Jane Brown, Cameron Clarke, Zoe Croggon, Therese Keogh, Phuong Ngo, Meredith Turnbull and Wolfgang Sievers
The Sievers Project
Six early career artists, working in photography through to installation, have responded in diverse ways to renowned Australian photographer Wolfgang Sievers (1913–2007), icon of 20th century Australian photography.
Sievers' commercial practice exemplifies mid-century positivism and modernity, and the mythmaking role of photography. As a German Jewish immigrant, he had a strong interest in refugees and human rights issues as well as an expressed commitment to representing the dignity of labour. The Sievers Project presents key historical works as a context for engaging the past through the present.
Photographers Jane Brown and Cameron Clarke have followed in his footsteps to industrial clients Sievers photographed and valorised, finding sites that are visually dynamic within industries now in decline.
Through her intrepid, research-based practice, Therese Keogh has developed a materially-rich work from the starting point of a single, anomalous photograph Sievers took at the Roman Forum in 1953. Meredith Turnbull draws on his connections with Melbourne's design community in the 1950s and 60s, including Gerard Herbst and Frederick Romberg.
In Sievers' photographs of industrial sewing machines and their machinists, Phuong Ngo finds
shared stories of young Vietnamese refugees and the journeys taken by their mothers. Zoë Croggon positions fragments of Sievers' iconic architectural photographs against found photographs of the human body in movement.
Curated by Naomi Cass and Kyla McFarlane, with project management by Phillippa Brumby.
To be opened by Julian Burnside AO QC, Australian barrister, human rights advocate and author.
A satellite of The Sievers Project will be exhibited at the Melbourne Art Fair, 13–17 August.
View The Sievers Project Public Programs
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government
the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
PUBLIC PROGRAM PARTNER
Images (left to right): Jane Brown The Paper Mill (former Amcor and APM site), Fairfield 2014, courtesy the artist; Wolfgang Sievers Sulphuric acid plant, Electrolytic Zinc, Risdon, Tasmania 1959, National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive.