For the past 20 years, Anne Ferran has worked with the residues of Australia and New Zealand’s colonial histories, probing them for gaps and silences. She has been especially drawn to the lives of anonymous women and children, seeking to shed light on their presence, and absence, in museum collections, photographic archives and historic sites. It is characteristic of Ferran’s images that the subject is not what is seen but rather what haunts it, something only partially visible. Intellectually and emotionally engaging, her photographs have explored episodes of incarceration in prisons, asylums, hospitals and infant nurseries.
Ferran has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally since the 1980s and is highly regarded as an artist, academic and writer. She has been the recipient of prestigious awards, fellowships and grants, which include winning the Higashikawa International Photographer Award (2009), and the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photographic Award (2003). In 2014, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, WA presented Shadow Land, a major survey show of Ferran’s work, which subsequently toured to the Australian Centre for Photography, NSW. This follows The ground, the air, another large-scale show that marked the culmination of her decade-long work Lost to Worlds, and was presented by the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and Wollongong City Gallery. Her work is held in major public collections, which include the International Museum of Photography, New York, NGA, NGV, Monash University, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, AGSA, and AGNSW.