Shan Turner-Carroll

Winner 2012

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Artist Statement

In the present I explore my past. My work looks at identity and the search for self. When shooting, I am trying to capture the in-between moments: the vulnerable, the hidden, and the quiet moments. Searching for moments of truth. My work takes on elements of cinema and the documenting of performance. The people in my photographs are friends, family and people I have met randomly. My interest in humans and the way they live and respond to their environments are recurring themes that tend to come out in my art.

More information about Shan's work can be found on his website.

Recent Work

Primal Crown Series (2013)

Ri'em (2012)

Primal Faith Series (2011)

Art Career Beginnings

I first went to art school as a back up to fashion design. After being accepted into both, I went with my heart and studied art full time. I've always been artistic and, with my strengths being in the creative arts, it wasn't a hard decision to make.

My family, upbringing and the property that I live on are a huge influence on my practice. I look to nature and the people around me for inspiration. I read a lot about Buddhist philosophy, Anthropology, evolution and Australian History.

My Jennie Thomas Travelling Scholarship Experience

Receiving this award in 2012 has given me the opportunity to travel and nurture my art in a way I had never thought possible. It allows me to spend time to explore and learn in ways that aren't always available. Through the award I have made many contacts allowing me to network and continue this journey.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to join everyone for Scholarship night on 29th May 2013, as I will be in Myanmar for my chosen Scholarship travel. But Jennie, thank you for all of your support, chats and advice. You were the first to acknowledge me as an emerging photographic artist and you will always be in my heart.

Beyond The Scholarship

I have just finished my study for now but am interested in doing my masters. My aim is to be a practicing artist. In April 2013, I travelled to Perth as finalist in the 2013 Hatched National Graduate Exhibition. The art works from my peers across Australia were of an extremely high standard and I learned so much from seeing them and meeting other artists. To my delight and amazement I won the prestigious Doctor Harold Schenberg Art Prize.

My journey to Myanmar will take me to the land of my grandparents where I will meet the people, learning more of their culture, their faith and their art. I have been invited to exhibit my current work in an art space in Yangon and hope to make contact with Burmese artists as I travel throughout the country, including the Shan state for which I am named.


Primal Crown Series (2013)

My Primal Crowns are woven from the strands of past and present. Their value lies not within the extrinsic economies of gold and gems, but the intrinsic worth of personal heritage. Referencing tribal Burmese ancestry and Papua New Guinean family history, I've drawn on traditional skills of making passed down to me from preceding generations and cultures, and a resourcefulness born of personal exploration. I construct elaborate regalia from objects and materials that have special meaning for the subject of me photographs. A childhood toy becomes a priceless ornament, a floor rug, a regal mantle; and the prosaic details of daily life are synthesized to compose the eclectic visual poetry of the “Primal Crown”.

Doctor Harold Schenburg Art Prize

Shan won this year's Doctor Harold Schenburg Art Prize for his Hatched Installation, Primal Crown. Here is an interview Shan, after the award night.

Re'im Series (2012)

In the present I explore my past; a past where siblings played and outside influences were few, a place where memories and lost moments are rediscovered, where dreams are reimagined and where I am me. This series is about personal discoveries, memories, expectations and dreams.

Primal Faith Series (2011)

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