Things I Wanted To Say But Never Did | Digby Duncan

Things I Wanted To Say But Never Did | Digby Duncan

Digby Duncan | Artist 

Exhibiting artist at 'Things I Wanted To Say But Never Did' | Group Exhibition. 

Opens to the public 4th September 2019, 6pm - 8pm.  


Tell us about yourself.

My love of photography goes back to my childhood box brownie camera. As a young adult I moved to Sydney working as a public accountant, a documentary filmmaker and film producer for many years before returning to photography.

I produced the documentary "Witches & Faggots, Dykes & Poofters" about the 1978 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and surrounding events that has been widely shown in Australia and overseas. I wasn't to know then that this film would play such an important part in documenting queer history and that I would still be distributing it and showing the photographs I took of these events forty years later. The film has been recently restored by the National Film and Sound Archive.

I love the ocean and have been inspired to capture the textures and calligraphy-like patterns formed by seaweed and other creatures. These images were taken with a macro lens using film and formed my early solo exhibitions.

During an artist-in-residence program in Beijing, I photographed the chaotic night -life of Feijiacun, a small village slated for demolition. Using a hand held digital SLR camera I was able to move quickly and get the blurring effect I wanted reminding me of the work of Gerard Richter. These photographs were shown in my “After Dark” exhibition at Dank Street Waterloo.

This work led to a further interest in night-time photography. I had always been intrigued by how people lived in their homes and often walked the streets at night observing life through lit windows. By getting permission from friends I was able to set up my camera and observe their movements within their home from the outside, creating the highly cinematic interior images of my "Outside-In" series.

Artist residencies have inspired several series of works and exhibitions and Beijing (China), Oaxaca (Mexico) and Tetouan (Morocco). These photographs are more documentary in style.

I am very aware of the importance of documenting women's history. I have been involved in a portrait project photographing women who were active in the early days of Women's Liberation in Sydney. It wasn't till this year I ventured into self-portraiture. 

I enjoy being part of group exhibitions, making new work that responds to a provocation or theme. I have masses of archives yet to be revisited and not enough time to do so. 

What can the audience expect of your response to the theme?

Buried feelings, desires not expressed. 

Describe yourself in 3 words  

Ocean lover, 78er, feminist. 

If you could say 1 thing to an ex lover, what would you say?


ARTIST BIO: Digby's first solo photographic exhibitions were “Sea Script” and “Lingua Marina”, Gallery East (2003/2004)

She is a member of the ARTHERE group with whom she has exhibited in various galleries in Sydney. In 2011 Digby showed her night scenes from her artist residency in Beijing at Danks St. She also participated in artist residencies in Oaxaco, Mexico (2013) and in Tetouan, Morocco (2015).

Digby’s documentary film "Witches & Faggots, Dykes & Poofters" and photographs of the 1978 Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and surrounding events have been widely shown in Australia and overseas. They were included in “40 Years of Queer Art: Rebellion and Subversion”, exhibition Comber St Studios (2018).

She has participated in various group shows including "A Secret" at Contact Sheet (2017) and "The Selfie" show at Ten Forty Seven gallery (2019).