Current Exhibitions

Dressing up: clothing and camera

23 November 2019 to 9 February 2020

As necessity or luxury, to integrate or rebel, in freedom or oppression, dress is the nexus of selfhood. Photography and dress are forever entwined; from its inception in the 1840s one of photography’s main objectives has been the making of portraits. Clothing has been imaged by photographers ever since. In documentary mode, photography provides a record of the ways we dress and how clothing has changed over time. As an instrument of empire photography was used for the purpose of recording the dress and appearance of Indigenous people. Since the early twentieth century the practice of fashion photographers has posed body and garment to create brands and promote lifestyle choices to sell us the clothes we wear.

This exhibition draws together photographs from the MGA collection that feature dress or clothing as a significant element in their making. Some of the photographers included have produced works with documentary intent. For many, a classification of their practice is not so clear cut. These artists photograph dress, clothing and the body to actively question appearances. They use photography as a tactic for testing the nature of consumer culture, challenging social norms or protesting histories of colonisation and discrimination. Shaping and shaped by the individual, our clothes can conceal, reveal and transform who we are. Like the photographs in this exhibition they are the bearers of memory, emotion and time.

Artists: Gordon Bennett, Polly Borland, Pat Brassington, Eric Bridgeman, Jeff Carter, Nanette Carter, Jack Cato, Zoë Croggon, Sharon Danzig, Rennie Ellis, Elizabeth Gertsakis, Christine Godden, Alfred Gregory, Craig Holmes, Tracey Moffatt, Derek O'Connor, Jill Orr, Deborah Paauwe, David Rosetzky, Damien Shen, Wesley Stacey, Christian Thompson, Lyndal Walker, Justene Williams, Anne Zahalka

Curator: Gareth Syvret

Current Exhibitions

  • Fashioning black identity: Africa and the African diaspora
  • Dressing up: clothing and camera
  • The Tucker portraits

Upcoming Exhibitions

  • Portrait of Monash: the ties that bind
  • Not standing still: new approaches in documentary photography

Past Exhibitions

Atrium Gallery

  • Ali MC | Nong shain maw: stonebreakers of the east Khasi highlands

Travelling Exhibitions

  • John Gollings: the history of the built world
  • The light fades but the gods remain | Bill Henson
  • Robyn Stacey: as still as life

Bowness Prize

  • William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize
  • William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize
  • William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize
  • 2015 Bowness Photography Prize
  • 2014 Bowness Photography Prize
  • 2013 Bowness Photography Prize
  • 2012 Bowness Photography Prize
  • William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize 2011
  • William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize 2010
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