Last Updated July 13, 2018

Tamara Dean

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People and portraits

Tamara Dean’s practice extends across photography, installation and participatory works exploring the relationship between humans and the natural world and the role ritual plays in our lives. Natural cycles within time and space, life and death, nature and spirituality contribute to her way of investigating the world around her.

Dean’s practice relies on her subjects experiencing and engaging with their environment and emotions well as her own inclusion in the ritual. The action of ‘going to’ and experiencing the location and subsequent ritual is as important as the photographic representation at the end.

Dean’s series ‘The Edge’ engages with the informal rites of passage and rituals which young people create for themselves in nature. The primal urge to create rites of passage in a culture where there are very few formal transitionary markers. The initiations, the pushing of physical, spiritual and emotional limits in order to discover one’s sense of self. Jumping into the abyss and confronting fears, seeking a spiritual, transitional experience.

The return of the primal in the contemporary.

Her solo shows include The Edge, Ritualism, Divine Rites, This too Shall Pass and Only Human.

Dean has received numerous awards including winner of the 2014 New York Photo Awards, Fine Art Series – Powerhouse Arena, New York, $10,000 High Commendation prize in the 2013 Moran Contemporary Photographic Award, winner of the 2011 Olive Cotton Award and 2009 Sydney Life: Art & About.

Dean’s works have been widely exhibited both nationally and internationally. Her works have featured in the Hamptons Art Fair, NYC in 2014 with JHB Gallery, ‘Dangerous Beauty’ curated by Stephan Stoyanov, Bulgaria 2013, the 2013 Aspettando FotoLeggendo festival in Rome, Fotofever Brussels Art Fair, 2012 and Pingyao Photography Festival, China, 2012 as well as at leading Australian galleries including Inheritance 2009 and Hijacked 2 – New Australian & German Photography 2010, both at the Australian Centre for Photography; Sydney Now – New Australian Photojournalism, Museum of Sydney 2007; Terra Australis Incognita at Monash Gallery of Art.

Dean has been awarded artist residencies with the UNSW (2015), ArtOmi, New York (2013), and previously Taronga Zoo, Montsalvat and repeatedly in the remote gold-mining town of Hill End, NSW.

For a decade Dean was a member of Oculi photographic collective.

Dean’s work is held in a number of public and private collections including Artbank, Sydney; The Francis J. Greenburger Collection, New York; the Mordant Family Collection, Australia;

Tamara Dean is represented by Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney and Jayne H Baum Gallery, NYC.


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