Photo Book Melbourne

Kate Robertson


Kate Robertson

© Kate Robertson, URAIWO (hini ukuki mongtah kuraho tawareikoring / used during crisis to heal deep wounds, 2016

Kate Robertson

© Kate Robertson, NAAI (poriyau tawareikoring / skin fungus), 2016

Kate Robertson
Opening night: 05 May 2016 / 6-8pm
Exhibition: 05 – 28 May 2016
Artist Talk: Saturday 28 May // 3-4pm.

We’re thrilled to exhibit Kate Robertson’s work as part of our six month residency and support one of our many inspiring local photographic artists.
Melbourne artist Kate Robertson’s recent photographic series explores plants and their medicinal properties from Siwai, Bougainville (Papua New Guinea).
The project is a healing collaboration between artist and community, informed by the knowledge extracted and supported by Chief Alex Dawia, Tu Lupumoiku Clan, and Chief Jeffrey Noro, Rura Clan, to reunite Siwai people loosing roots with their herbal tradition.

Through various analogue and digital photographic forms and concepts, Kate’s work reflects on the healing plants that provide medicinal remedies for local people during a time when substantial changes in Bougainville’s culture, politics and technologies are taking place.

Kate utilises the lumen process on location in Siwai. The cameraless lumen process uses black and white photographic paper that reacts to the environmental elements such as sunlight and plant extractions. The paper is transformed back in the studio in Melbourne via a flatbed scanner process to capture the plant samples in an abstracted and fragmented approach. In this way, the new ways knowledge is being passed on to generations due to technological influences is visually conveyed.

“With their luminous hues of pink, yellow and orange, these images are presented as a chronicling of an identified community, steeped in a rich and colourful tradition of horticultural medicine, one that is very much alive, so long as knowledge of these plants are translated and shared.”
Jack Treacy

Kate Robertson Floor Talk

Closing ceremony will close the event at 4pm.

You are invited to join artist Kate Robertson, Chief Alex Dawia, Tu Lupumoiku Clan and Chief Jeffrey Noro, Rura Clan from Siwai Bougainville for a floor talk to hear more about the exhibition and project process first hand, and to ask questions to those involved in the project. Following will be a unique, traditional Siwai closing ceremony led by Jeffrey and Alex. All welcome.

About the artist
Kate underscores much of her relationship with photography is the reiterative questioning and reassessing of what it means to make a photograph. She is drawn to the practices, formations and related phenomena found within communities that are connected to the natural environment.  By employing methods of engagement and documentation in the field over an extended period of time, she attempts to map the community’s healing approaches, associated phenomena, and ongoing endeavours to create a more caring, humane and respectful society. Kate has been a finalist at many major Australia photography awards including the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award and the Bowness Prize. She is completing her PhD (Art) at RMIT University.


Once again a big thank you to the City of Melbourne, Creative Spaces and Momento Pro for supporting  our six month residency at the Boyd School Studios.

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More 2016 Exhibitions