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Elaine Pelot-Syron

b. 1945

Elaine Pelot-Syron grew up in Miami and came to Australia to teach English in 1971. In 1978 she began her career in documentary photography, focusing on Indigenous Australians. Her first solo exhibition was at the Aboriginal Children's Service in 1982. Encouraged by Mum Shirl, she obtained grants from the Aboriginal Arts Board to work on two books, The Urban Aboriginal and The Aboriginal Matriarchs of Australia; they were never finished. Another grant from the Aboriginal Arts Board in 1985 funded a solo exhibition covering the various New South Wales branches of the Aboriginal Legal Service and portraits of land claimants. In 1986 her solo exhibition at the Australian Museum was opened by Gary Foley and Mum Shirl. Further solo exhibitions included The Birth of Bangarra (1989), Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1996) - a joint exhibition with her husband, Worimi/Biripi painter and former prisoner Gordon Syron - Play and Politics of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Community (1999) and An Arm, A Leg and a Coloured Man: A retrospective of Australian tattoo and tattooists 1986-2005 (2005). Elaine and Gordon Syron featured in the Good Weekend column 'The two of us' in January 2009.

Updated 2018