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MAPh has had a sustained relationship with the artist Ruiqi Qiu. She was a participant in David Rosetzky’s commissioned series Being ourselves which was part of Portrait of Monash: the ties that bind exhibition held at the gallery in 2020. In this series Rosetzky responded to the experience of members of the LGBTQIA+ community who live, work or study within the City of Monash. The series comprised a two channel video installation and six double exposure photographs that represented the diversity of the subjects’ experiences in an honest and open conversation.

Subsequently, Qiu was shortlisted twice in the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize and has featured in public programs including ‘Ask the artist’ (2022), which was a collaboration with headspace, a National Youth Mental Health Foundation that provides early intervention mental health services to 12-25-year-olds.

In 2023, MAPh in collaboration with Monash Public Libraries have commissioned Qiu to create a photographic series that investigates the impact of COVID on the LGBTQIA+ community. The commission builds and extends upon the connections that have been established through various projects at MAPh over the last three years. This includes revisiting participants from Being ourselves, which was produced before COVID-19 as well as artists from Being a voice, which was produced during COVID.

The resulting body of work Variation is accompanied by a publication documenting the photographic response alongside the poetry and community submissions. Integral to the commission has been the mentoring relationship established with leading lens based artist David Rosetzky who has supported the development of the work.

Anouska Phizacklea
MAPh Director

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