Who is Contact Sheet?

Paul McDonald is the Founder and Director of Contact Sheet.

Paul McDonald is a socially engaged artist, educator and curator whose personal practice explores masculinity and mental health. His photographic work has been published both nationally and internationally.

In 2019, he was commissioned by ‘The Dax Centre’ Melbourne and Bridging Hope Charity to produce and exhibit his first major solo exhibition ‘resonance’ in response to the Cunningham Dax Collection. The Cunningham Dax Collection consists of more than 16,000 artworks created by people who have experienced mental illness or psychological trauma.  The Collection includes works on paper, canvas, photographs, textiles, sculptures, installations, artists’ books and diaries, digital media and films. Paul is the first artist to be asked to respond to the collection in a contemporary way.

Paul gained experience as a senior manager in the private sector from2000-2008. From 2008-2012 he held senior management positions, Associate Director at Australian Centre for Photography. From 2012-2014 he was gallery Director at 10x8 gallery, Sydney. In 2014 he founded Contact Sheet, St Leonards NSW, where he is currently self-employed as Director. Paul completed his MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at University of the Arts London in December 2016 with Distinction. In 2019-2020 he was a lecturer at Macleay College teaching Photojournalism, News Photography and MOJO (Mobile Journalism). 

As Director of Contact Sheet Paul curated and presented over 60 exhibitions, a series of free public programs attracting an audience of over 15,000 visitors to the gallery and provided a structured mentoring program to over 60 clients, workshops for over 180 clients and hosted over 15 internships in partnership with local colleges and Universities.

He was invited to curate exhibitions in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 for the Head On Photography festival and has curated a number of exhibitions for private clients including Canon Australia, Sunstudios and Mardi Gras Festival.

Since 2009 Paul has developed and presented a number of participatory programs discussing social issues and engaging with local communities and diverse groups. His clients include North Sydney Council, City of Sydney, Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre, UNSW and The Big Anxiety Festival, Bridging Hope Charity Foundation, The Dax Centre, Life without Barriers, Twenty 10, Flashpoint Labs, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, Australian Centre for Photography, Sunstudios and Canon Australia.