Constructed Worlds

Constructed Worlds

An exhibition exploring the shifting framework of contemporary Australian photo-media.


23 May to 4 July 2015


23 May opening event


Constructed Worlds features photographic works by five highly acclaimed Sydney based artists:

Cherine Fahd, Anne Ferran, Julie Rrap, Robyn Stacey, Anne Zahalka

Through many years of dedicated practice these artists have stretched the idea of the photograph. Pursuing both analogue and digital techniques and selecting the most appropriate available technology they examine the role and relationship of the photographer with the subject and audience. These artists construct scenarios and confront the viewer with works that are dramatic, filmic and sculptural.


As Tanya Peterson writes in the introduction to the exhibition catalogue: ‘How do we build our lives amongst the echoes and reflections of forgotten histories? How do we recollect and reshape a shared sense of the past and its distant gestures as they unfold within everyday moments? And how can we uncover and weave new stories from those narratives that dwell beyond the margins of our current ideologies. Constructed Worlds draws together a series of photographic works which evoke possible answers to these questions. In turn, the show also raises further questions around the very nature of photography and its relationship to the world. Within this framework, photography operates as a site of instability – a shifting ground of temporal collisions, performative rituals and material uncertainty. Themes of labour and gender are also interwoven amongst the images. More specifically, there’s the double narrative of work by women – represented in various incarnations and defined by the artworks’ female authorship – which lends itself to the exhibition theme. Through a series of discursive and often intimate exchanges, the works bring forth resonant economies of time and labour undertaken by women in a multitude of ways.’


Cherine Fahd is an artist and lecturer at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and is currently undertaking PhD research at Monash University, Melbourne. In her four works, from the Plinth Piece series, she portray herself as figurative sculptures. This series reflects her ongoing interest in the relationship between photography, performance and sculpture.

Anne Ferran has been exhibiting since the 1980s. She was the first artist in residence at the National Museum of Australia in 2002. She is Honorary Associate Professor at Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and Senior Honorary Fellow at the University of Wollongong. Ferran began working with the residues of Australian colonial past, often working with museum collections, archives, historic sites and with government records.

Julie Rrap maintains a long engagement with issues of gendered identity and with the codifications of the feminine subject in art history, popular culture and social convention. Her works are held in public, corporate and private collections in Australia and overseas and has been selected for numerous national and international exhibitions.

Robyn Stacey has experimented extensively with new media, including digital photography and lenticular prints. She has also created photographs using age old techniques such as the camera obscura. She has worked with natural history collections in Australia and overseas. Stacey is a senior lecturer in the School of Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney.

Anne Zahalka has accomplished important public art commissions such as for Sydney International Airport and she has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally. Portraiture has provided a constant thread in Zahalka’s work and for more than 30 years she has revealed and explored the artist as a subject. In recent works Zahalka has removed the physical presence of the human subject and contextualized the artist through the artefacts and spaces that occupy the working realm.


Image above: Anne Zahalka, Worktable of Cherine Fahd, 2014, Pigment print (image area) on cotton rag paper, image 90cm x 60cm on 110cm x 80cm, Edition of 7 with 2 A/P’s


Related Resources
Constructed Worlds Media Release Download PDF
Constructed Worlds Catalogue Download PDF



Photography copyright Richard Glover