Mervyn Bishop

Cementa Artwork at Kandos Museum

Portraits of Elders

Materials | Series of photographic portraits

Portraits of Elders presents eight portraits of Kandos elders. The people figured in these photographs have either lived their entire lives in the Kandos– Rylstone area or have important long-standing relationships to the area. These elders have witnessed the growth and transformation of the town. They are descendants of the local Dabee tribe, immigrants who moved here after World War II, and local characters everyone in town will recognise. These portraits are records and a paying of respect to the elders of the Kandos–Rylstone area and to the important part they have played in its history.

1. 'Cowboy' Brian Webster Photo: Mervyn Bishop. 2017
1. 'Cowboy' Brian Webster Photo: Mervyn Bishop. 2017
Mervyn Bishop's bio:

Mervyn Bishop was the first Aboriginal press photographer in Australia, beginning his career as a cadet photographer with The Sydney Morning Herald in 1963. In 1971 he was voted News Photographer of the Year, but three years later he began work at the new Department of Aboriginal Affairs, travelling the country to document Aboriginal social history. In 1979 he returned to work at the Herald. Since 1986 he has worked as a freelance photographer and lecturer. His retrospective exhibition, In Dreams: Mervyn Bishop, Thirty Years of Photography 1960–1990, initially curated by Tracy Moffat, has been on tour for a decade. He worked as a stills photographer on Phil Noyce’s film Rabbit Proof Fence, and was awarded the Australia Council’s Red Ochre Award in December 2000.

Mervyn Bishop has created some of the most iconic press photographs of Australian history, and produced across his career, a powerful visual record of the social reality of Aboriginal people in Australia.

2. 'Kandos Elders' 2017 photographed by Ian Hobbs
2. 'Kandos Elders' 2017 photographed by Ian Hobbs