Ageing: The Ultimate Taboo

12 May 2022


12 May 2022

Thursday, 6-7pm (AEST)


ACMI [i]
Fed Square
Flinders St, Melbourne
Mon – Fri, 12pm – 5pm
Sat – Sun, 10am – 5pm




Wheelchair access, Accessible Toilets, Auslan interpretor, Closed Captions


Free, bookings required

Living in a society that places so much importance on youth, ageing is the ultimate taboo. In this discussion we look at the ways photographers are normalising ageing, and visualising the changing body with pride and positivity.

With exhibiting artists Ponch Hawkes, James Henry, and Jenny Lewis. Chaired by Ryan Jefferies, Creative Director, Science Gallery Melbourne.

Gandel Digital Future Lab ACMI, Fed Square.

  • Metro Tunnel Creative Program

  • Monash Gallery of Art

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  • Ponch Hawkes (AU)

    Born 1946, Melbourne, Australia
    Lives and works Melbourne, Australia

    Ponch Hawkes is a senior, critically acclaimed Australian artist. Now in her 70’s, Ponch’s career has been driven by the need to make an impact and drive change – politically, emotionally and artistically. The 500 STONG project brings together all these elements. Creating an exhibition that changes the lives of the courageous participants, educating younger women about body shaming and the joys of ageing sends ‘ripples of change’ throughout the community. This project is a culmination of 45 years of artistic exploration, that others have mostly not been interested in – older women’s bodies and health.

  • James Henry (AU)

    Born 1979, Sydney, Australia
    Lives and works Melbourne, Australia

    James Henry has been working as a photographer since the start of 2010. Starting out by working alongside his job as an event’s organiser and musician, he made the transition across to shooting events quite easily and had a lot of clients keen to work with him in his new field.

    James has since tried his hand at various disciplines from travel landscapes and cityscapes to fashion for his own personal projects. This has given him skills to take into the world or portrait photography for which he has been in demand across the state and across the country.

    Being a part of the Aboriginal community in Melbourne, James has been widely used with regular high profile clients and small businesses. This is due to his reputation for quality and punctuality, but also for his cultural sensitivity and familiarity in the community. Having worked across the country in Aboriginal urban, rural and remote communities this understanding and respect for culture extends far beyond his home of Melbourne.

  • Ryan Jefferies (AU)

    Dr Ryan Jefferies is Director, Science Gallery Melbourne and Grainger Museum at The University of Melbourne. He is a passionate advocate of the blurred intersections between science and arts, and the promotion of social change through the sharing of knowledge and creativity. He has a PhD in biomedical science and completed postdoctoral research fellowships at The University of Western Australia and University of Bristol. Ryan has worked with the Western Australian Museum, Museums Victoria, and Museum of Anatomy and Pathology and has curated major interdisciplinary exhibitions, festivals and residencies

  • Jenny Lewis (UK)

    Born 1974, Essex, United Kingdom
    Lives and works London, United Kingdom

    Jenny Lewis’s portraits are non-judgemental and unobtrusive offering a rare intimacy into her subjects lives. It is her interest in people and revealing their personal narratives that motivates her work. Much of her personal work centres on her experience of living and working in East London. This work has now been published as three monographs. ONE DAY YOUNG is an empowering series reflecting on the strength and resilience of women just hours after birth, HACKNEY STUDIOS a celebration of authenticity each artist nominating the next, discovering the supportive network of a creative community facing the impossible threat of gentrification. ONE HUNDRED YEARS is a portrait series of 100 portraits every age from 1 to 100 navigating themes of aging, connection and identity.

PHOTO Channel

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