PA/74/10 1 December 2010
“Indian Aussies exhibition launched”
A new photographic exhibition of Indians who have made Australia home
By Michel Lawrence
Exhibition displayed for all to see on the Australian High Commission chancery walls
The Australian High Commissioner to India, Mr Peter N Varghese, today inaugurated a major photographic exhibition, ‘Indian Aussies’ by Australian photographer Michel Lawrence at the Australian High Commission in New Delhi.
Speaking at the exhibition, Mr Varghese said, “Indian Aussies is a celebration of the more than 300,000 Australians of Indian origin and their successes. Australia is one of the most multicultural countries in the world, home to people from over 180 countries who enrich our society with their cultural diversity and traditions.”
He said “The Indian community is one of our fastest growing communities and is growing in importance. You will find Indian Australians working in the police, public service, education, business, agriculture and media.”
“This exhibition showcases the ease with which Indians have become part of Australian society while maintaining their links with Indian culture”.
Mr Varghese added. “We are proud that this exhibition can be viewed so publicly by passing traffic – I encourage all Delhi-ites to take a drive past the High Commission. The photographs are viewable day and night.”
Indian Aussies, is organised in collaboration with the Delhi International Arts Festival (DIAF) and will tour Indian cities over the next four months. The exhibition is on display on the outer walls of the chancery building of the Australian High Commission in New Delhi – viewable from the footpath outside.
About the project
Indian Aussies is a unique creative project, brought to life with co-operative funding and support from both the Australian Government and a number of Victorian Government Departments.
The project comprises a series of larger than life-size photographs of Indians who have made Australia their home. And from the Sikh community in Woolgoolga who first settled in Australia in the 1940s, to talented musicians, to highly qualified professionals, to enterprising business people, to gifted students, the Indian community in Australia embraced the idea and generously welcomed the photographer Michel Lawrence into their homes, offices, churches and temples.
The result is Indian Aussies, more than 80 photographs depicting a vibrant, harmonious and in many cases, prosperous community, who now call themselves Aussies.
Initially the photos were only to be used as a touring exhibition of India but this was expanded to include an installation at Federation Square, which is regarded as the centre of Melbourne’s cultural precinct. The installation formed the backdrop for various Diwali activities that took place in the square over the month that it remained there.
The photographs were also chosen to form the basis of a mini website to be included on the Victorian Multicultural Commission website. The Indian Aussies website was built so that a more permanent presence for the photographs can be maintained and added to. The site also enables the telling of the stories of those who feature in the photographs and includes some extended video interviews.
About the photographer
Michel Lawrence was born in Sydney and grew up in Melbourne and has been photographing people all his life. His work is represented in various private and public collections most notably the National Portrait Gallery in the Australian National Capital, Canberra, The Museum of Modern Art in Melbourne, The University of Melbourne, The Performing Arts Museum and a number of regional galleries. His book ‘Framed- Portraits of Australian Painters’ was published by Hardie Grant in 1998 and is now out of print. His work has also been reproduced in major metropolitan newspapers and magazines across Australia