Sarah Rhodes (Australia):
Home / On Country
“Home / On Country is a series of diptychs looking at how Indigenous Australians negotiate living in and identifying with two cultures. The formal portraits show Victorian Elders at home and on Country wearing their language group’s possum skin cloak, the same cloak they made to wear to the opening ceremony of the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. These images acknowledge the opening ceremony as a significant moment in the history of Aboriginal people, and celebrate the thirty six Victorian language groups who came together to show the world their culture. It also celebrates the last two original cloaks in Australian collections (in Museum Victoria), and the beginning of a revival of possum skin cloak making across the south-eastern states of Australia. Possum skin cloaks are an important part of Australia’s story and culture and these portraits give the Elders a voice.”
Sarah Rhodes is an art and social documentary photographer based in Sydney and Tasmania, who runs the multimedia studio The Visual Anthropologist. Sarah’s romantic fascination with ‘the artist’s life’ inspired the coffee table book The Artist’s Lunch (Murdoch Books, 2008) which offers a rare glimpse into the kitchens and studios of eighteen of Australia’s most celebrated artists. Portraits from this project were exhibited at the Iain Dawson Gallery, Paddington (2008), the Sydney Writers’ Festival (2009) and Head On Photo Festival (2010). An image from her series Play (2008-2012) was awarded Best Work at the New York Festival Photo Award in 2011 and was a finalist in the National Photographics Portrait Prize 2011 in Canberra. Her series of diptychs, Home / On Country (2011), has been collected by the National Library of Australia and the Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne and will be published in the Australian Geographic Society journal later this year. Her works is also held in the Margaret Hannah Olley Trust and Charles Blackman Trust.
Images © Sarah Rhodes.