Australian Photography Collection comes to the Hawkesbury

More than 50 quintessential Australian photographs from some of Australia’s best known artists will be featured in a new exhibition opening at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor on Friday, 7 September, including classic works by the likes of Max Dupain and Olive Cotton through to contemporary work by Bill Henson and Petrina Hicks.

Hicks LambswoolTitled Contemporising the Modern - Photography from the Russell Mills Collection, the exhibition is on loan from the Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA), and is touring thanks to funding from the Russell Mills Foundation, a foundation set up by the late Russell Mills to encourage the arts and social justice in Australia.

Russell Mills began collecting photography in the 1990s, and, according to Gallery Director, Kath von Witt, Mr Mills was initially drawn to the work of Australian photographer Olive Cotton, who achieved long-overdue recognition for her photography during the mid-1980s. Captivated by Cotton’s imagery, the collector acquired four works, making her the most represented photographer in his collection.

Dupain SilosIn the years that followed, Mr Mills set about collecting major images by renowned Australian photographers, including Robert McFarlane’s Bea Nude (1978), Kerry Dundas’s Harbourside Life (1952), Roger Scott’s Queenscliff, Sydney (1975), and Wolfgang Sievers’ The Gears for the Mining Industry (1967). His collection also includes perhaps the most emblematic image of them all, Max Dupain’s Sunbaker (1937/1980s), which has become synonymous with the advent of modernism in Australian Photography.

Mills Foundation Chair and Mr Mills’ niece, Alexandra Mills said, “Collections reflect the lives and loves of those who build them”.

Olive Cotton“This exhibition records the evolution of one man's passionate engagement with the beauty and power of photography.”

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett is delighted to see the photography exhibition come to the Hawkesbury.

“We are grateful to the Murray Art Museum Albury for sharing these wonderful photographs with the Hawkesbury Regional Gallery and all of our Gallery visitors,” the Mayor said.

“Thank you to both to Russell Mills and his Foundation for enabling them to be seen throughout regional Australia.”

Gallery curator, Diana Robson, will also give a talk about the exhibition on Wednesday, 12 September at 11am. While it is free, bookings are required for catering purposes at www.hawkesburygallery.eventbrite.com

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