Talk: In conversation with Ashley Gilbertson

Image: Ashley GILBERTSON
(untitled) 2020 
pigment print
40.5 x 61 cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
© Ashley Gilbertson

Image: Ashley GILBERTSON (untitled) 2020 pigment print 40.5 x 61 cm National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne © Ashley Gilbertson


05 May 2022

Thursday, 10am (AEST)


The Ian Potter Centre, NGV Australia [i]
Fed Square, Melbourne
Daily, 10am – 5pm


Wheelchair access


Free, no bookings required

Looking back over the photographs that he made of New York in 2020 Australian photographer Ashley Gilbertson wrote, ‘The resulting photo essay is my requiem to the New York that we knew before the pandemic, but also a love letter to the resilient people who never gave up.’

One consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic was the shutting down of much of New York and the suspension of national and international travel. For Gilbertson, this enforced a shift in his focus had a profound impact on his life and work. Already a regular runner, his practice during 2020 involved daily distance running and using the camera in his phone to photograph the events unfolding around him as he ran through the streets of the city. Over the course of the year, he documented the trajectory of the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests, and the US presidential election, creating a visual diary of the unfolding events across the city.

Join Ashley Gilbertson to discuss his work in conversation with NGV Senior Curator of Photography Susan van Wyk.

The Ian Potter Centre: Level 2, NGV Australia, Fed Square

View on Map


  • Ashley Gilbertson (AU)

    Born 1978, Melbourne, Australia
    Lives and works New York, U.S.

    Ashley Gilbertson is an Australian photographer living in New York City, a member of the VII Photo Agency, and a founder of Shell Shock Pictures. Gilbertson’s early work focused on refugees around the world, an interest that in 2002, led him to Iraq. His work from that country, made largely on contract for The New York Times, earned critical acclaim from, among others, the Overseas Press Club which awarded Gilbertson the Robert Capa Gold Medal for his 2004 work in Falluja. Gilberton’s first book, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, released in 2007 to critical acclaim, went on to become a best seller. After Iraq, Gilbertson shifted his focus to the home front where he specialized in veterans issues, working on stories that drew attention to post traumatic stress disorder, suicide, and traumatic brain injuries. Gilbertson’s second book, Bedrooms Of The Fallen, a collection of photographs depicting the intact bedrooms of service members killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, was released in 2014. That work was published in The New York Times Magazine, and received a prestigious Ellie award.

  • Susan Van Wyk

    Susan van Wyk is the Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Victoria, and is a member of The Substation’s Committee of Management. Susan has previously also served on a number of advisory boards for the Bay Trail Public Artworks and the Arts Master Plan for the City of Hobsons Bay. She has served on the Exhibitions Committee at the Centre for Contemporary Photography, and the RMIT School of Art and the Photography Advisory Committees.

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