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‘Viva Gibb (1945–2017) was a Melbourne-based artist whose commitment to social documentary photography saw her create a unique body of work that is both personal and political.
A place in time: photographs by Viva Gibb is the first public gallery showing of her work for over thirty years. The photographs are drawn from a large body of her work that was recently acquired into MGA’s collection, generously donated by the artist’s estate.
The photographs included in this exhibition were taken in the artist’s neighbourhood, in West and North Melbourne during the 1970s and 1980s. Living, working and raising two children in West Melbourne, Gibb immersed herself in her local community, observing and documenting the people around her. Gibb created warm and sympathetic portraits of children, migrants, workers and elderly citizens and also documented sub-cultures, religious rituals and street events. Her informal and intimate compositions celebrate the everyday and reveal her progressive and compassionate approach to humanity. Politically engaged and sensitively produced, these works provide small windows into the lives of ordinary people, which are today historically and culturally significant social documentations of a particular place in time.’
Monash Gallery of Art. Victoria 27 July – 29 September 2019
Main photograph above: Signora at her house, West Melbourne 1983. Silver gelatin photograph. MGA Collection.