2022 Photographic Studies Award

Home About RAI Announcements 2022 Photographic Studies Award

On behalf of the Photography Committee, the RAI is delighted to announce that the 2022 Photograph Studies award has been given to Michael Aird.

Michael Aird is the Director of the University of Queensland Anthropology Museum and ARC Research Fellow.  A leading scholar-practitioner focused on Aboriginal Indigenous image worlds he has worked in the area of Aboriginal arts and cultural heritage since 1985, maintaining an interest in documenting aspects of urban Aboriginal history and culture. He has curated over 30 exhibitions including: “Portraits of Our Elders” (1993) a Queensland Museum travelling exhibition; “Transforming Tindale” (2012) at the State Library of Queensland; “Captured: Early Brisbane Photographers and Their Aboriginal Subjects” (2014) at the Museum of Brisbane. In 1996 he established Keeaira Press an independent publishing house, producing over 35 books. Photography has been central to his career, both as a researcher of Aboriginal photographs and as a photographer. His work is held in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, the Queensland State Library, the Queensland Museum and the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. He has published numerous books and articles focused on his extensive historical and contemporary research into photography in Australia. His 2020 article From illustration to evidence: historical photographs and Aboriginal native title claims in south-east Queensland, Australia (https://www.therai.org.uk/https://dev.therai.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/AnthandPhotoVol13.pdf) co-authored with Joanna Sassoon and David Trigger was awarded the Mander Jones Award by the Australian Society of Archivists. The committee in particular commends Aird’s combined commitment to photographic practice, exhibition, and conceptual framing, foregrounding Indigenous histories and experiences.

An awards ceremony is currently being planned for December, further details to follow.