20 September – 20 October 2012
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery
Education Kit
This education kit has been comprised for the exhibition Postcards
from the Rim, exhibited at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery 20
September – 20 October 2012. Compiled by Michelle Stuart,
Education Officer Goulburn Regional Art Gallery.
The education kit is an online resource that can be used by students
on their own laptops or projected onto a screen for class viewing. The
internet is required for all links and video connections.
Are hyperlinks to websites related to the topic – click on
icon to link to website
Underlined words are also hyperlinks
Postcards From The Rim
Today millions of people are embracing photography through the proliferation of
smartphones: Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, Twitpic, and other instant ways of recording
images, and using it most recently (Egypt and Syria) as tools for change, especially in
war zones. We are all familiar with how quickly images of happening events are beamed
into our immediate world, almost the second they happen. Digital technology and the
proliferation of photography’s accessibility through social media has only heightened the
role of Photography as an Art form. One of the outcomes of this rapidly developing
technology is that the work achieved with the more traditional film and Single Lens Reflex
camera is being given the artistic recognition it has been longing for. Contrary to
expectations, the proliferation of digital media and video technology has only cemented
the place of quality contemporary art photography.
Postcards from the Rim brings together the works of six award-winning contemporary
and cutting edge Australian photographers in a rare insiders’ view into our nearest
neighbours. - Jane Cush, Director, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery
1826 – First permanent image - French inventor Joseph Nicephore Niece
uses a camera obscura to produce what he calls a heliograph (sun drawing)
1839 - Louis Daguerre patents the daguerreotype.
1839 – John Herschel demonstrates hyposulfite of soda as a fixer, and
makes the first glass negative.
1850 – first photograph printed on paper
1861 – first colour photograph
1877 – first action photographs by English photographer Eadweard
MuyBridge – the beginnings of cinematography
How to make a Daguerreotype
First motion picture horse
1888 – First Kodak camera released under “You press the button we do
the rest”
1900 – Kodak Box Brownie released
1931 – Electric flash invented and patented
1936 kodak releases Kodachrome 35mm film – that became widely used
and commercially successful film
1946 – first photograph taken from space
History of Photography
1947 – first Polaroid camera invented by Edwin H. Land.
1963 Polaroid introduces polacolor – first instant camera film that produces
colour photos
1975 – first digital camera invented by Steven Sasson
1990 – Adobe photoshop released
1991 – first commercial digital camera released
1992 – web standards for photographs developed for viewing images over
the internet.
2000 – first camera phone released by Sharp
Google Art Project
2003 – myspace – social and photo sharing online
2004 – Face book social and photo sharing online
2005 – Flickr – photo sharing
2011- Google Art Project
Milestones in Photography (National Geographic)
Documentary photography
Documentary photography refers to a popular form of
photography used to chronicle significant and historical events.
The photographer attempts to produce truthful, objective, and
usually candid photography of a particular subject, most often
pictures of people. These photographs are often used as
historical documentation or evidence of a particular situation or
Documentary photography (
“Photojournalism is an area of photography dedicated to taking
accurate shots of current events. The basic mission of a
photojournalist is to take pictures to accompany a news story.” 2
Photojournalism is primarily a practical form of photography, especially
given the importance of maintaining the integrity of the scene.
However, the field of photojournalism may also be considered to be an
art form in its own right. Scene composition, choices of angles and
lens choices all determine the impact and power of the resulting
Photojournalism (
Black and White Photography
There has been a recent revival in photographers taking black
and white photographs. Before the invention of colour film,
black and white photographs were the only choice for
photographers. Today, black and white photography allows the
photographer to create atmosphere, focus only on particular
areas of importance. It all depends on the subject and what the
photographer wishes to express. Photojournalists often use
black and white photography. 4
Black and white photography (
Papuan boy with pearl-lugger headress, used in kastom dances remembering the pearling days of the early 20th century. PNG 2006 ©
Copyright Ben Bohane /
Artist Statement
Since 1994 I have journeyed through the Black Islands of Melanesia and other
parts of the Pacific, documenting kastom, cults and conflict. Sometimes this
has meant covering Australia's secret wars and being on the other side of my
own government. It remains the most under-reported region of the world but not
for any lack of rich stories to tell. Unfortunately Australia's mainstream media
largely ignore our immediate region despite the rest of the world expecting us to
do so comprehensively. This is a region that can only be understood when we
take off our secular goggles and immerse in the spirit world of these beautiful
and strange islands, a region that has been described as "the most complex
religious panorama on earth". As an Australian (resident in Vanuatu) I consider
myself a Pacific islander too - it is a way of seeing and connecting - and I am
troubled by the rather grandiose notion that Australia is a continent, rather than
just a large Pacific island. This has blinded Australians to the fact that we are
forever connected to the rest of the Pacific by the blood and songlines of our
own indigenous Australians and the historical, military and colonial legacy of
Australia's involvement with its nearest neighbours. As we enter the Pacific
Century, it is time for Australia to find a new Pacific Dreaming, engage with its
island neighbours more deeply and at last understand its place in the world.
The Black Islands - Spirit and War in Melanesia, is a multimedia show by photojournalist Ben Bohane with
music by David Bridie and Not Drowning Waving. Takes you on a journey through kastom, cult and cargo
cult movements across Melanesia, from East Timor to West Papua, PNG, Bougainville, Solomon Islands,
Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia as well as black Australia.
8 Mile Settlement, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Silver Gelatin Print
30.5 x 40.6 cm
Artist Statement
I have been visiting Port Moresby since 2005 when I was first
invited there by a close friend. Since then I have returned to
PNG numerous time and I now have many brothers and sisters
there. The photographs I make in Port Moresby come from
what I see and experience, really nothing more.
Kips Kaboni Gang
Port Moresby. January 2004
Artist statement
Papua New Guinea. A land of eight hundred tribes and languages. A land where security is the country’s
biggest growth industry. A land that has long been represented as a risky place to holiday and do business.
Port Moresby is annually ranked in the top five worst places to live in by the Economist’s survey of 130 of the
world’s capital cities, yet people continue to build and live their lives in this community of extremes. The city
is made up of settlements, which are large sprawling urban shantytowns where most of the people of Port
Moresby live.
I infiltrated a raskol (Tok Pisin for criminal) group in an attempt to document the individuals behind the
facelessness of gang warfare. My Raskol series presents formal portraits of the ‘Kips Kaboni’ or ‘Scar
Devils’, Papua New Guinea’s oldest established gang that operate in the Kaugere settlement. By building
trust over several visits, I was able to set-up a makeshift studio inside the gang's safe-house which to
photograph my subjects - mostly young, unemployed adults and teenagers - who orchestrate raids, carjackings and robberies as a means of survival. Raskols focuses on Papua New Guinean youth in crisis men that have turned to crime, violence and anarchy in a bid to protect the future of themselves and their
My project aims to capture the changing face and the powerful impact of globalization on the fabric of this
traditional Melanesian society. From the recasting of tribal society into an urban proletariat and the effects of
violence and lawlessness in Port Moresby, I am witnessing the cultural erosion of an ancient people. I want
to exploit photography's power to move, motivate, and to make change. With simple and honest
representations of the raskols, their culture and identity, I offer a window into a unique yet fractured
community, which may also be seen as a warning for other, seemingly more 'secure' cultures.
Profile of Australian photographer Stephen Dupont, who has travelled many times to war-torn Afghanistan
to document life.
Fishing from cargo ship. Central Bougainville
silver gelatin
Artist Statement
David Hempenstall (b.1979) finished photographing the exhumation of mass graves in Iraq in early 2007 and a
few months later began making pictures in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. His work to date is made
within the post-conflict/pre-referendum period in Bougainville’s recent history.
He is the third generation of his family to live and work in Bougainville (all under dramatically different
circumstances). His work quietly references the geographic sites of shared experience and their importance
while more immediately exploring the photographer’s own wanderings and growing personal relationships
through the region.
As the Autonomous Region of Bougainville rises from the ashes of a lengthy and crippling civil conflict the
sustained influence of lengthy colonial exploitation, historical conflict and ongoing ethnic and domestic tensions
are never far from sight or consideration. And yet to solely frame Bougainville through the label of a ‘postconflict state’ is to ignore its complex and exciting present and future; the strength and continuing use of
language, custom and traditions, the resilience of the population and the possibilities and opportunities of
independence and the creation of a significant new nation within the South Pacific.
A Boogieville Swing is a small selection of prints from the larger body of work that David is currently engaged
with. In an awkward way this particular edit of pictures is shaped and governed by the photographic device
employed. At times Hempenstall uses a small rotational panoramic camera that swings its lens across a very
wide field of view. It demands a certain degree of acceptance as the photographer steps back from control and
allows the near-agricultural mechanical process underway to reach completion. Hempenstall began using it
after a few years spent working in Bougainville in response to the often tight confines of the jungle and town
settings and his impulse to be standing surrounded by the people and things he wanted to photograph. He has
reached out and plucked a number of these swing pictures from within the piles of negatives and brought them
together. Briefly.
Gary Lee
Tanu, 33, 2011
adonis pacifica series 2012
Hahnemuhle paper
45 x 33.75cm
Artist Statement
‘adonis pacifica’ is a series of 17 portraits of Pacific Islander men, taken in a
range of locations (namely Rarotonga, Cook Islands, Auckland, Cairns and
Melbourne) in 2010/11. The series continues my interest in male portraiture
which intersects notions of beauty, masculinity, ethnicity and, not least,
individuality, and relates to my ongoing series (since 1993) ‘Nice Coloured
As an Aboriginal (Larrakia) photographer, I feel a strong affinity with Pacific
Islander people. ‘adonis pacifica’ represents a largely street photographic
practice, aiming to celebrate Pacific Islander beauty and presence. ‘adonis
pacifica’ also pays homage to real-life, everyday encounter and the direct
individual gaze in an age of increasingly virtual connectivity.
Indigenous Australian photographer, Gary Lee's first international solo exhibition presented by Fresh
Gallery Otara as a core event in the 2011 South Auckland Pacific Arts Summit. Fresh Gallery Otara is a
community gallery and arts facility of Auckland Council, situated in the Otara Town Centre, South
Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand. GORGEOUSNESS (13 May - 25 June 2011)
Jon Lewis
Lahane, Dili
Silver Gelatin Photograph, 80 x 100 cm
Retratu Timor Lorasae Photographs from East Timor 2000 – 2001
Artist Statement
RETRATU TIMOR LOROSAE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM EAST TIMOR 2000-2001 - Photographs for me are always the unexpected.
This is a great joy.
After years of making photographs, the technical aspects are pretty much under control. It’s the “process” of making photographs that I
seem to have little control over. I just work hard, never do I allow myself to think I have done something good. I’m too involved with what
is happening, and in the case of people, too involved with the people. What is important to me is how I relate, and I am very aware of
how I’m accepted in any give situation. There must be respect for the people one photographs, and courtesy.
I had made photographs of East Timorese in Darwin in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I never thought the East Timorese would gain
independence from the occupying Indonesian military. I was very aware of the situation there, had attended (and photographed) rallies
and was well read. When the East Timorese voted for independence in 1999, I, like so many people, was overwhelmed with the
emotions of those violent times. For me the East Timorese showed a courage like no other people. They knew a vote for freedom was to
risk their very lives. It was an extraordinary act of bravery on a national level.
I arrived in East Timor at the end of 1999, and travelled the length and breadth of that ½ island as best as the times allowed. It was
intriguing how the East Timorese responded to my photographing. For 24 years they had been treated with utter contempt by the only
foreigners they knew, the Indonesian military. Now there was someone interested in them as people, who like us all, have our dreams,
and search for happiness and contentment. Photographing the East Timorese at that particular time was akin to acknowledging them
after all those years. Acknowledging them as human, with all their human sorrows, frailties, and beauty.
Australia as a nation grew up a bit that year and (finally) fulfilled the promise of the 2nd World War veterans, that the East Timorese
would not be forgotten. For me the East Timorese story is a very “Australian” story. It’s our future, to the north, and the countries and
peoples of our region. It hints at the maturity of the nation that Australia could be.
Finally it was an immense privileged to document these first few years of an emerging nation. To share the stories and experiences of a
remarkable people. I learnt much from other foreigners and the East Timorese alike. I shared hard and good times throughout. It has
taken me two years. What you see in this small selection is the result. Viva Timor Lorosae!
Photographs show only what is in the frame. Select a work from the exhibition and describe
what you think is happening outside the frame.
Look at the images in the education kit or exhibition, do you think the artist took the
photograph spontaneously or do you think it was staged? Why?
All photographers, excluding Gary Lee, have produced black and white photographs, why
do you think the photographers chose to represent their subjects this way?
Compare and contrast the work of Gary Lee with Sean Davey, what are the similarities and
Select a work from the exhibition, explain how it makes you feel.
Look at each of the focus works, do you think the people in the photographs knew that they
were being photographed? Explain.
Look at Stephen Dupont’s work, how important do you think tone is in this work? What
feelings do tone evoke?
Select a focus work, analyse it in terms of the elements and principles of art.
Photography is a constantly evolving medium, research a year from the timeline above
what important innovations occurred during this time?
Look at Ben Bohane’s work, explain this work in terms of the cultural frame.
PNG Masks
Postcards From The Rim also incorporates a selection of masks from a private collection.
The masks are from the Papua New Guinea region.
Masks hold various meanings, some are tree spirits, represent myth or ancestors,
sometimes ghosts. Masks are worn during ceremonies, for significant times of the year or
funerary customs.
Masks are made from a range of materials including feathers, shells, horns, grasses, wood,
clay and coral.
The Papuan peoples probably came to PNG over 50,000 years ago after crossing the
Wallace line over water and are known to have sailed as far as the Solomons 30,000 years
ago (they were the earliest sailors) and they are one of the first people in the world to
discover agriculture. They are known to have been the first to cultivate bananas, sugar
cane and the first root vegetable, taro. They are suspected to have been the first to develop
many other tropical plants.
Australian Museum – Masks from Melanesia
Mask Activity
This mask was made by Iatmul speakers of the Sepik. Iatmul is
one of over 800 languages spoken in PNG and one of the most
ancient Papuan languages.
Primary School
-Research masks from Papua New Guinea. Choose a
favourite mask and create a drawing of the mask, highlighting
the various materials that have been used.
- Create a mask from natural materials, what meanings would
your mask have?
High School
-Describe how masks have influenced artists such as Pablo
Picasso. What references to masks are found in his work Les
Demoiselles d'Avignon.
- Select a mask from the hyperlink on the previous page,
create an artwork that refers to the mask
Box Brownie – the name of a long- running and popular series of simple and inexpensive cameras made
by Eastman Kodak.
Camera Obscura - a darkened box with a convex lens or aperture for projecting the image of an external
object onto a screen inside, a forerunner to the modern camera.
Composition – the nature of something's ingredients, the way in which a whole or mixture is made up.
Contemporary – belonging to or occurring in the present.
Cinematography- the art of photography and camera work in in film-making
Daguerreotype – a photograph taken by early photographic process employing an iodine-sensitised
slivered plate and mercury vapour.
Fixer – a chemical used to make an image stable to light
Heliograph- a type of early photographic engraving made using a sensitised silver plate and a asphalt or
bitumen varnish
Kastom – a Pijin word used to refer to traditional culture, including religion, economics, art and magic in
Proliferation - rapid increase in the amount or number of something.
Songlines - also called Dreaming tracks by Indigenous Australians within the animist indigenous belief
system, are paths across the land, which mark the route followed by localised 'creator-beings' during the
Dreaming. The paths of the songlines are recorded in traditional songs, stories, dance, and painting.
Wallace Line - (or Wallace's Line) is an imaginary line drawn in 1859 separating the ecozones of Asia and
Wallacea, a transitional zone between Asia and Australia. West of the line are found organisms related to
Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin is present.
References / Websites
1. Documentary Photography, online at
2. Photojournalism, online at
3. ibid
4. Black and White Photography, online at
You Tube:
Ben Bohane -
Stephen Dupont -
Sean Davey -
David Hempenstall -
Gary Lee -
Jon Lewis -
Goulburn Regional Art Gallery is supported by the NSW Government through Arts NSW

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