Photo Australia releases limited-edition print by artist Atong Atem

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Photo Australia releases limited-edition print by artist Atong Atem


Funds raised from the sales of the prints will go to on to support the PHOTO 2024 festival.

Until April 5, Melbourne art buffs have the chance to get their hands on a signed, limited-edition print by the rising local star Atong Atem. Costing $350, the print will be sold to help raise money for the commissioning and presentation of artists for next year’s festival.

Viewers may recognise the photo, titled Studio 85, from the artist’s beloved Surat series which was exhibited as a major outdoor installation adjacent to the Old Treasury Building at PHOTO 2022.

Photo Australia sells Atong Atem print

  • The limited-edition print of Studio 85 from the artist’s Surat series will be on sale until April 5
  • Money raised will go towards PHOTO 2024
  • The hand-signed print is available now

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Surat (meaning ‘snapshots’ in Sudanese Arabic) draws inspiration from the family photo albums Atem’s family brought with them when they arrived in Australia as refugees from South Sudan, and the characters within them.

In the series, the artists stages and reimagines the images in vibrant colours and decorated scenes as an exploration of self-portraiture.


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“I was drawn to making Surat from my interest in the history of photography in Africa, and studio photography specifically,” says Atem. “I was interested in not quite re-creating but paying homage to family photos as objects, documents of history and a way to preserve tradition and mythology.”

The Ethiopian-born, South Sudanese artist is one to watch.  Aside from her monumental display at PHOTO 22, Atem has recently been featured in the National Gallery of Victoria’s Australia’s Melbourne Now exhibition.

She was awarded the inaugural La Prairie Art Award in 2022 presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales; the NGV and MECCA M-Power scholarship in 2018, and the Brisbane Powerhouse Melt Portrait Prize in 2017.

“Participating in PHOTO 2022 has catapulted my work into the international sphere and led to so many major opportunities,” says Atem. “I am delighted that sales of my print will now support more artists to be commissioned by Photo Australia to create ambitious new work for PHOTO 2024.”

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To purchase Atong Atem’s signed print of Studio 85, available until April 2, head here.