photography at the National Library of Australia

Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now

This piece was originally published in October 2022

The National Library is staging an exhibition of 125 documentary photographs, “Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now”.

This is a must-see exhibition for anyone interested in good Australian documentary photography and with an interest in the diversity of the people of this country – and the things they do – as well as some beautiful landscapes.

There is a strong mix of images from a wide variety of photographers. The exhibition is not dominated by many of the usual icons but this is more of the attraction of the exhibition. There’s a quiet and powerful ambience about how the curator has hung the works.

There’s plenty to take in. You will leave this exhibition with positive feelings about this country’s people, lifestyles and culture. It is an exhibition that makes you smile often.

There’s a small catalogue available that contains the full suite of photographs from the exhibition. Ideal as a gift for someone interstate that may encourage them to visit.

The exhibition is open until March 13. There’s more on the exhibition in a City News piece in September.


The NLA Bookshop

A visit to the NLA usually means taking the opportunity to browse the bookshop. On the theme of the state of our society, I bought a copy of “The Quarterly Essay – Uncivil Wars, how contempt is corroding democracy, by Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens.

Their message was simple, that too many people display and practice contempt towards others and that this is definitely not good for a civil society. It presents quite a contrasting view of the world to that presented by the photography exhibition.

The essay is a fairly quick read and I am sorry to say not a good one. The writers ramble a bit too much and I suggest their main points could have been made with a much shorter essay.

But do not let that put you off the opportunity to visit one of Canberra’s better book shops – the National Library Book Shop.

“Viewfinder: Photography from the 1970s to Now”, National Library until March 13. 


Please comment (silly stuff will be trashed)- and use this to make contact - personal contact messages will not appear publicily

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *