A former Noosa River camping ground that for many years was an unofficial refuge for those “doing it tough” is the focus of a photographic exhibition opening at the USC Art Gallery on Thursday 16 May.
The exhibition, called River’s Edge, presents 56 photographs by Sunshine Coast based artist Kim Guthrie of the Johns Landing Camping Ground, just north of Lake Cooroibah, and of the various people who stayed there.
Before the property was sold to Noosa Regional Council in 2017, it had been run as a low- cost private camping ground since the 1950s. In addition to welcoming campers, it had many long-term residents and was a sanctuary for marginalised people and those at risk of homelessness.
USC Art Gallery manager Megan Williams said the exhibition would be officially opened at 6pm on Thursday 16 May by prominent visual arts curator and Editor of Artist Profile Magazine Kon Gouriotis OAM. It will then remain on show until 29 June.
“This exhibition brings together 56 of the moving portraits and documentary photographs by Kim Guthrie that capture the unique community at Johns Landing,” she said.
“Kim is a prolific photographer who has a fascination with the ordinary. He says that through his work he is “exploring Australian-ness, trying to get to the essence of us as a unique and special place”.
“His work has a low-fi digital aesthetic that harks back to photographic traditions of the recent past. He describes this as a reaction to the doctored and constructed images that we are bombarded with daily.”
Ms Williams said Mr Guthrie’s work has been included in group exhibitions nationally and internationally including Exchange Value: Photography as Interaction at QUT Art Museum in 2018, Under Civilization at Gympie Regional Gallery in 2017 and GOMA Q: Contemporary Queensland Art at the Gallery of Modern Art in 2015.
“He has held a number of solo exhibitions including Ordinary Madness at the Museum of Brisbane and The Beautiful People at Noosa Regional Gallery,” she said.
“Originally from Melbourne, Kim studied Fine Art at the Victorian College of the Arts where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and has self-published two books of his photography The Beautiful People/Love The World in 2005 and EXTRAordinary in 2008.”