404 GEORGE ST,
FITZROY VIC 3065
In ‘Getting to Borroloola’, Yanyuwa Garrwa artist Charlie captures her return to her hometown in the Northern Territory. The instantaneity of the Polaroid process gives Charlie complete agency over her image-making, and she depicts both intimate, off-hand familial moments and the vast expanse of the landscape, as witnessed during her journey.
‘These photos capture me getting back to my Country after time spent in Covid isolation. I wanted to document how it felt being free again – and reconnecting with my family and Country.’
Charlie’s photographs show the reality of her lived experience in a form traversing documentary and art photography. ‘Getting to Borroloola’ documents Miriam’s journey back to Country after her time in isolation while recovering from COVID-19. The intimacy of her photos is reminiscent of familiar photographs, reframing the experience of life in a remote community through the lens of compassion, dignity and respect. The Polaroid’s low-fi technology removes the need for bulky equipment and editing, retaining complete agency over her projects. Each Polaroid is an individual object – not to be replicated but original and unique with Charlie’s handwritten notes. The intimacy of her photos is reminiscent of our own family photographs, reframing the experience of life in a remote community through the lens of compassion, dignity and respect
A proud Garrwa / Yanyuwa woman, Miriam Charlie has lived her entire life in Borroloola, 1,000 kilometres south east of Darwin, documenting community life with a Polaroid camera. Charlie is telling a contemporary, remote community story through her unique perceptive, representing a turning point in documentary photography. Her work has been exhibited across Australia, and is held in a range of collections, including the National Gallery of Victoria and the Monash Gallery of Art.
Courtesy the artist and N.Smith Gallery, Sydney