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Time Machine: Sue Ford

12 May 2012 - 24 Jun 2012

Sue Ford (1943-2009) was one of Australia's most important photographers. The exhibition included 47 images showcasing some of her most iconic work.

Ford passed away in 2009. Before her death, she was working with Monash Gallery of Art on an exhibition of her work which would feature her final major project Self-portrait with camera (1960–2006).  This travelling exhibition  presented a compelling self-portrait of an artist. It underscored the central role the camera played in Ford’s life. The series included Polaroids, test prints, vintage prints and prints made posthumously from original negatives, and showcases Ford's important work, the place of photography in Australian feminism, and the self-portrait as a genre. Self-portrait with camera was shown alongside a survey of Ford’s black-and-white photographs from the 1960s and 70s and examples of her most compelling work, Time series (1960s–1970s).

The exhibition showcased a period when photography was charged with political and personal meaning. As photographic historian and contributor to the publication accompanying the exhibition Helen Ennis states: “Ford’s approach to art making has always been straightforward … She does not cultivate a mysterious artistic persona [since] … her art practice is purposeful; it is the outcome of her view of art as a political activity that is democratic, liberating and relevant to contemporary society.”

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Image: Sue Ford, Untitled 1974 (detail), from the series Self-portrait with camera 1960.

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