Artist talk: Far from the Eye

Event status:

Donna Whelan How can photography reveal truths hidden in the dark field or under the surface?

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Saturday 06 March 2021 02:00 pm until Saturday 06 March 2021 03:00 pm (Add to calendar)
La Trobe Art Institute
5444 7272;
Presented by:
La Trobe Art Institute
Type of Event:
Current Student: Undergraduate; Current Student: Postgraduate; Exhibition; Public
no charge

Bio-chemist Donna Whelan will join Karen Annett-Thomas of La Trobe Art Institute and Lauren Ellis of Bendigo Art Gallery in a discussion of exhibitions currently on display at both galleries. The panel will explore the potential for exposing hidden or alternative truths when we focus attention on the periphery.

Donna Whelan works with dark field microscopy, a technique that excludes (or blocks) direct light beams from the image. Danica Chappell’s exhibition Far from the eye and its companion public art commission, Far From the Eye: Dark field at LAI developed from collaborative conversations with Whelan. Both Whelan and Chappell work in the dark field – Whelan literally and Chappell metaphorically – scattering and refracting light in order to draw attention to things that are ordinarily outside the field of vision.

Lauren Ellis is Managing curator at Bendigo Art Gallery. Lauren recently worked with Dja Dja Wurrung artist and curator Natasha Carter who was invited to curate a visual dialogue with Peta Clancy’s photographic series Undercurrent. Carter selected a suite of 19th-century paintings and works on paper from Bendigo Art Gallery’s historic collection that depict her ancestral land through a Euro-centric lens.

This program is part of the PHOTO 2021 International Festival of Photography.

Photo Australia produces Australasia’s largest and most significant photography event. Delivered in collaboration with over 40 cultural institutions, museums, galleries and universities, the Festival features free exhibitions, outdoor displays and artist commissions in Melbourne and across regional Victoria, alongside events and education programs.

The biennial celebration of new photography and ideas invites artists, curators, writers, academics and audiences to interrogate the major issues of our time through a central theme. Responding to the theme of ‘The Truth’, PHOTO 2021 explores the veracity of the photographic image in a time of social media, fake news, and artificial intelligence.

Working with local and international partners, the Festival is committed to commissioning new work, providing opportunities for artists to develop their practice and reach new audiences, and presenting an outdoor program of artworks in unexpected sites across Melbourne, from streets and laneways to the Parliament of Victoria and the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

The inaugural Festival was originally conceived as PHOTO 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first edition was rescheduled and relaunched as PHOTO 2021.

Image: La Trobe University Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, Dr Donna Whelan. Photo: Dr Michael Angove

La Trobe Art Institute

121 View Street Bendigo,



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