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Gemma-Rose Turnbull

Gemma-Rose Turnbull is an Australian artist, researcher, and educator. She studies the way artists integrate co-productive methodologies into their photographic works. Her practice focuses on the ways in which authorship structures can be revised so people who may have previously been ‘subjects’ of documentary images become co-creators. She came to collaboration via many years working as a regional newspaper photographer, and has co-authored projects with children, women involved in street-based sex work, teenagers with intellectual disabilities, people who have experienced elder abuse, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, and many others.


Gemma has a First Class Honours degree, majoring in Photojournalism and Visual Culture, from the Queensland College of Art and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, from Griffith University. She is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, was a Scholar in Residence in the Art and Social Practice MFA program at Portland State University 2013-2014, one of the Taking Part residents at Photofusion in Brixton, London in 2017, and a resident at Wave Pool in 2018 with Eliza Gregory.  


Gemma teaches research and writing, but also history and theory, and writing for media.

  • Image Cultures 1: History and Context of Representation
  • Visual Thinking 1: Language, Design and the Image
  • Visual Thinking 2: Research Seminar
  • Consumer Cultures: Writing for media

As well as the Master of Arts photography program research and writing subject:

  • MA002 Reflective Methodologies

Teaching experience

She has taught in Australia, and internationally, for the last 13 years, including as a Senior Lecturer in photography at Coventry University, where she co-wrote the MA Photography and Collaboration with Anthony Luvera.  She is a frequent guest at institutions, including the London College of Communication, Texas State University, Magnum Foundation, Aperture Foundation, Art Academy Cincinnati, and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design amoung others. 


Gemma writes about her research at Photography as a Social Practice. She was the project manager for Open Engagement‘s The Questions We Ask Together, and has produced projects for Magnum Photos, non-profit organisations, councils, and arts organisations. She also reviews manuscripts for Duke University Press, USA. 


Gemma-Rose Turnbull


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