Public Image, Private Lives delves beneath the surface of familiar (and some unfamiliar) images in Australian and international photography to highlight the close connections between photographer and subject, whether they be friends, family members or the photographers themselves.

Many of the works are not portraits per se, but are instances where family and friends have been drawn into the photographer’s creative vision and process. There is often an element of reciprocity in the image-making, based on the familiarity and rapport between the sitter and the photographer.

The images exist as works of art but also provide a fascinating insight into the photographer’s world – as unofficial portraits of family and friends – and inevitably reveal as much about the artist as about the sitter.

This exhibition, which has been inspired by the acquisition of a group of photographs by Carol Jerrems, also includes many other Australian artists from the 1970s to now, among them, Sue Ford, William Yang, Pat Brassington, Robert McFarlane, Ian North, Mark Kimber, Ann Newmarch and Trent Parke. These are seen in the company of Australian and international works dating back to the nineteenth century by photographers as diverse as Philip Marchant, Frederick Joyner, Julia Margaret Cameron, Harold Cazneaux, J.H. Lartigue, Max Dupain, and Andy Warhol.