Melbourne event celebrates female photographers

The Loud and Luminous project, a free conference celebrating women in photography, will run in Melbourne on March 8, with a powerful scheduled speaker program and exhibition showing works by 56 female photographers.
The conference – consisting of speakers presentations, panel discussions, and artist talks – will be held at Cretan House in East Brunswick. and runs in conjunction with International Women’s Day.

Speakers include:
Lisa Saad, award-winning commercial photographer;
Esther Anatolitis, executive director National Association of Visual Artists;
Associate professor Wayne Quilliam, NAIDOC Artist of the Year and Walkely Award recipient, will discuss his indigenous Australian women’s rights project;
Gerry Orkin, co-founder of contemporary art space, PhotoAccess; joining street photographer Julia Coddington;
Dr Ella Dreyfus, head of Public Programs at National Art School, Sydney;
David Dare Parker and Martine Perret, speaking via a video message
Geoff Blackwell, Ruth Hobday & Kieran Scott; publishers of the book and project 200 WOMEN, via video message
Lisa Kurtz, founder Verge Art Collective; and Kym Griffiths, organiser of Refocus Retreats, a conference for women photographers;
Sandy Edwards, curator and photographer;
Alison Stieven-Tyler, journalist specialising in photojournalism and social documentary.

‘The goals of the project are to celebrate and empower women, particularly in the arts and through photography,’ the event description reads. ‘Whilst this is an Australian initiative, we believe this project extends internationally in its message and appeal on gender equality and empowerment.

‘This is an inclusive discussion that celebrates diversity, and promotes cultural and policy change. We believe it is essential for the women of today, to tell the stories that shape the future. We want to inspire all women to chase their dreams, make a better world, celebrate themselves and each other. We want to encourage a positive and meaningful dialogue on equality, and how to facilitate these goals.’

The photo industry has changed dramatically in the last few decades, which has included a cultural shift that has brought far more female practitioners into the profession.

Event organisers, Hilary Wardhaugh and Mel Anderson, invite everyone to come along. Loud and Luminous isn’t exclusively for women, and the speakers come from a range of backgrounds and will cover many photo-related topics.

The symposium will run from 9am to 9pm

It’s free, but attendees must register for a ticket.

Click here for more info and tickets.

Loud and Luminous exhibition
The exhibition will run from February 28 until March 13, at the Brunswick Street Gallery.

Nyapala. Photo: Martine Perret.

An opening event will be hosted on Friday, March 2 from 6pm – 9pm.

The exhibition features 56 emerging and influential Australian women photographers, spanning the ages of nine to 90.

Photographers were asked to submit an image that references a women’s symbol.

‘The brief was completely open to interpretation. Artists have used the figure of a woman literally, referenced it by shape, or to make a statement. Each artists’ interpretation is quite unique and as a collective we feel there is a strong message revealed.

‘We believe this is a timely project and will educate and inspire many women of all ages, backgrounds and disciplines by recognising the extensive cultural contribution women photographic artists make. It aims to empower the girls and women of today and tomorrow to chase in their dreams.’

A handful of the 56 featured photographers include: Polixeni Papapetrou, Lori Cicchini, Lisa Saad, Natalie Grono, Mel Anderson, Julie Sundberg, Megan Lewis, Megan Rizzo, Martine Perret, Jacqui Dean, Victoria Cooper, Helga Leunig, Robyn Campbell, Kelly Tunney, Danielle Minnett, Ruby Spowart, Victoria Reid, Isabella Doherty, Fiona Wolf, Nadine Shaw, Kym Griffiths, and Catherine Forge.

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