Gemma used to be a news photographer and came to be focused on collaborative practices that disrupt the linear, documentary method... From different starting points, Gemma and I have come to value the same questions of power, participatory processes and, I guess, the love, vulnerability and open possibilities of social engagement. – Pete Brook
Gemma-Rose Turnbull is an Australian artist, researcher, and educator. Her practice interrogates the ways photography has often been weaponised against people, amplifying images made by and with people whose work usually isn’t seen in art spaces.
Gemma has a BA Hons in Photojournalism and Visual Culture from the Queensland College of Art and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, from Griffith University. She is a PhD candidate at the
University of Queensland, and was a Scholar in Residence in the Portland State University Art and Social Practice MFA program from 2013-14.
She was one of the Taking Part residents at Photofusion in Brixton, London in 2017, and a resident at Wave Pool in 2018 with Eliza Gregory. The Camp Washington work will be re-exhibited in Cincinnati in late 2022. She has been working with Tamara Searle within the Back to Back Theatre educational programme since 2021, and an exhibition of this work opened at the Geelong Art Gallery March 2023.
Gemma has taught in tertiary institutions in Australia and internationally for the last 15 years, including as a Senior Lecturer in photography at Coventry University, where she co-wrote the MA Photography and Collaboration with Anthony Luvera. She currently teaches theory, research, and writing within the BA and MA programmes at Photography Studies College in Melbourne, Australia. She is an external examiner and regular guest lecturer for institutions including Magnum Foundation, University of the Arts London, and Arts Academy Cincinnati.
Some recent publications include “Community Accessible Archives; What You Leave, When You Leave” a chapter in Art as Social Practice Technologies for Change edited by xtine burrough and Judy Walgren, published March 2022. As well as a book review “Restricted Images: Made with the Warlpiri of Central Australia (Patrick Waterhouse, 2018, SPBH Editions)” in Photography and Culture Volume 12, Issue 3: Photography As Dialogue in Oct 2019. Gemma is also manuscript reviewer for Duke University Press.