press release

During 1988, with the financial assistance of the Australian Bicentennial Authority, the Galley commissioned six photographers to produce a portfolio on the theme of community life in Queensland entitled 'Journeys north'. Last exhibited January 1988 it is an ideal time to re-examine this portfolio which highlights how Queensland has changed in the intervening 28 years since the commission.

The project was particularly supportive of Queensland photography as all of the photographers involved had been long term residents of Queensland or had strong associations with the state. The photographers involved – Graham Burstow, Lin Martin, Robert Mercer, Glen O'Malley, Charles Page and Max Pam – each travelled to different regions of Queensland where, over a period of about eighteen months, they documented through their work, the lifestyles, attitudes and values of Queensland society in the late 1980s.

Although overall these images present a coherent record of both the natural and social features of the state during this period, significant individuality is evident within and between each artist's contribution as they each addressed the project's theme in a way which related to their earlier work and their personal interests. As a result many of these images question attitudes which have long been an accepted part of Australian community life, while others reaffirm the unique difference and richness of the Australian lifestyle, land and environment.