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Powerhouse Photography Announces New Acquisitions and Programs

Image: Kuldip Singh tying a pagdi, Burnside Heights. Credit: Anu KumarMarch 9, 2023

Image: Kuldip Singh tying a pagdi, Burnside Heights. Credit: Anu Kumar


Powerhouse has today announced the first Powerhouse Photography acquisition and public program, as well as a new member of the Advisory Group. Announced last year, the initiative is dedicated to amplifying Australian photography and lens-based practice via a series of commissions, acquisitions, publications, and public and learning programs.

Twelve works by photographic artist Anu Kumar comprise the first acquisition by Powerhouse Photography, made possible with funds provided by the Australian Centre for Photography. Four of the newly acquired works are from Kumar’s series Ghar (2017-19), and the remaining eight form the series Libbas (2022), commissioned by Powerhouse as part of the exhibition Charkha and Kargha presented at Powerhouse Ultimo in 2022.

Working primarily in medium-format photography, Kumar uses her practice as a means of understanding her identity as a woman born in India and raised in Australia. Interrogating themes of displacement and the diaspora, Kumar’s images capture a place for those who long for the forgotten, distant, or that which they have never experienced. Her photography has been published in the New York Times and Vogue Italia and exhibited at the Centre for Contemporary Photography. Her monograph Ghar was published by Perimeter Editions.

The first two in an annual series of Powerhouse Photography public programs will be presented as Powerhouse Late programs in March and April 2023. Upcoming Powerhouse Photography learning programs will include an artist talk and student workshop with renowned international photographer Pixy Liao, and a Powerhouse tertiary internship that will provide students with the opportunity to work with Powerhouse Collections, Curatorial and Research teams on the Australian Centre for Photography Archive. This is the first in an ongoing series of internships that will provide vocational experiences for emerging professionals within the photography industry.

Powerhouse is excited to announce the addition of Gunditjmara Djabwurrung artist Hayley Millar Baker to the Powerhouse Photography Advisory Group, which has been convened for the purpose of strengthening and expanding upon the museum’s connections to the photography industry and community. Millar Baker works across photography, collage, and film to interrogate and abstract autobiographical narratives and themes relating to her own identity – drawing on spirituality, Indigeneity, womanhood, motherhood, and the psyche. Millar Baker rounds out the Advisory Group, now comprised of 12 photographic practitioners and Powerhouse representatives working across various disciplines.

Powerhouse Photography Advisory Group Co-Chair and Senior Curator Sarah Rees said:

“On behalf of the Powerhouse Photography Advisory Group, we warmly welcome Hayley Millar Baker. Hayley’s experience as a photographic artist will provide valuable insights and guidance to Powerhouse Photography in support of contemporary practice.

We are also thrilled to be acquiring works by Anu Kumar for Powerhouse Photography. The calibre of Kumar’s work and the themes she interrogates through her practice epitomises the ambition of our collecting strategy.

And finally, it is an honour to be collaborating with the Centre for Contemporary Photography to bring internationally renowned photographer Pixy Liao to Australia and connect audiences with her work. These projects are just the beginning of an exciting inaugural year of initiatives for Powerhouse Photography.”



On Thursday 30 March, Powerhouse Late: Photography will feature a free night of talks, performance, installations, moving image and gaming, demonstrating how past and current technologies create photographic ‘magic’.

There will be artworks on display from Amos Gebhardt, Meng-Yu Yan, Zan Wimberley and Izabella Pluta. Dr Martin Jolly and collaborators will perform their Magic Lantern Show, Kate Mitchell will take aura portraits, and music and projections will be produced by Dark Cinema, and audiences can play surveillance-mystery game Nuts and AI image-generating game Beyond the Lens.


On Thursday 13 April, in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Photography and White Rabbit Gallery, Powerhouse Late: Pixy Liao will be thematically inspired by Liao’s long-term photography project Experimental Relationship. Liao will curate a program of food and drink, film, and moving-image artworks from White Rabbit Gallery’s collection. Pixy and her partner Moro will perform live as their experimental band Pimo, and Liao will give a short talk about influences on her photographic practice.

ARTIST TALK and Student Workshop with Pixy Liao

On Friday 14 April from 10am -12pm Pixy Liao will give a public artist talk at Powerhouse Ultimo on her practice and approach to photography, followed by an audience Q&A.

Liao will also host a student workshop from 1 – 3pm for tertiary students on ‘How to find your own voice in photography’ where she will use her own projects and experiences to share how she developed her project Experimental Relationship. Liao will host student portfolio reviews and provide feedback on work-in-progress. Workshop spaces will be strictly limited, and open to tertiary students’ studying photography or an equivalent discipline via an expression of interest.

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Clio Ellis | Powerhouse | 0450 492 745

About Powerhouse
The Powerhouse sits at the intersection of arts, design, science and technology and plays a critical role in engaging communities with contemporary ideas and issues. We are undertaking a landmark $1.4 billion infrastructure renewal program that includes the creation of our new flagship museum, Powerhouse Parramatta; expanded research and public facilities at Powerhouse Castle Hill; the renewal of the iconic Powerhouse Ultimo; and the ongoing operation of Sydney Observatory. The museum is custodian to over half a million objects of national and international significance and is considered one of the finest and most diverse collections in Australia.