Self Portraits & Family Studies

7 – 30 January 2021
venue: Messums Yorkshire

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First collected by this gallery on a visit to Melbourne in 2019, we are delighted to welcome Atem to Messums as part of our Emerging Talents programme and to be exhibiting her collection of self-portraits and family studies.

Atong Atem is an Ethiopian born, South Sudanese artist living in Melbourne. Atem works primarily with photography and video to explore contemporary identity through portraiture and in particular the fluidity of migrant narratives and postcolonial practices in the African diaspora.

Atem explores concepts of home and identity through a critical and sentimental lens and references the works of photographers Malick Sidibe and Seydou Keita as well as science fiction writers such as Octavia Butler as her aides in navigating these liminal spaces.

Atem has exhibited her work across Australia, including MUMA Monash, Gertrude Contemporary, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and Internationally at Red Hook Labs in New York, Vogue Fashion Fair in Milan and Unseen Amsterdam art fair.


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A virtual tour and interview with photographer Atong Atem during her exhibition ‘Self Portraits & Family Studies’ at Messums London.