Culture is Life by Wayne Quilliam

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Photographic Exploration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Modern Australia


Culture is Life is a modern, photographic celebration of the diversity of Indigenous Australians.

Pre-eminent Aboriginal photographer Wayne Quilliam has an archive of thousands of images and interviews with Indigenous people across the country. Through the images in this stunning collection, Wayne's work explores the nuances of Indigenous thinking and identity, and focuses on how the First peoples view their place within the contemporary culture of Australia.

The people featured in Culture is Life include many high-profile Indigenous Australians, as well as community members of different ages from Tasmania to the Torres Strait, offering insights into the dreams of youth and the reflections of Elders. With various feature sections on significant events such as Sorry Day and the All Stars game, this book is an accessible gateway to better understand and appreciate the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, presented as a stunning and contemporary photo book.

About the Author

Adjunct Professor Wayne Quilliam is one of Australia's pre-eminent Indigenous photographic artists, curators and cultural advisors working on the international scene. His awards include the 2009 NAIDOC Indigenous Artist of the Year, the Human Rights Media Award, the Walkley Award for photojournalism and the Supply Nation business of the year award. He was also a finalist in the 2016 Bowness Art Award.

Wayne has created and curated over 300 exhibitions throughout the world and has been published in more than 1000 magazines, books and newspapers. In recent years he has held solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Havana, Tokyo, Berlin, New York and at the United Nations in New York and Geneva.

Review by Melanie Caffarelli:

Upon picking up this photographic exploration of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in modern Australia I was truly captivated.

As a non-indigenous Australian, I found the layout and the descriptions that accompanied this photographic journey to be very insightful and educational.

I found the descriptions respectful and comprehensive while celebrating the journey of these two cultures.

The black-and-white images are hauntingly captivating and depict a wide range of experiences both on country and in suburban settings.

The images cover a wide range of traditional ceremonial settings, to the more common everyday activities such as the children playing.

I like how the photographer has shown images through the Indigenous perspective and how they display the diversity of colour tones and ages. They celebrate all knowledge drawing insight from elders past, present and future generations.

The information and images in this book could encourage further understanding and respect from non-indigenous communities, by being easy to read and comprehend.