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Queensland Centre for Photography Continued Arts Qld Funding: A letter to the Minister

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SEE UPDATE ON FUNDING: https://wotwedid.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/qcp-funding-cut-statement-from-the-qcp-board/


Beyond everything else in contemporary life we all need creative stimulation and engagement with things bigger than ourselves – Photography does that better than just about anything else, and the QCP is the most important centre of photographic thought and activity in Queensland, and perhaps even Australia. We need this organisation to be supported by private and public institutions to match the acclaim and recognition that it has rightfully earned through darn hard work and its dedication to artists and those who appreciate the beauty, and the expression, that can be found and shared through the photograph.

The QCP funding provided by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland is about to be reviewed. Over the last few months the QCP and its supporters have been gathering evidence of their activities and the important and necessary service that they provide to photographers and the photographically interested public in Queensland. Despite the support that the QCP gains from private donors, the income derived from exhibitions and publications and other activities, as well as substantial in-kind volunteer support, the additional funding provided by AQ enables so much more to be achieved.

QCP Director Maurice Ortega contacted me in July to provide a personal support letter to the minister – the text of which is listed below. Recently I have received a response from the minister, which I have attached for your information.

You can support the QCP by adding your name to the online petition that is listed below – but be quick, as the numbers need to be tallied soon.






August 6, 2013


The Honourable Ian Walker

Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts

Level 5, Executive Building
100 George Street


Subject: A letter of support for the Queensland Centre for Photography


Dear Minister,

In 1980 I co-founded with my mother Ruby a facility in Brisbane to provide a focus for the people of Queensland who were interested in all facets of photography. This included: exhibitions, their display and curatorship; a training and workshop facility; and a meeting place. The gallery was called Imagery and operated essentially as an artists-run initiative until 1995. The activities of Imagery Gallery were considered so significant that its complete archive was accepted by the State Library of Queensland, and as such, has become part of the history of this state.

In 2004, a proactive group of academics and practitioners, recognising the absence of a dedicated facility like Imagery for the support and development of photography in Queensland, founded the Queensland Centre for Photography (QCP). Over the nine years of operation, the managing team headed by Director Maurice Ortega and Deputy-Director Camilla Birkeland, have developed the QCP into an internationally recognized centre for the art of photography.

The costs associated with the QCP operation not only comes from government grant funding but also through the valuable support of corporate sponsors and the work of an energetic committee of volunteers and interns.

QCP initiatives include the following key programs:

  1. The exhibition program
  2. The educational program
  3. The publication program
  4. The international program
  5. The QCP collection
  6. The biennial Queensland Festival of Photography.

With the biennial Queensland Festival of Photography (QFP) the QCP gathered together a statewide coverage of exhibition venues and the QFP travelling series of lectures and forums placed the organisation’s commitment firmly within the regional space of Queensland. Further to this they have taken Queensland photographers and their works to international venues and gained significant recognition for Queensland themes and stories.

I am a regional artist, a TAFE teacher of photography, a critic and commentator on art and photography, and a member of many photography organizations including the Australian Institute of Professional Photography with service as chair of national subcommittees. It is my opinion that the QCP’s contribution to the practice and art of photography is significant and vital to the fabric of cultural activity and its growth in Queensland.

Photography today is ubiquitous; it permeates every aspect of society, every age group and interest. People employ photography in science, in information and communication technology. Most importantly photography is universally the medium of story telling and the QCP’s activities across the state provide support for Queenslanders to create and present these communiqués to national and international audiences.

The Queensland Centre for Photography has made a proven contribution to the state of Queensland in supporting and fostering the important practice and art that is photography and its contribution to cultural development. I therefore ask that you positively consider the ongoing support funding to enable this important Queensland initiative to continue doing its work for Queenslanders into the future.

Yours faithfully


Dr Doug Spowart  M.Photog, FAIPP, HonFAIPP


Ian Walker -response reQCP


Ian Walkers response

Ian Walker MP response


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