Sunday, May 27, 2012

Age of Aquarius: the Photography of Paul Cox

I visited this travelling exhibition of photographs from Monash Gallery of Art at Whitehorse Art Space, Box Hill Town Hall.

The White Horse at Whitehorse Art Space
© Barbara Oehring 2012

On Saturday 21 April 2012 Paul Cox discussed his work with the MGA curator Stephen Zagala.

Paul Cox and Stephen Zagala
© Barbara Oehring 2012

Paul Cox is best known as an internationally acclaimed filmmaker.
Age of Aquarius: the Photography of Paul Cox celebrates his photography. Cox started out as a photographer in the 1960s and taught photography at Prahran College during the early 1970s where his students included Carol Jerrems.

Paul Cox studying his 1972 image "The Earth is warm (Queensland)"
and pondering its title
© Barbara Oehring 2012

Paul Cox told the audience that he dismissed and gave up photography to make films.

Since his illness in 2009 Cox took up and embraced photography again. He also wrote a book
Paul Cox Tales from the Cancer Ward about his journey from the start of his ill health to
receiving a liver transplant and beyond.

A signature trait of Cox's work is a deep humanism which is already apparent in his early
photographs taken throughout Asia and the Pacific in the 1960s.

During his floor talk Paul Cox met up with former fellow Prahran College lecturer Derrick
Lee and two of their students John (Wynn) Tweg and Graeme Horner.

Derrick Lee, photography lecturer Prahran College 1969- 1993 (VCA)
John (Wynn) Tweg, Paul Cox and Graeme Horner
© Barbara Oehring 2012

Age of Aquarius: the photography of Paul Cox, Whitehorse Art Space, Box Hill Town Hall
19 April - 26 May 2012

Sunday, May 13, 2012


COLD EELS AND DISTANT THOUGHTS is an exhibition at Monash Gallery of Art by eight Aboriginal male photographers on Aboriginal men.

On Saturday 14 April 2012 I attended the artist and curator talk which led to the opening of the exhibition by Gary Foley, Aboriginal Gumbaynggir activist, academic, writer and actor.

Welcome to country was performed by Wurundjeri Elder Colin Hunter jr.

Uncle Colin Hunter
© Barbara Oehring 2012

The exhibition includes work by Michael Aird, Mervyn Bishop, Adam Hill, Gary Lee, Ricky Maynard, Peter McKenzie, Michael Riley and Jason Wing. It explores many of the stereotypes associated with Aboriginal masculinity from a range of perspectives, including documentary and conceptual practice.

Legendary photographer Mervyn Bishop with his photograph of prime minister Gough Whitlam pouring sand through the hands of Aboriginal Gurindji elder Vincent Lingiari. Bishop's photograph symbolised the return of land to its traditional owners. It became one of the defining images of the 1970s.

Mervyn Bishop
© Barbara Oehring 2012
Jason Wing is one of the younger generation artists included in the exhibition. Here he is with his 'An Australian government initiative self-portrait'

Jason Wing
© Barbara Oehring 2012

Cold eels and distant thoughts is curated by Indigenous curator and writer Djon Mundine OAM. "The central intention of the exhibition is to see Aboriginal men as just normal males with varying attributes, attitudes, fears, and hopes and dreams for a better future."

The catalogue informs that the title for the exhibition comes from a statement by Afro-American boxer Jack Johnson (1878-1946). When asked why white women were attracted to black men, Johnson amusingly and cryptically replied: 'We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts'.

The exhibition opening was a joyous event with the photographers happily snapping each other. They asked me to do this group shot.

Michael Aird, Jason Wing, Djon Mundine, Adam Hill, Mervyn Bishop, Gary Foley
and friend Margaret
© Barbara Oehring 2012

Destiny Deacon, photography, video, installation & performance artist attended the opening of Cold eels and distant thoughts.

Destiny Deacon
© Barbara Oehring 2012
Cold eels and distant thoughts at Monash Gallery of Art until 3 June 2012.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Year in Ferntree Gully - Review by Bob Young

BirdLife Photography
The National Photography Special Interest Group of BirdLife Australia
published a review by Bob Young of my exhibition A Year in Ferntree Gully in the April 2012 newsletter.

Newsletter Editor Rob Parker writes From the Editor's Desk:
"While I was away, I missed the opportunity to attend the opening of an exhibition of photographs 'A Year in Ferntree Gully', by one of our members, Barbara Oehring. I'm intending to visit this exhibition at the Ferntree Gully Library, before it closes on 19th May. Our ex-president Bob Young did attend the opening, and has written a short review of the exhibition for this newsletter."

Here is a link to the review:

The complete BirdLife Photography newsletter can be downloaded from the following website: (6.14MB).