Over 70 prominent Australian and international artists have donated artworks, reflecting the high esteem the institution is held in by its community.

All of the artists involved have exhibited with CCP in the past, underscoring the centre’s importance as an advocate for creative practitioners and as a nexus between artists and audiences.

“What’s exciting,” CCP director Naomi Cass says, “is that we have artists in the fundraiser who are in the early part of their careers, right through to highly established artists who, for instance, have represented Australia at the Venice Biennale.”

The CCP director says that in the last 30 years photography has moved from being a somewhat specialised discipline to being at the heart of personal expression and social media, shared by millions every day on platforms such as Instagram and Facebook.

“Photography has stepped out from being a marginal practice – in both high art and its scientific or media uses – to become really central and critical to how human beings communicate with each other at a personal level,” she says.

“It’s now central and I think we can say, without any hesitation, that CCP has played a role in the importance of photo-based arts within contemporary society, and, indeed, has contributed to the value of photography as a collectable.”

Photo-based media is accessible, Cass says, in both terms of meaning and affordability. “Photography is a fascinating medium, laden with significance, yet for the price of one major painting you could buy an entire photographic collection.”

With works from emerging artists to some of Australia’s best-known names, the CCP fundraiser features works priced from $150 to $8000.

All funds raised in the July exhibition go towards the operational budget of CCP, where visitors can experience photography as both entertaining and cutting-edge, thought provoking as well as ravishingly seductive.

“When you come into CCP, photography is exciting and engaging,” says Cass. “Artists create meaning through visual skill, often and mostly without language. CCP works with these images in what we know from our audiences is a very successful way, by displaying work in this very beautiful Sean Godsell Architects-designed space. So we can tell a story – we can engage people.”

Cass says CCP will continue to support artists making bold explorations in all forms of photo-based media, including digital and video. “We take a very broad view of lens-based art, photography and video, so it’s not always a black-and-white silver gelatin print but there is always a relationship with the lens.”

“Sometimes the work is challenging; sometimes it’s exceedingly beautiful,” Cass says.

CCP’s 3oth anniversary fundraiser exhibition will continue Friday 22 July-Saturday 30 July 2016 at Centre for Contemporary Photography. You can view the full catalogue here.

See further coverage of the exhibition via BroadsheetThe Guardian and The Creators Project.

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