Exhibition: Surrounding – Julie Millowick

Exhibition: Surrounding – Julie Millowick

‘Surrounding exhibits a curated selection of Millowick’s work including a new series seen for the first time. Millowick’s photographs show us the devastating effects of mining, drought, flood and invasive plants, but also remind us of the interconnectedness that links all parts of this ecosystem including its human occupants. This is a terrain which the artist loves, and which she sees with acute perception. It is a landscape full of complexity, a region with a terrible past, but in its capacity for renewal is also a place that offers a spark of hope for the future.

Julie Millowick began her photographic career working in the darkroom of Athol Shmith, John Cato and Peter Barr. After completing her studies at Prahran College of Advanced Education, she worked as a press and public relations photographer, after which the direction of her commercial folio changed and she worked as a corporate industrial photographer. Julie achieved early recognition for her photojournalism when she exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria and Australian Centre for Photography in 1977 in Australian New Work. She has exhibited and published regularly since then, with work held in major photography collections in Australia and internationally. In 1993 she exhibited work in the exhibition Intimate Lives with Sally Mann, Nan Goldin and Jaques Henri Lartigue at the International Fotofeis in Edinburgh, Scotland.’ From CAM website.

Castlemaine Art Museum. Victoria. 15 February – 16 June 2024

Photograph above: Cassinia arcuata (detail) Lumen print 2023. Julie Millowick.

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This article was written by

David Tatnall is an Australian fine art photographer & editor of View Camera Australia.

There are 8 comments for this article
  1. Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:04 am

    The blurb on the Castlemaine Art Museum website about the upcoming ‘Surrounding’ exhibition states that Julie Millowick’s photographic project is an “exploration of the environmental legacy of gold mining around her home near Fryerstown in Central Victoria. This strangely poignant landscape has been turned upside down through violent extraction — but it remains resilient and in the process of recovery. ”

    Sounds like a great and really interesting photographic project. Unfortunately it is hard to get a sense of the ‘Surrounding’ project from the 2 images shown on Museum’s website. Yet the exhibition is an official exhibition of the Photo 24 International Festival of Photography and their official website only provides 1 image of ‘Surrounding’ and a link to the Castlemaine Art Museum website.

    It is disappointing that such an international festival does not show some online thumbnail pictures from Millowick’s project.

    • julie millowick at 2:19 pm

      Thank you to View Camera Australia and David Tatnall for the article on my exhibition Surrounding. I am thrilled to have it included on your website. In specifically replying to Gary Sauer-Thompson’s observation about a lack of thumbnail images here is a link to my website which might give you a better understanding of the work. The name surrounding comes from the environment surrounding my house. The very small gallery [attached to the main gallery] displays imagery that is domestic and endeavours to replicate the feeling of my 1862 miner’s cottage. Including a life-size photographic print of an original interior wall. The viewer then walks out of the small ‘domestic’ gallery into the large gallery and turns left. Then you literally walk along the reef that runs along the Western boundary of my house. You walk along the reef via the mullock from the major deep mines. Then into the tailings sand, the sluicing then you ‘walk’ through the beautiful 75,000 hectare diggings park that is populated with uniform post-goldrush growth. Then you reach the 1870’s Crocodile Reservoir, then down through the park into the horse paddock Surrounding my house at the back.
      This link will show you some of the images from the catalogue. As you will see I have used diverse techniques over the 36 years of the exhibition, beginning with film, pinhole camera, photogram, lumen, cyanotype to try to give a deeper interpretation of this very complex, damaged environment. I hope this is helpful. https://juliemillowick.com/portfolio-items/surrounding-book/ Best wishes, julie PS there are also images and caption info on my Instagram julie_millowick

      • Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:50 am

        Thankyou you for this extensive account of the exhibition Julie. I now have a grasp of a very complex and fascinating project based near Fryerstown, in central Victoria, with the miner’s cottage surrounded by a landscape deeply scarred and contaminated by gold mining in the 1850s. Hence the destruction to nature by sluicing, excavating, deep lead mining, cyanide poisoning, invasive species, and floods. In this process, no trees were left. Over the years there has been a subtle regeneration of that landscape which the project interprets. What a fabulous project.

        Many, many thanks for the links to the thumbnails. The photos are simply stunning. I am going to spend a lot of time looking at them. The use of various technologies — film, pinhole camera, photogram, lumen, cyanotype — really does give a historically deep interpretation of a complex, damaged environment in which people have and do live with their hopes and memories.

        • julie millowick at 11:12 am

          Hello Gary, many thanks for your response to the work. Your thoughts and interpretations are eally really appreciated. The curator, Jenny Long, was extraordinary in the way she culled down to about 118 images from 36 years work. She curated the exhibition so that the viewer goes on a ‘journey’ through the landscape. I owe her a great deal. Thank you again for your message. Best wishes, julie

  2. julie millowick at 7:52 am

    A pleasure David. Also … on another note, Andrew Chapman has asked me to make a list of people who have participated in MAPGroup projects. The list Andrew gave me includes your name and I am wondering if you could let me know the project/s you participated in.
    Again, many thanks for the listing on the ViewCamera website. Best wishes, julie

      • julie millowick at 10:25 am

        Thank you DAvid, I appreciate your quick reply. I realise I should have included a list of MAPGroup projects in my first email. See below. The Ararat projects were definitely shown at Ararat Gallery and the drought -Beyond Reasonable Drought – may well have been shown there as well [it had quite an extensive touring schedule]. So shall I put you down for Beyond Reasonable Drought? Best wishes, julie

        1998 Ararat: A Community in Focus – Andrew initiated an informal group project
        MAP Projects
        2001 St Arnaud
        2002 – 2008 BRD
        2006 Making Hay
        2009 Mapping Ballarat
        2010 Murrindindi Beyond Age
        2011 Little Big Town Melbourne CBD Laneways
        2011 Mapping Ballarat 2
        2012 Wonthaggi
        2015 St Arnaud Revisited
        2015 Heartland
        2015 Beyond Borders
        2016 Making Hay 2
        2017 The Film Project
        2017 Beyond Borders 2
        2019 Beyond The Studio
        ???? Anzac Day

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