Photography explores issues of stereotypes and life expectancy

Artist Michael Aird will shed light on his depiction of urban Aboriginal history and culture when he presents a talk at Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Arts Centre on Sunday 6 November, in conjunction with the exhibition Resolution: new Indigenous photomedia.

Aird and the Director of Fireworks Gallery in Brisbane, Michael Eather, will speak at the Gallery from 2pm (NSW time) to discuss the themes in Aird's work. Resolution: new Indigenous photomedia is a travelling exhibition by the National Gallery of Australia, bringing together diverse works by some of the most significant Indigenous photographers and multimedia artists during the past five years. 

Aird has worked as a photographer in the area of Aboriginal arts and cultural heritage since 1985, graduating in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Queensland. He has curated more than 25 exhibitions, published several academic articles and has been involved in numerous research projects.

He is interested in recording aspects of urban Aboriginal history and culture and capturing the vibrant and important stories of Aborigines and the challenges they face.

His photograph Thinking about life, currently featured in the exhibition Resolution: new Indigenous photomedia, highlights the shorter life expectancy for Aboriginal men.

In particular, he aims to create images in contrast to those in mainstream media, which he describes as focusing on the "demonisation of Aboriginal men as criminals, alcoholics and violent paedophiles".

"Everybody has a story worth telling and I have selected people who I think are important and who have stories that are equally as important as the stories from the select few 'elders' and 'leaders' that are favoured by the government and the mainstream media," he said.

The exhibition will be on display at the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre until 4 December, 2016, and will travel to Australian venues over the coming 18 months as part of the National Gallery of Australia's extensive touring program, sharing the National Collection with the wider Australian community. Entry to the exhibition is free.

Image: Michael Aird, Hector Mitchell Mossman Gorge Mission, 1989, digital print 40x28cm.