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UTS Gallery today announced it will present a survey exhibition of work by celebrated artist Hayley Millar Baker titled There we were all in one place from 13 April – 14 June 2021. The exhibition includes 35 works spanning five photographic series produced between 2016 until 2019 that are being presented together for the first time. Almost exclusively in black and white, the photographs use historical reappropriation and citation, together with intricate digital editing and archival research, to consider human experiences of time, memory and place.

Millar Baker’s layered photographic assemblages affirm Aboriginal experience and culture within the Australian Imaginary to form a complex image narrative of place, family, identity and survival. Her work is informed by her Gunditjmara and cross-cultural heritage, grounded in research of the historical archive and integrating photographs taken by her grandfather.

“Guided by a non-linear form of storytelling that sees past, present and future as an unbroken continuum, Millar Baker uses photography and storytelling to re-author history and assert the authority of memory and experience across generations,” said UTS Curator Stella Rosa McDonald.

The exhibition is extended by a catalogue with full work reproductions and essays by exhibition curator Stella Rosa McDonald, curators Hetti Perkins and Talia Smith and a commissioned poem by poet and artist Vicki Cousins (Gunditjmara, AU). The catalogue will be available to purchase in gallery and through partner venues and retailers.

Millar Baker’s encrypted images purposefully elude easy categorisation or typecasting; they are cinematic, documentary, archival, and surreal still lifes.

“Millar Baker’s encrypted images purposefully elude easy categorisation or typecasting; they are cinematic, documentary, archival, and surreal still lifes. In constructing dioramas of the past, Millar Baker re-asserts her place in contemporary Australia as a Gunditjmara woman and emerges as the architect of her own identity,” commented Hetti Perkins in "Girl, Interrupted” published by UTS in 2021 to accompany the exhibition.

There we were all in one place is accompanied by a Learning Experience designed by curator and educator Emily McDaniel in consultation with the artist. Aimed at tertiary students across disciplines but available to all visitors to the exhibition, the experience is designed to facilitate the development of personal connections to the work of Hayley Millar Baker and encourages participants to reflect on their own personal experiences, memories and understandings in relation to the themes and stories represented in the exhibition.

Early registration for the Learning Experience opens on 15 February 2021 and a participatory online forum presented by Emily McDaniel, Hayley Millar Baker and Stella Rosa McDonald will invite audiences to discover the development and applications of the Learning Experience.

An online guest lecture series, presented in partnership with the UTS School of Photography, invites Australian photographers to critically engage with the exhibition’s themes and situate their own work accordingly. There we were all in one place will tour to Deakin University Art Gallery and Flinders University Museum of Art in 2022, with more tour venues to be announced.

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