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Big Sky

Big Sky

by Adam Ferguson

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Pre-order. Expected September 2024.

Adam Ferguson began photographing Australia’s interior in 2013 in an attempt to dispel sentimental and outdated narratives around the ‘Outback’—a place central to the identity and development of modern day Australia. His photographic survey, made over a 10-year period, depicts fading traditional events, shrinking small towns, Aboriginal connection to Country, the impacts of globalisation and the adversity of climate change to illustrate the complex realities of contemporary life in the ‘Outback’.

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The ‘Outback’ has no demarcated border but refers to Australia’s vast and sparsely populated interior—73 percent of Australia’s territory, more than two million square miles—is inhabited by just 5 percent of its 24 million people. In spite of its relatively small population it is an important and diverse segment which defines the character of the country and has been  mythologised in poetry, song, literature and screen. 

Ferguson was originally inspired by Richard Avedon’s portrait project, ‘In the American West’—which shattered romantic notions of the west. Ferguson’s project is similar in scope and ambition but stylistically divergent. As the project evolved it became evident that portraiture alone could not narrate the stories of the people he met. 

‘Part of the experience of living in this huge, sweeping landscape is the relationship each individual has with the land and environment. It made sense to position everybody in the spaces they  occupy. I wanted to construct a scene which complemented, or reinforced the stories of the people I photographed.’

September 2024290 x 350 mm
88pp, 46 imagesHardback
ISBN 978-1-915423-44-3

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  • Adam Ferguson (b.1978) is an Australian artist living on Gadigal Country, Sydney, Australia. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Photography at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and is currently a Master of Fine Arts research candidate at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology School of Art. Ferguson began his career working as a photojournalist covering the U.S led war in Afghanistan and has since worked internationally exploring narratives around conflict and displacement.

    His work has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, and the Cortona on the Move International Photography Festival in Italy, among others.

    Ferguson is the recipient of awards from Columbia University, World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International, American Photography, Photo District News, The Overseas Press Club of America, the Moran Arts Foundation and the National Portrait Gallery of Australia.

  • ‘After years living and photographing abroad, I embarked on this body of work in an attempt to understand a place I had left behind. My family history epitomised a social fabric that once enmeshed Australia’s iconic bush towns. Pastoralism has been an integral part of its history, transforming the region's culture, landscape, workforce, and driving the national economy. Yet the realities of the bush are complex and layered. The country’s occupation and colonial legacy has meant a deep dispossession of traditional custodians from their lands, language and culture. And while the modern Australian state has progressed, the land has been plundered.

    - Adam Ferguson