HOME HISTORY ARCHIVE FILM & VIDEO EXHIBITIONS PUBLICATIONS CONTACTS

BIOGRAPHY

Sue Ford (b.1943-2009)

Sue Ford was one of the most important practitioners in the wave of 1970’s Australian Feminist

photographers. She regularly took pictures of friends and family for social and political ends

frequently turning the camera on herself. Ford’s raw, simple and personal photographic style

was both pragmatic and experimental.

In 1961 Sue worked from a small studio above Ninky's Tea & Coffee house in Little Collins St.,

Melbourne. Post her studies in photography at RMIT in 1962 Ford began to invest her practice

with the theory that photography was art and not a technical product. This led to a major solo

exhibition, Tide Recedes, at Hawthorn City Art Gallery in 1971 and the now famous Time Series

solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria and Brummels Gallery in 1974. Fords art

practice continued with significant achievements including solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of

New South Wales in 1982, at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1988 and 1994. In 1995 the

exhibition Sue Ford: A Survey 1960-1995, curated by Helen Ennis  was held at the Monash

University Gallery.

Paralleling Fords photographic work was her film and video making that began in 1970 with

Low Deposit Easy Terms. The iconic film Faces 1976-1996 made with her son Ben featured

as an installation at the opening of ACMI, Melbourne in 2003 and was awarded the Best

Australian Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 1997.

Dr. Isobel Crombie, Senior Curator, Photography, NGV credits Ford with ''breaking

significant ground in photomedia work in Australia throughout the later part of the 20th

century''.

In 2004 Sue Ford received the Australia Council for the Arts Fellowship to begin the

process of cataloguing her extensive photographic archive. Since 2010 Joy Hirst and Ben

Ford have continued this work, identifying, catologuing, digitising and housing 1000's of

negatives and art works, most of which have not been published or exhibited.

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2014

SUE FORD Retrospective, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

2012/13

Sue Ford: Time machine, La Trobe Regional Gallery

Hazelhurst Regional Gallery

Bundoora Homestead

Horsham Regional Gallery

2011

Sue Ford: Time machine Monash Gallery of Art Melbourne

2009

Somewhere in France 1917 The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

2008

ST Kilda Series Rupert Bunny Foundation commission City of Port Philip

2007

Last Light ARC One Gallery Melbourne

2004 

Continuum Watter's Gallery Sydney

2003 

Continuum ARC One Gallery Melbourne

2002 

Shadow Portraits ARC One-Span Melbourne

1999 

Somewhere in France 1917 Watter's Gallery Sydney

1999 

Somewhere in France 1917 Parliament House ACT

1997

Faces 1976-1996  Multi Screen Projection Australian Centre for Photography NSW

1995

Sue Ford: A Survey 1960-1995  Monash University Gallery Melbourne

1995 

The Wonder Book of Empire Watter's Gallery Sydney

1994

Time Surfaces National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne

1992/3

From Van Diemen's Land to Video Land Niagara Galleries Melbourne

Canberra School of Art Gallery ACT

Institute of Contemporary Art Brisbane

1992 

The Witches Letter National Gallery of Australia ACT

1989 

A Different Landscape Tiwi Museum Bathurst Island Northern Territory

1989 

Sue Ford : A Different Landscape Melbourne Contemporary Art Gallery

1989 

Sue Ford : A Different Landscape Aborigines' Advancement League Northcote

1988 

A Sixtieth of a Second National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne

1983 

Paintings Watter's Gallery Sydney

1982 

The Photobook of Women: 1961-1982 Art Gallery of New South Wales

Portraits of Women 1961 - 1982 Axiom Gallery Melbourne

1975 

Time Series I Australian Centre for Photography Sydney

1974

Time Series I National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne

Brummels' Pentax Gallery Melbourne

1971

Metamorphoses Series I: Suburban Series II Hawthorn City Art Gallery Melbourne

Metamorphoses Series I The 'Yellow House' Sydney

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014

Photography meets Feminism Australian women photographers 1970's-80's Monash Gallery of Art

2011

What's in a face? Art Gallery of NSW

2011

Brummels: Australia's first gallery of photography Monash Gallery of Art

2011

A Different Temporality Monash University Museum of Art

2010

Imaging the Apple AC Institute New York USA

2010

Mortality Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Melbourne

2007

Truth and Likeness National Portrait Gallery Canberra

2006  

Photographic Portrait Prize Art Gallery of NSW

2006   

Magic Realism Art Gallery of NSW

2006   

City of Port Phillip Art Collection Linden Gallery Melbourne

2005   

The Altered Landscape The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

2003

Second Sight  The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

2004

Remembrance - Faces 1976-1996  Multiscreen Screen Installation

Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne

2003  

RemembranceMind of Tibet  Multiscreen Installation in Collaboration with Geshe Sonam Thargye

Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne

2002

Fieldwork  The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

2002 

Eye for Idea A Decade of Australian Women Directors Experimenting with Form Berlin Film Festival Germany

2000 

Mirror With a Memory Photographic Portraiture in Australia National Portrait Gallery Canberra

2001

World Without End Photography in the Twentieth Century Art Gallery of NSW

1999   

Persona Institute of Modern Art Brisbane

1999   

Clemenger Art Award  Museum of Modern Art at Heide

1998  

Faces 1976-1996 & Time Series  Queensland Art Gallery

1997

I Had a Dream Australia in the Nineteen Sixties National Gallery of Victoria

1997

Screen Installation  Monash University Gallery of Art

1996 

Colonial-Post-Colonial  Museum of Modern Art at Heide

1995

Director's Choice National Gallery of Australia

Territory Pictures Museum of the Northern Territory Darwin

Power to Move Queensland Art Gallery

1994 

Pictograms: Aspects of Contemporary Photographic Practice touring exhibition Australia

1991 

The Intimate Experience Ivan Dougherty Gallery Sydney

1990 

Twenty Contemporary Australian Photographers National Gallery of Victoria touring AGNSW and QLD Art Gallery

From The Empire's End: Nine Australian and Spanish Photographers touring exhibition Spain and Australia

Time Changes (1976) Film Screenings: Sue Ford and Carol Jerrem's Australian Centre for Photography Sydney

1989

Portrait Photography National Gallery of Australia Canberra

1988 

A Sixtieth of a Second Australian Centre for Photography Sydney

1988 

Interventions The Performance Space Sydney

1988 

The Thousand Mile Stare Australian Centre for Contemporary Art Melbourne

Shades of Light: Photography and Australia 19839-1988 National Gallery of Victoria

1987 

Living in the 70s Australian Photographs National Gallery of Australia Canberra

1983 

Continuum 83 Tokyo Art Gallery Tokyo Japan

A Decade of Australian Photography 1972-1982 Australian National Gallery Canberra

1982 

Time Series II Vision in Disbelief  Biennale of Sydney

1981 

George Paton Gallery Melbourne

1980 

Self Portrait Self Image Victorian College of the Arts Gallery Melbourne

1977 

Adelaide Arts Festival South Australia

1976 

Modern Australian Photographs National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne

1975

Three Photographers Abraxas Gallery Canberra

Jam Factory Adelaide

Australian Centre for Photography Sydney

1974 

Time Series I Abraxas Gallery Canberra

My Faces George Paton Gallery Melbourne

Boyfriends Prahran Gallery Melbourne

Time Series I Australian Centre for Photography Sydney

1964 

Museum of Modern Art Melbourne

AWARDS AND COMMISSIONS

2008

City of Port Phillip Commission

2004/6

Australia Council Fellowship

2002 

Melbourne City Council Grant - Continuum large-scale digital prints

2002 

Arts Victoria Grant - Continuum a new series of large-scale digital prints

2002 

Multimedia Artists Profile on touchscreens The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

2000/3

Australian Centre for the Moving Image Commission curated by Ross Gibson for Remembrance

Mind of Tibet - multiscreen video installation in collaboration with Geshe Sonam Thargye

2000/3

Faces 1976-1996- multiscreen video installation Australian Centre for the Moving Image

1999

Somewhere in France 1917- 34 offset prints published in a Limited Edition of 500

for the Third Clemenger Art Award in association with the NGV and MoMA at Heidi

1999 

Australian Council of the Arts- Residency Bessozo Italy

1997 

Best Film St. Kilda Film Festival

1997 

Best Short Film ATOM Awards

1997 

Best Australian Film Erwin Rado Award Melbourne International Film Festival

1997 

AFI Nomination Faces 1976-1996

1996

Australian Film Commission Film production Faces 1976-1996

1992

Victorian Arts Board Development Grant

1987

Victorian Council of the Arts Fellowship in Photography

1987

A Sixtieth of a Second published by Experimental Art Foundation South Australia

1982

Visual Arts Board (Australia Council) Development Grant

1975

Australian Film Commission Film production Time Changes

1973/4

llford Scholarship for Post-graduate Study Victorian College of the Arts

1970 

Australian Film Institute Film production Woman in a House

COLLECTIONS

National Gallery of Victoria

National Gallery of Australia

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of South Australia

State Library of Victoria

State Library of New South Wales

National Library Canberra

Aborigines Advancement League Northcote

City of Port Philip

Art Bank

Australian Centre for the Moving Image

City of Melbourne

Waverley City Collection

Private collections

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2012

Helen Ennis Unsettling, conferance paper, University of Longborough, UK

2012

Virginia Fraser Time Out-A Different Temporality, MUMA, Art Monthly, 247 March 2012

2011

Judy Annear Why photograph people? Artlink Vol. 31 No. 3, pp36-38

2011

Sue Ford Self-portrait with camera (1960-2006) Monash Gallery of Art Melbourne

2011

Helen Ennis Sue Ford's History Art Journal of the National Gallery of Australia 50

2011

Gael Newton Shadow Play Artonview National Gallery of Australia Autumn 2011/65

2011

Anne Ferran Faces Catalogue essay A Different Temporality MUMA pp46-53

2010

Anne Marsh Look Contemporary Australian Photography since 1980 Melbourne

2007

Judy Annear (editor) Photography Art Gallery of NSW Collection pp 193, 205, 241, 257

2004

Zara Stanhope What’s Mine is Yours Feature Article Artlink Magazine, Vol 24 no. 3

2003

Ross Gibson Remembrance and the Moving Image Catalogue Essay ACMI Melbourne

2003

Isobel Crombie and Susan Van Wyke Second Sight Catalogue Essay The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

2002 

Kate Rhodes Fieldwork Catalogue Essay The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

2002

Susan Van Wyke multi media touch screen text The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

2001

World Without End: Photography and the Twentieth Century Catalogue Art Gallery of New South Wales

2000

Judy Annear World Without End Photography and the Twentieth Century  Art Gallery of New South Wales

Kurt Brereton Photo-Discourse essay in What is this thing called Photography 1975-1985 (J.Annear & E.Macdonald eds.)

1999

Isobel Crombie Somewhere in France 1917 Clemenger Contemporary Art Award Museum of Modern Art at Heide

1997

Jenepher Duncan Screen Catalogue Monash University Gallery Melbourne

1996

Zara Stanhope Recovering Lost Ground Catalogue Colonial Post-Colonial  Museum of Modern Art at Heide

1996

Donald Williams & Colin Simpson Art Now Contemporary Art Post 1970 Book Two McGraw-Hill

1995

Helen Ennis Past/Present Catalogue - Sue Ford A Survey 1960-1995 Monash University Gallery Melbourne

1995

Virginia Fraser Collaborations at the Borderline Catalogue - Sue Ford A Survey 1960-1995 Monash University Gallery Melbourne

1995

Gael Newton The Movement of Women Art & Australia Spring 1995

1994

Catriona Moore Twenty Years of Australian Feminist Photography Allen & Unwin Sydney

1992

George Alexander Glitches or Falling off the Face of the Earth

Ewen McDonald and Juliana Engberg (eds.) Binocular: Focusing Time Moet & Chandon Contemporary Edition

1992

Anne Marsh Myths and Narratives Art Monthly March

1990

Janine Burke Field of Vision Penguin Books

1988

Gael Newton Shades of Light Australian National Gallery Canberra

1980

Jenepher Duncan (ed.) Women and Art: Into the Eighties Monash University Melbourne

1978

Geoffrey De Groen Conversations with Australian Artists

1965

Fire and Clay: The Craft of Peter and Helen Laycock (Photographs) Melbourne