The Thinking Woman's Diary

Dumbing Down the Snaps...

Written: 4th Apr 2018  | Last Updated: 4th Apr 2018


The finalists in this year’s Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize were announced today.  

Selected from a diverse and often engaging group of semi-finalists, the disappointingly mediocre finalists showcase our nation as a crass, dull and hick kind of place, on the skids, lost between the cracks, tough enough to survive but not smart enough to soar - completely lacking in inspiration, artistry, empathy and imagination. Perhaps three or four photos display real merit, compositionally and technically, but the rest are utterly unremarkable in their ordinariness. 

The finalist snappers (chasing the big purse) unapologetically played into the hands of the judges who in turn were completely smitten by cliched Aussie icons - a Hills hoist, a snake curled under a car bonnet, caravan girls doing makeup, aboriginals in bush and town, migrants, odd couples, a fruit tree under a net (yes, really) - underwhelming attempts at showing the ins and outs, ups and downs of living life as an Australian. 

Where are the photographs that capture us as a land and people of true grit and grace? 

The Moran, rather than a platform for world class art, has become a sideshow alley.

More's the pity.