Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Matthew Abbott is the current representative for the World Press Photo 6x6 Global Talent for Southeast Asia and Oceania 2017.
Abbott is a documentary photographer based in Sydney and is widely recognised for covering social and political issues that define Australia. He studied International Photojournalism at the Danish School of Journalism and completed a Masters of Studio Arts at Sydney University. He is a current member of the Oculi collective, Australia’s leading cooperative of photographic artists.
Abbott’s photographs have been exhibited extensively internationally and throughout Australia, including the Centre of Contemporary Photography, Perth Centre of Contemporary Photography and the MAMA Gallery. His work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the National Library of Australia.
Works by Abbott have been selected for The National Portrait Prize in 2012, 2015 and 2016. He won the Sydney Morning Herald Documentary Photographer Award and the Melbourne Leica Photojournalism Award. In 2016, he won the judges commendation award at both the CLIPP landscape prize and IRIS portrait prize at the PCP, and again the IRIS prize in 2017. Abbott's photographs documenting Australia’s offshore detention centres on Manus Island for Der Spiegel was nominated for and exhibited at the Reporterpreis in Berlin, Germany.
In 2016, Abbott held his first solo exhibition featuring his longterm-project ‘The Land Where the Crow Flies Backwards’ at the Fox Gallery, Melbourne. A year later he showed this work at ‘La Nuit des images’ at the Musée de l'Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland organised by the ACP. A selection was then exhibited at the Red Hook Gallery, New York.
Abbott’s editorial clients include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and La Repubblica. He also does commercial advertising, including for Uber, Mont Blanc and Menzies. Abbott works regularly for global and national NGO's and non-profit organisations.
2017 - IRIS Portrait Prize - Perth Centre of Photography, 2017 - World Press Photo, 2016 - Joop Swart Masterclass, 2016 - Reporterpreis in Berlin, Germany., 2016 - IRIS Portrait Prize - Perth Centre of Photography, 2016 - CLIP Art Prize - Perth Centre of Photography, 2013 - SMH Emerging Documentary Photographer Scholarship
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The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards
‘The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards’ follows the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s longest river system. In a time of increasing uncertainty and change, the towns along the river, once considered the backbone of the Australian economy, are now former shadows of themselves.
The land is plagued by drought and society is in flux being threatened by a dwindling youth population and high unemployment while the local Indigenous community is still reeling from the ongoing scars of colonisation.
Along the river, the fragility of life is an everyday reality.
Australia's Highway One
Highway One skirts the fringes of the Australian continent and its people. I use the highway as an avenue to access and connect some of the most disparate places and people in Australia.
The images depict the both mundane and at times surreal nature of life in remote communities; the hardships and comforts of home. As a document of the ephemerality of landscapes and the interminable striving of its people, the work presents an unvarnished view of remote Australia.
On Country In Arnhem Land
The treatment of Aboriginal people by European settlers is the darkest chapter in Australia’s history. And it remains a stain on our young nation: The far reaching consequences continue to be a defining factor in the relationship between black and white Australia.
Over the last ten years, I photographed the lives of Kunwinjku and Yolgnu people in the Northern Territory. ‘On Country in Arnhem Land’ is the story of the first people of this land. It’s about an everyday reality, where American rap music competes with the didgeridoo, the seductive pull of town life contends with the traditional homelands, and white man’s law undermines respect for the elders and their ancient land.