Library of Queensland exhibition.
Viewpoints: Contemporary Aboriginal photography explores the experiences of Indigenous communities across Queensland from two very different perspectives.
The contemporary photographs taken by Michael Aird, Jo-Anne Driessens and Naomi Hobson are markedly different from the historical photos taken by non-Indigenous photographers that are held in cultural institutions around the world.
Sombre historical images of Aboriginal people are contrasted with contemporary photos of places and spaces, community leaders and identities, joyful children, pivotal events, and everyday moments.
Curator Georgia Walsh said the contemporary photographs reflected a new approach to photography in Indigenous communities.
“These contemporary images give voice and agency to Aboriginal people,” Ms Walsh said.
“They show the diverse experiences and vitality of proud First Nations people through a respectful lens.” 
Minister for the Arts Leeanne Enoch said Viewpoints was a powerful exhibition.

“Naomi Hobson, Michael Aird and Jo-Anne Driessens present images with a meaningful focus on the representation of Aboriginal people in contemporary Australian society,” Ms Enoch said.
“The exhibition elevates First Nations perspectives and interpretations, engages in storytelling and acknowledges the diverse customs, traditions, and our shared history.”
State Librarian and CEO Vicki McDonald said the State Library was honoured to host the exhibition.
“The Viewpoints exhibition is part of our commitment to First Nations truth-telling and is an opportunity for all Queenslanders to reflect on the past while embracing an exciting inclusive future,” Ms McDonald said.
“At the heart of their work is a desire to involve Aboriginal people in the creation and custodianship of contemporary stories for future generations.”

Viewpoints: Contemporary Aboriginal photography exhibition will run until 13 February 2022 from 10am-5pm daily in the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery at the State Library of Queensland. Entry is free. 

Photo: Daley's bike by Naomi Hobson.