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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Harry Nankin

Dates:  1953, 28 September -
Born:  Australia
Active:  Australia
 
  
Socially committed Australian photographer with an interest in ecological issues and protecting the environment. He has been a photojournalist on the ‘ Rainbow Warrior‘ .

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Eddie Jim
Harry Nankin 
2005
 
  
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ThumbnailHarry Nankin: Contact 2003-4 
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ThumbnailHarry Nankin: The Rain 
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Harry Nankin

Harry Nankin is one of Australia's most original and influential photographic artists.
 
During the 1980s he gained a reputation as a wilderness photographer working in colour for publication and environmental campaigns. In the early 1990s he became a fine black and white printer and, at the same time, began exploring ways to "reduce the emotional and material distance between ecosystem, emulsion and artist" by using 'photograms' or 'shadowgrams' to record ecological phenomena. Rather than use a camera to make pictures of the world, he wanted to turn the landscape itself into the camera.
 
In a project called Cathexis (1992-94) he successfully created the first large scale outdoor (plein air) shadowgrams of living ecosystems in the history of photography. Two of these were acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.
 
In 1994 Nankin made a pilgrimage to Poland. The outcome of this visit was a beautiful and poignant homage to the land of his forebears and the disappearance of the rich cultural presence of European Jewry. The exhibition, Craters of the Moon (1998-2002), was first shown (as a work in progress) at the Centre For Contemporary Photography, Melbourne in 1999. A major piece from this series was collected by the Jewish Museum of Australia, Melbourne.
 
In 1996 Nankin undertook an ambitious shadowgram project entitled The Wave (1996-2002) in which vast sheets of photographic paper were attached to a 'raft' and submerged beneath the sea in order to record the life-scale imagery of passing waves. Pieces from this internationally famous undertaking have been shown widely in Australia, Europe and Asia.
 
In 2001, the artist was commissioned by Linden Gallery in Melbourne to create a work for the exhibition Tilia Europaea. This time, Nankin employed photography as a metaphor rather than as a material. As birds hovering was an exquisite hand-carved ‘vessel’ of eucalyptus wood painted with acrylic pigmented with the ash of burnt photographic paper suspended above a mirror.
 
More recently, in Contact (2003-05), he executed a series of large shadowgrams of Mallee woodland using luminous translucent film rather than opaque paper. The outdoor originals were inscribed by hand and contact printed in the studio to make 'positives' that were then sandwiched together to create multi-layered palimpsests. A piece from this series is now in the collection of the Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura, Victoria.
 
His current work-in-progress The Rain involves recording precipitation falling on large sheets of photographic paper in Tasmanian rainforests. Another project, Syzygy in which images will be created using the light of the stars is in planning.
 
Harry Nankin is represented by the Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Fitzroy, Melbourne.
 
Education
 
2002 Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training, Centre for Adult Education, Melbourne
1994 Master of Arts, Faculty of Art and Design, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
1979 Bachelor of Town and Regional Planning Degree (Honours), University of Melbourne.
 
Solo exhibitions
 
2006 The Rain, Academy of the Arts, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Tas.
2005 Transcription, Dianne Tanzer Gallery, Fitzroy, Victoria
2004 The Wave: Harry Nankin, Monash Gallery of Art, Wheelers Hill, Victoria
2004 Contact, Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura, Victoria
2003 Contact, Smyrnios Gallery, Prahran, Victoria
2002 Craters of the Moon, Stills Gallery, Paddington, NSW
2002 The Grey Zone, Smyrnios Gallery, Prahran, Victoria
1999 Craters of the Moon, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Fitzroy, Victoria
1997 The Wave, Smyrnios Gallery, Prahran, Victoria
1997 The Wave, Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington, NSW. Part of Australian Perspecta 1997 [curated by Blair French and Deborah Ely]
1995 Acts of Ritual, Photographers Gallery, South Yarra, Victoria
1994 Cathexis, Melbourne Contemporary Art Gallery, Fitzroy, Victoria
1991 Traces, Eaglehawke Galleries, Glebe, NSW
1991 Traces, Capricorn Galleries, Fitzroy, Victoria
 
Group exhibitions
 
2006 A Precipitation in Time, Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport, Tasmania [curated by Troy Ruffels]
2004-5 Past Presence, Jewish Museum of Australia, St Kilda, Victoria. [curated by Ann Richter]
2004 The Sea, The Sea, Gippsland Regional Gallery, Sale, Victoria. [curated by Merle Hathaway, Director, Horsham Regional Gallery, Victoria]
2003 The Sea, The Sea, Horsham Regional Gallery, Horsham, Victoria. [curated by Merle Hathaway, Director, Horsham Regional Gallery, Victoria]
2003 Korea International Art Fair 2003, Indian Hall, Coex Centre, Seoul, South Korea
2003 Palimpsest #5, 25 Deakin Avenue and Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura, Victoria. [curated by Julian Bowron and the Palimpsest committee, Mildura]
2003 Rocks and Stones, Forum Eugenio de Almeida, Evora, Portugal. [curated by Dr Jorge Calado, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal]
2003 Rocks and Stones, Photographic Archives of the City of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal. [curated by Dr Jorge Calado, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal]
2003 First Impressions, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne. [curated by Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator, Photography, NGV]
2003 City of Hobart Art Prize, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
2002 Conrad-Jupiters Art Prize, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
2002 Contemporary Photographers, Smyrnios Gallery, Prahran, Victoria
2000-2 Art & Land: Contemporary Australian Visions, touring Australia. Order of venues: Noosa Regional Gallery, Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Plimsoll Gallery (Tas), University of South Australia Art Gallery and galleries in the Tweed River area, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth and Newcastle. [Second leg of an Asialink tour curated by Kevin Wilson, Director, Noosa Regional Gallery, Noosa, Queensland]
2001 Tilia Europaea, Linden Gallery, St Kilda, Victoria [curated by Naomi Cass]
2001 Pivot V: About Photography, Plimsoll Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania [curated by Simon Cuthbert, Tasmania Art Gallery and Museum]
2001 Pinhole to Pixel, Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney, NSW. 2000 Art & Land: Contemporary Australian Visions. touring east Asia. Order of venues: Chaing Mai Contemporary Art Gallery at Chaing Mai University; Art Gallery at Silpakorn University, Bangkok and Art and Culture Museum at Khon Kaen University, Thailand; Lao Cultural Hall, Vientiane, Laos and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Philippines. [First leg of an Asialink tour curated by Kevin Wilson, Director, Noosa Regional Gallery, Noosa, Queensland]
2000 Pivot V: About Photography, Carnegie Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania. [curated by Simon Cuthbert, Tasmania Art Gallery and Museum]
1999 Photographers, The Melbourne Arts Club, North Melbourne
1998 Waterproof, Belem Cultural Centre, Lisbon, Portugal. Shown as part of the 1998 World Exposition [curated by Dr Jorge Calado, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal]
1997 Launch, Stills Gallery, Paddington, NSW
1996 Beyond the Sublime Part Two, Australian Centre for Photography, Paddington, NSW
1996 Cowwarr Art Space, Cowwarr, Victoria
1996 Byron Mapp Gallery, Paddington, NSW
1992-3 Sites of the Imagination, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne [curated by Dr Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator, Photography, NGV]
 
Commissions
 
2002-3 Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura, Victoria to produce Contact for exhibition in Palimpsest #5 [curated by Julian Bowron, Director, Mildura Arts Centre]
2001 Linden Gallery, St Kilda, Victoria to produce sculptural artwork As birds hovering for exhibition in Tilia Europaea.[curated by Naomi Cass]
1983 Otway Action, Melbourne to photograph Otway region of Victoria for Habitat magazine
1982-3 Australian Conservation Foundation to photograph and write Victoria's Alps: An Australian Endangered Heritage
 
Grants
 
2003-6 Australia Council Visual Arts/Crafts Fund, New Work Grant to undertake The Rain project
2003-4 Arts Victoria, Melbourne, to complete and exhibit Phase 2 of Contact project
1997-8 Arts 21/Arts Victoria, Victorian Ministry for the Arts international programs travel grant to facilitate installation of The Wave at Belem Cultural Centre, Lisbon
1997 Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney to assist video-documentation of the making of The Wave project
1997 Parque Expo '98, Lisbon, Portugal, to assist completion of The Wave project
1992-4 Australian Post Graduate Research Award to undertake MA project Cathexis.
 
Awards
 
1987 For book Range Upon Range: The Australian Alps: Gold Medal, National Print Industry Awards, Sydney, 1988
1983 For book Victoria's Alps: An Australian Endangered Heritage: High Commendation, Federation of Australian Writers, 'C.J. Dennis' Awards for Natural History Writing, Melbourne.
 
Residencies
 
2006 Artist-in-Residence, Academy of the Arts, University of Tasmania, Launceston
1991 Artist-in-residence, Department of Photography, RMIT.
 
Collections
 
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
Mildura Arts Centre, Mildura, Victoria
Monash Gallery of Art, Wheelers Hill, Melbourne
Jewish Museum of Australia, St Kilda, Victoria
Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Halls Gap, Victoria
Tasmanian Aboriginal Land Council, Hobart, Tasmania
The Photographers Gallery, South Yarra, Victoria
Centre for Adult Education, Melbourne
Private Acquisitions in Australia, New Zealand, Portugal., USA
 
Publicationss
 
1987 Range Upon Range: The Australian Alps Algona Publications and Notogaea Press, Melbourne. [112 pages, Sole Author]
1983 Victoria's Alps: An Australian Endangered Heritage Australian Conservation Foundation and William Collins Publishers, Melbourne. [104 pages, Sole Author]
 
Professional employment
 
2005+ Lecturer, ICPP (International College of Creative Arts), South Melbourne
2001-4 Sessional Teacher, International College of Professional Photography, South Melbourne
2000+ Guest Tutor, Blackburn Community Centre, Chisholm College of TAFE, and Vermont Community Centre, Victoria
1998+ Guest Lecturer, Faculty of Media Arts, RMIT, Melbourne
1996-98 External Examiner, MA by Project candidates, Faculty of Media Arts, RMIT
1995-99 Sessional Lecturer, Victorian College of the Arts, Southbank, Photography Studies College, Southbank; Northern Metropolitan TAF E, Collingwood and Epping; Outer Eastern TAFE, Vermont, Vic., Swinburne University Sports Union, Hawthorn, Victoria
1992 Sessional Lecturer, Faculty of Art and Design, RMIT, Bundoora
1992+ Contract Lecturer & Sessional Tutor, Centre for Adult Education, Melbourne
1990-91 Sessional Tutor, Monash University Arts, Crafts and Tuition Centre, Deakin University and the Gordon Institute, Geelong
1988 Sessional Tutor, Council for Adult Education, Melbourne
1984-91 Self-Employed Photographer & Publisher operating as Notogaea Press
1984 Sessional Tutor in Urban Sociology, Dept. of Town and Regional Planning, University of Melbourne
1982-83 Research Officer, Victorian Alpine National Park campaign, Australian Conservation Foundation, Melbourne
1981 Coordinator of Fuel for Unrest, book produced for the Brown Coal Study Group, Conservation Council of Victoria
1980-81 Town Planner with Gutteridge, Haskins and Davey Pty Ltd, Melbourne
1980 Town Planner with Loder and Bayley Pty Ltd, Hawthorn, Victoria  
  
 

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
 
  
 
  
 
  
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