Visual storytelling and the case for radical empathy

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First Nations artist Hayley Millar Baker foregrounds herself as a storyteller, blurring the formal conventions of photography to construct probing narratives that mine contemporary empathy and language.

Hetti Perkins, an Arrernte and Kalkadoon writer and curator, calls Hayley Millar Baker’s imagery ‘encrypted’. Viewing her exhibition There we were all in one place at UTS Gallery – which comprises five photographic series, composed between 2016 and 2019 – I think about the significance and enigma of ‘keys’ in this context, and the unselfishness of Millar Baker’s standing invitation to viewers to gain entry to these works via multiple access points.

Anna Westbrook

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