The Portrait

28 April 2022 - 04 June 2022
Image: Arini Byng, [Remember what you heard when you weren't even listening] (video still), 2019–21. Courtesy the artist.

Image: Arini Byng, Remember what you heard when you weren't even listening (video still), 2019–21. Courtesy the artist.


28 April 2022 - 04 June 2022


Blindside [i]
Level 7/37 Swanston St, Melbourne
Wed – Sun, 12pm – 6pm




Wheelchair access



As a genre of photography that conflates image with identity, ‘the portrait’ carries a complex and problematic past. How portraiture is made and used is ever-evolving, its history a record of social change, documenting shifts in cultural values and technology. The role that portraiture performs in our lives has transformed, along with the attitudes and approaches of artists in responding to the task of art-making amidst the rapidly changing conditions of contemporary visual culture.

The Portrait is an investigation into the emerging and fluid possibilities of portrait photography and its impact upon image-making today. Ten artists have been invited to produce ‘a portrait’ for the exhibition. The artists selected work in both traditional modes of portrait photography and alternative multidisciplinary practices. By considering the medium in an expanded sense, the artists are able to contemplate, critique, and challenge the limits of what a portrait can be.

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  • Josephine Mead (AU)

    Josephine Mead is a visual artist, writer and curator, working and residing on Wurundjeri woi-wurrung Country. Interested in exploring personal notions of support, she works through photography, sculpture, installation, sound and poetry. She has exhibited widely, nationally and internationally and has undertaken residency programs in Victoria (The Macfarlane Fund Residency), Mexico (The Arquetopia Foundation Residency), Turkey (The Tasarim Bakkali Residency), Portugal (The Córtex Frontal Residency) and Germany (The ZK/U Residency at Zentrum fur Kunst und Urbanistik). She is co-founder of Co- Publishing and Chair of Artistic Directors for Blindside Gallery.


  • Karl Halliday (AU)

    Karl Halliday is a Belfast-born curator, photographer and writer based between Naarm/Melbourne and Boorloo/Perth. Karl’s curatorial practice leverages his interests in contemporary photography, conceptual art, and performance theory with a focus on participatory and pedagogical approaches to exhibition making. Karl currently serves as Chair on BLINDSIDE’s board of directors. Karl holds a MA in Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.


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