Introducing... Footscray Community Arts Centre


Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) was founded in 1974 and has been a champion for community-led creative expression through an artistic program that is diverse, contemporary and ambitious. We spoke with Martin Paten Artistic Director & CEO, about their upcoming program and the importance of context in relation to photography.

Why is photography as a medium important for the Footscray Community Arts Centre?

FCAC is a community-led contemporary arts centre. As an artist-driven space, our artists and communities express to us how they want to share their stories and through what medium. Our artists and audiences continue to be drawn to photography and photographs – it seems as much today as when the Arts Centre opened 44 years ago. FCAC also has exceptional spaces and a culturally safe environment to present the work of photographers.

Why is it important for the Footscray Community Arts Centre to participate in 2020?

Because of the unique context of our work and strong relationship with artists and communities, there is an opportunity to create an exhibition with a particular depth, perspective and approach to the themes and ideas of PHOTO2020. FCAC is also highly accessible for people with disabilities and is a stunning place in Melbourne to experience.

Why is it significant that PHOTO 2020 is taking place in Melbourne?

If we look at Melbourne’s history through photographic documentation, we continue to learn so much about our city, our culture and ourselves during that time. PHOTO2020 provides that moment to pause and reflect on Melbourne now, whilst imparting a future influence and legacy.

Why is the relationship between photography and truth important to investigate in the post-internet age?

The concept of truth has sparked the imagination of the two artists exhibiting at FCAC, who have collaboratively created work in both the pre and post-internet age. In the short time since they have met, they have drawn inspiration from each other and gained an understanding of each others practice and histories. I see this as an important, and wonderful, start to their ‘artistic investigation’.

What can we expect from the Footscray Community Arts Centre during PHOTO 2020?

A gift – by two very generous and respected female photographers.

With over 20 years experience in arts management, Martin Paten has held diverse roles in the arts in Victoria, including managing the delivery of Melbourne’s Public Art and Laneway Commissions, Melbourne Conversations, City Festivals and Art and Heritage Collection. From 2008-2017 he was the director of the Castlemaine State Festival before becoming the director and CEO of Footscray Community Arts Centre.

Founding Partners
  • Bowness Family Foundation
  • Naomi Milgrom Foundation
Major Government Partners
  • City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program
  • Creative Victoria
Major Partners
  • Maddocks

PHOTO Australia respectfully acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands upon which we work and live, and the rich and diverse Indigenous cultures across what is now called Australia. For over 60,000 years, Indigenous arts and culture have thrived on this sacred land, and we honour Elders and cultural leaders past and present. This was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.

01–24 March