Tamara Searle and Gemma-Rose Turnbull
Claudia, Portrait  (detail) 2021
colour photograph
Courtesy of Back to Back Theatre
© Tamara Searle, Gemma-Rose Turnbull and Claudia

Tamara Searle and Gemma-Rose Turnbull
Claudia, Portrait  (detail) 2021
colour photograph
Courtesy of Back to Back Theatre
© Tamara Searle, Gemma-Rose Turnbull and Claudia


Back to Back Theatre—Portrait

Saturday 18 March to Sunday 9 July 2023

Free entry


Portrait is a participatory photographic project created by Tamara Searle (Back to Back Theatre) and photographer Gemma-Rose Turnbull with students in local Nelson Park and Barwon Valley schools.

This long-term project was created with a foundation of self-determination, in which existing photographic representations of disability, age, gender, and sexuality were challenged, allowing each of the students to reflect on and express their unique identities. Searle and Turnbull (and their collaborators) offered a safe space where young women could openly, authentically question their diverse identities, and analyse photographic forms of representation. These formative discussions, and the preferences and personalities of the young women, informed the processes and outcomes for each of the 17 portraits on display. They are presented in collaboration with the participants, who share a strong belief in the necessity and powerfulness of self-representation by teenage women living with disability. 

A Geelong Gallery and Back to Back Theatre exhibition

Back to Back Theatre is supported by the Anthony Costa Foundation, Cassandra Gantner Foundation, Besen Family Foundation, Thyne Reid Foundation, Give Where You Live, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Percy Baxter Charitable Trust, John T Reid Charitable Trust and John and Winifred Baxter Trust.

Back to Back Theatre is supported by Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria and City of Greater Geelong and acknowledges the support of the Department of Education & Training, Victoria, through the Strategic Partnerships Program.


Exhibition sponsors