Tim Olsen Gallery
Tamara  Dean

Tamara Dean

'Tamara's work obviously displays a tremendour grasp of colour, tone and light. Along with this she achieves the magic of marrying the deliberate cinematic setting, with the seemingly spontaneous act. Although the images are well composed, there is the sense that everything just fell into place or just happened. Ironically within her considered approach there is also a free spirit, all of which seems to exist simultaneously. Her unassuming and understated demeanour obviously puts her subjects at ease, so everything and everyone seems sincere and natural.'

Tim Olsen, 2012


Born 1976, Sydney, Australia.

Dean began studying at the College of Fine Arts before graduating from the University of Western Sydney with a BA in Design. In 2002 Dean became a member of the Oculi photographic collective and since 2001 has worked as a photographer for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Dean’s works delve into themes of ritual, intimacy and decay set within the contemporary Australian landscape. Dean’s beginnings were in the ephemeral yet intimate portrayal of her immediate youth documenting her relationships living on the cultural fringe and her transient lifestyle. Later her documentary work would delve deeper into subcultures, social rituals and portraiture which continue to inform on-going themes in her evolving photographic practice.

Dean has had three solo shows, ‘Ritualism’ Charles Hewitt Gallery 2009, ‘This too Shall Pass’ Charles Hewitt Gallery 2010 and ‘Only Human’ James Makin Gallery 2011.

Dean’s portrait ‘Damien’ won the ‘Olive Cotton Award’ for photographic portraiture in 2011.

'The Bride', from ‘Ritualism’, won first prize in 'Sydney Life: Art and About' 2009 and was highly commended in the Moran Contemporary Photography Prize the same year.

Dean’s works have been exhibited at leading Australian galleries including ‘Inheritance’ 2009 and Hijacked 2 – New Australian & German Photography 2010, both at the Australian Centre for Photography; ‘Sydney Now – New Australian Photojournalism’,

Museum of Sydney 2007; Stills South and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Dean’s art practice has seen her awarded artist residencies with Taronga Zoo, Sydney in 2010, Montsalvat artists colony in Victoria in 2010 and in the remote gold-mining town of Hill End, NSW in 2005, 2008 and 2010.      

Dean’s work is held in a number of public and private collections including work recently acquired by ‘Artbank’ from her most recent series ‘Only Human’

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