For more than 25 years, Australian artist Robyn Stacey has worked consistently on the edge of photographic and digital media, bringing into focus the relationships between photodocumentation, analysis and meaning.

We are fortunate to have several of Stacey’s works on campus from different stages of her career, including Ice 1989, currently on display in 2SER. These early works by Stacey are marked by an edgy film noir quality, delving into popular culture through her skilful use of digitally manipulated photography.

Increasingly however, her subject matter has turned to the more formal arrangements like those of still life paintings, often reinterpreting scientific collections as aesthetic objects, and investigating the processes of collection and categorisation.

Tulip 1998 is one of a series of botanical studies that signalled this shift. In 2000, Stacey was artist-in-residence at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney. Fern Journals, another botanical work by Stacey in the UTS Art Collection, is part of a series of photographic works produced during this project.

Two extraordinary publications – Herbarium and Museum – feature Stacey’s photographic arrangements of objects from the collections of the Royal Botanical Society and the Macleay Museum at the University of Sydney. More recently House featured items from the Historic Houses Trust.


Janet Ollevou

An earlier version of this article appeared in Umag November 2014

Art & U features a highlight from the UTS Art Collection in every issue

Robyn Stacey