Kate Disher-Quill & Phoebe Powell: Surge
City Square, February to April 2021
Behind the camera
View Phoebe Powell and Kate Disher-Quill's online photographic essay detailing the unique challenges of creating Surge and Thank You during the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the artwork
About the artists
Kate Disher-Quill is a Melbourne-based artist working across photography, film, publication and multimedia. As a visual communicator, she is drawn to weaving stories into art to explore themes reflected in her community and the wider Australian society. Since 2010, she has exhibited in numerous group and solo shows around Australia, and her publications have been distributed in leading bookstores and art institutions, including Art Gallery of New South Wales and National Gallery of Victoria. Disher-Quill’s book Earshot, published in 2019 by Black Inc, portrays the myriad of experiences of Deafness and hearing loss, intersecting art and storytelling with health and education.
Melbourne-based photographer Phoebe Powell’s images are motivated by curiosity and connection, and her portraiture is rooted in an ethos of compassion. Working closely with her subjects to encourage self-expression and honesty in their portrayal, Powell’s work is engrained with themes of intimacy and identity. At the flattened end of the first wave of COVID 19 infections in Melbourne, Phoebe was commissioned by the Metro Tunnel Creative Program to photograph more than 50 healthcare professionals working to manage the pandemic for a photographic essay titled Thank You. Exhibited publicly on the construction hoardings for the new Parkville Station, the work gained international recognition within days, bringing about a wider acknowledgement of the people dedicated to keeping Victoria safe. It is this ability to inform, educate and inspire that draws Phoebe to photographic storytelling.
Photography by James Henry