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Ruth Maddison

b. 1945

Ruth Maddison began taking photographs in the mid-1970s and exhibited her Christmas Holiday with Bob’s Family – a series of hand-coloured, snapshot-style images mimicking scenes from a family photo album – at Ewing Gallery in Melbourne in 1979. Since then, she has held many solo exhibitions at venues such as the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; the Victorian Centre for Photography; the Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney; and the National Gallery of Victoria; and has been included in numerous group shows at national, state and regional galleries, including Reveries: photography and mortality at the National Portrait Gallery in 2007. Portraiture and social documentary are central to Maddison’s work and she has produced several series of portraits including Women over 60 (1991), Single mothers (1995) and, recently, Now a river went out of Eden (2002) and Girt by sea (2008) – projects documenting people and life in the district around Eden and Pambula, where she lives. In addition, she has worked as a lecturer, been commissioned to produce work for media, government and community organisations, and has won a number of grants and awards such as the Hobart City Art Prize (2007) and the Josephine Ulrick National Photography Prize for Portraiture (2002). Maddison’s work is represented in major public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Library and the State Libraries of Victoria and New South Wales, as well as university, corporate and private collections.

Updated 2018