The QUT Art Museum is currently featuring two exhibitions that should be of great interest to anybody interested in artworks that critique and/or showcase the changing social and political contexts of the world in which we live.
Carol Jerrems: Photographic Artist
This exhibition showcases the work of Australian photographer Carol Jerrems and her work in the 1970’s. Jerrems captured documentary-style images of those campaigning for justice and recognition, such as women, young people and Indigenous people, all of whom were still very much marginalised at this point in Australian history. Many of her images have come to define the ‘70’s and the counter-culture movement that challenged the status quo and ultimately brought about significant social change.
Born in 1949, Jerrems studied photography at Prahran College between 1967 and 1970. For her, photography occupied a crucial social role in changing society for the better and her talents as a photographer were widely recognised. She died from a rare form of cancer in Melbourne in 1980 and aspects of her life and work were the focus of the 2005 documentary Girl in a Mirror.
Such was her influence, Jerrems was the first contemporary female Australian photographer to have work acquired by the National Gallery of Australia.
Carol Jerrems: Photographic Artist is at the QUT Art Museum until Sunday, September 7.
Whilst all art is political to some extent, recent history has demonstrated how art can be used to influence and control societies, from the Soviet Union to China to Nazi Germany. It is personal experiences and circumstances – including any political, social or historical influences – that shape the perspective of any artist. Whilst art can be used to promote or attack political and social agendas — many artists have experienced strict restraints on their creativity and production through state sanctions. Many governments have used art – either through its creation or destruction – as propaganda to promote political ideologies. However, artists have always used art as a tool of subversion – to criticise and challenge oppressive individuals and ideas – even in the face of persecution and punishment.
This exhibition brings together artworks from the QUT Art Collection that have an agenda of some kind, whether it is addressing issues such as Indigenous recognition, gender inequality or politics and government, or simply providing a voice for the disenfranchised.
Agenda is at the QUT Art Museum until Sunday, August 31.
The QUT Art Museum is located at the QUT Gardens Point campus. Admission to both exhibitions is absolutely FREE.