What are the unique issues facing rural and regional Victorians? What do our communities hope for and how will recent events shape the future?

2020 was an unprecedented year, from extreme bushfires to a global pandemic. In regional Victoria, these challenges, combined with persistent drought and adverse economic conditions, struck at the heart of many regional industries and communities. During the difficult year, State Library Victoria, after being approached by Melbourne-based photographer John Rodsted, supported and commissioned four photographers with connections to regional Victoria, to capture history as it happens and build the State Collection. These photographers were Tiffany Garvie, Fabiana Guerreiro, Aldona Kmieć and James Wiltshire.

This latest State Library of Victoria picture collection exhibition aims to address these questions and provide a raw glimpse into the lives of rural and regional Victorians following the impactful events of 2020.

Over 350 images were captured during the project for SLV’s Window on Collections, highlighting the importance of the lived experiences of Victorians to the State Collection. A selection of 30 works is now on display for public viewing in Victoria Gallery from Thursday 18 March 2021 until 31 January 2022, as well as a tightly focused showcase here. These photos were taken by Tiffany Garvie in East Gippsland, Fabiana Guerreiro in south-west Victoria, Aldona Kmieć in Gippsland, and James Wiltshire in north-east Victoria. They are now part of the State Collection, highlighting the importance of the lived experience of Victorians to the State Collection now and for posterity.

Date: 18 March 2021–31 January 2022
Cost: Free
Bookings: 03 8664 7099
Email: [email protected]
Location: Victoria Gallery
Entry 5, via La Trobe Street
Accessibility: Has wheelchair access

An appeal page has also been launched here: https://slv.vic.gov.au/appeal2021 State Library Victoria needs your support to expand this project and capture more stories from across Victoria in 2021. Help us focus on country Victoria while these experiences are still vivid. Donate today.

Di Deppeler art teacher, painter and woodworker from Clifton Creek In East Gippsland. Di retells her memories of the bushfires in December 2019
Di Deppeler, art teacher, painter and woodworker points towards the regrowth on the trees burnt during the 2019/20 bushfires, Aldona Kmieć, November 2020. Mob: Gunai Kurnai, Clifton Creek, East Gippsland