Powerful documentary photography focuses our attention on the beauty of everyday life.
Viewfinder: photography from the 1970s to the present day takes a unique look at the journey of Australian documentary photography over the past five decades, from black and white images to the vibrant high definition images of today.
Drawing exclusively from the National Library of Australia’s extensive photography collection, the 125 images in this exhibition reveal a changing Australia.
Images of what were traditionally quintessential Australian figures – shearers, dancers, diggers, knitters, sports heroes and suntanned bodies on the beach – are present, but these figures and images are now part of a much bigger picture and much more inclusive, now with winged angels at Mardi Gras, migrant life and the joy of family living.
Viewfinder also focuses on the evolving nature of photography as a means of recording our lives and highlights significant technological advances and the growing diversity of styles, approaches and techniques used by photographers over the past five decades. .
Just as your photo albums, whether physical or digital, tell your story, documentary photographers capture images that help us understand a place and its people, and navigate our way through an uncertain world.
The exhibition opens on Friday September 16, 2022 and will run until Monday March 13, 2023, exclusively in Canberra. Admission is free, no reservation required.
Viewfinder: photography from the 1970s to the present day was curated by Matthew Jones.
Top image: Dave Tacon (born in 1976), Australian world pro skateboarding champion Renton Millar performs an aerial method over a halfpipe ramp, in front of a crowd of young spectators in Prahran, Victoria, April 8, 2009, nla.obj-137927722. Courtesy of Dave Tacon.