Judith works with photography to examine the relationships between community and place, the importance of cultural identity, and the resulting personal and environmental wellbeing.
Judith has developed her Place Matters series working alongside communities from around the globe. This series follows her own migration from Scotland to Australia and consequent exploration of issues around displacement.
Her recent residencies for the exhibition, Grounded, span both countries. The work seeks to build bridges between the traditional Gaelic speaking culture of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and Australian Aboriginal nations of the Central Desert and surrounding areas. Her photographs were part of the Cultural Programme for Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 and are touring Queensland until 2017.
As a direct result of this exhibition, Judith will work alongside National Theatre Scotland in 2016 for their Home Away Festival, developing photographic projections as theatre set for a dramatic production.
A Scottish Arts Council pARTners residency on the Isle of Bute in 2007, was the first residency that took Judith back to Scotland. She worked closely with the community facilitating sensory photography walks before developing her own exhibition that reflected the sense of place of the island community in Rothesay.
In subsequent years Judith returned to the island to work on varying projects including in 2009, Walking the Bridge, which juxtaposes island life on Scotland Island in New South Wales, Australia with island life on the Isle of Bute, Scotland; and in 2012 working with the team of the Discover Bute Landscape Partnership Project to create an exhibition exploring the team’s landscape-based work over the last four years.
Based on Judith’s diaries, Walking the Bridge was developed into a 50-minute feature programme for ABC Radio National. It also led to Judith’s employment for Scottish Year of Homecoming, photographically exploring the Canadian community of Rothesay.
In 2005, Judith received an arts fellowship to Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Division. This 4-month residency allowed her to work with the community of scientists and trades people living temporarily at the Australian stations of Casey, Davis and Mawson in Antarctica, photographing lives in an isolated and extreme environment.
Antarctica – A Place in the Wilderness toured Australia from 2005 to 2012, including a showing at Parliament House, Canberra.
In 2004 Judith worked alongside the Aymara community and family of Indigenous President Evo Morales in Bolivia, during the uprising that put Evo Morales Ayma into power, with the resulting photographic exhibition shown at Brisbane Powerhouse Centre for the Arts in Australia.
Earlier exhibitions in the Place Matters series have all required the same level of community engagement and interaction to bring them to fruition. Judith’s work has allowed her to work within a wide cultural context, across many age groups and with people of diverse religious belief, socio-economic background and varying abilities. She has been employed as mentor to emerging photographers who have sought out her advice in producing exhibitions.
Since 2004, Judith has been employed in a variety of capacities by Brisbane City Council, including: photographing diverse religious communities for an exhibition at Brisbane City Hall; running photography workshops for children; and creative photographic interventions with residents displaced by the building of road tunnels.
Judith facilitates workshops at galleries in conjunction with her exhibition events, and also as an employee of Flying Arts Inc., a Queensland-based organisation that flies artists to regional and remote Queensland. She is a skilled presenter of artist talks.