b. 1945 Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Lives and works in Adelaide

Ian North is an artist who is also a widely published writer on the visual arts. He employs photography and painting to address considerations of place, identity and post-conceptual authenticity, in recent years crossing the Pacific by container ship and undertaking a sea voyage to East Antarctica to photograph the maritime environment. Has produced many bodies of work, including the portfolio Felicia: South Australia 1973–78; Canberra Suite 1980­-81 (pioneering medium format colour film as an art medium); three Pseudo Panorama series, 1985–1988 (combining painting and colour photography); Home & Away, 1992; Haven, 2001/2013; East Antarctia 1915, 2015; Southern Ocean off Snares Islands 2015.

He has exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide (sixteen solo exhibitions), and in group exhibitions in London, Asia and the United States. His work is represented in fifteen Australian public collections. His publications include books on the Australian modernists Dorrit Black and Margaret Preston in the 1970s and a range of essays on the impact of the Indigenous art revolution (including ‘Expanse’, 1998, ‘StarAboriginality’, 2001, and ‘The Kindness of Kathleen Petyarre’ 2001). He has also addressed the intellectual relationship between art and neuro-aesthetics (‘Notes Towards a Natural Way to do Art History’, in North [ed.], Visual Animals, 2007).

North was Director of the Manawatu Art Gallery, Aotearoa/New Zealand 1969-71, immigrating to Australia to become Curator of Paintings at the Art Gallery of South Australia 1971-80 and Foundation Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia 1980-84. He subsequently served on the National Gallery's Council, working with curators on the NGA’s acquisition policy, and also on the boards of the Biennale of Sydney and the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand. His qualifications include MA and MFA degrees in photography from the University of New Mexico. He held a personal chair at the University of South Australia where he was Head of the South Australian School of Art (1984-1993). He is currently Adjunct Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Adelaide where he is a member of the J M Coetzee Centre for Creative Arts.

In 2014 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (AM) and a Doctor of Arts honoris causa from the University of Adelaide.



IAN NORTH - 'Harbinger', 2015, digital type C print, 72 x 180cm
IAN NORTH - 'East Antarctica 1915 no. 3', 2015, charcoal on inkjet pigment print, unique edition, c. 55 x 148cm
IAN NORTH - Southern Ocean off Snares Islands no. 10, 2012, 12 Type C photographs each 38 x 50 cm, overall dimensions variable, Edition of 2
IAN NORTH- The Wave, 2004, oil on linen, 73 x 170cm
IAN NORTH - 'Canberra Suite No2', 1980, Type C print, c. 37 x 46 cm
IAN NORTH - Felicia 22, 1973-78, A portfolio of 38 gelatin silver prints, selenium–toned, on fibre–based paper, 27.9 x 35.6 cm (11 x 14 in)
1985 -
Born Aotearoa / New Zealand
Arrived in Australia
 Art museum director/curator to academic to independent artist
CurrentlyAdjunct Professor, University of Adelaide
2015East Antarctica 1915, GAGPROJECTS, Adelaide
2013Haven 2001, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Felicia, South Australia 1973 - 78, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney
2010 Adelaide Suite, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Ian North Photographs 1974 - 2009, Art Gallery of South Australia
2009Sail Away, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
2006Symptoms, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
2005Canberra Suite & Canberra Coda (1980-81), Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
2004Sail Away, Apartment, Melbourne
1998Vault (with Helen Fuller), Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide
1997Correlations, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
1992Home & Away, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
1990Manifest Destiny, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
1988Pseudo Panoramas, Cazneaux series, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
1987Seasons, Pseudo Panoramas, Australia, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney
1986Seasons, Pseudo Panoramas, Contemporary Art Centre, Adelaide
2016Anything at all, Adelaide Central School of Art Gallery
Great Southern Land, Adelaide Airport
Public Image, Private Lives: Family, Friends and Self in Photography, Art Gallery of South Australia
2016 Fleurieu Art Prize, Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum, UniSA, Adelaide
2015CACSA Contemporary 2015, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide
Urban Suburban, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra
2014The Extreme Climate of Nicholas Folland, Art Gallery of South Australia
The Road. Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne
Panorama. Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth
2013Heartland, Art Gallery of South Australia
2012CACSA @ 70: Member's Exhibitions 1 & 2, Contemporary Art Centre, Adelaide
Daya / Kindness, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi; RMIT Gallery, Melbourne
2011Photography & Place: approaches to Auatralian Landscape Photography 1970s until now, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2010The New New. CACSA Contemporary 2010, SASA Gallery, Adelaide
Painthing, Australian Experimental Art Foundation
2009Dystopia: portraits of the urban landscape, Adelaide Central Gallery
2007True Portraits, Adelaide Central Gallery
2006Fleurieu Penninsula Biennale, Finalists' exhibition
The Ability to Lie, Horsham Regional Art Gallery
2005Archibald Prize, Finalists' exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales
2004Good Looking, National Gallery of Victoria
2002Arid Arcadia, Art Gallery of South Australia
2001Seeing Through Landscape, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney
2000Chemistry, Art Gallery of South Australia
1998The Painted Coast, Art Gallery of South Australia
1997Painted Realities: hand-coloured photographs from 1839 to the present, University of Wyoming & US tour
1996Colonial/Postcolonial, Museum of Modern Art, Heide
1992Location, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, and Asia tour
Southern Crossings / Empty Land, Camerawork Gallery, London and tour
1991Fertile Ground, Artworks Gallery, Griffith University
1988Stories of Australian Art, Commonwealth Institute, London
South Australia Rephotographed, Collage Gallery, Adelaide
2005The World is All that is Not the Case, Department of Philosophy, University of Melbourne
2000The Intelligence of Blood. Department of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide
1996The Olive Plantation. Art Gallery of South Australia
Bolton, Ken, ‘“Maintain the Buzz”¬– Lenin’. FORMGUIDE, Australian Experimental Art Foundation
Bullock, Natasha, ‘Time–Memory–Place’, in Judy Annear (ed.), Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, Sydney: Art Gallery of NSW, 2007
pp. 290, 300
De-Almeida, Pedro, Ian North: Felicia: South Australia 1973-1978. Sydney: Australian Centre for Photography, 2013 (includes Pedro de Almeida, ‘ “Just allowing it to be” ’, a conversation with Ian North’, pp. 7–18).
Galstyan, Vigan, ‘Ian North’, in Judy Annear. Photography & Place: approaches to Australian Landscape Photography 1970s until Now. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2011, n.p.
Geczy, Adam, ‘Ian North and the Anti-Picturesque’, Eyeline #71 (2011), pp. 36–40
Geczy, Adam, ‘Sail Away: Ian North’, Artlink vol 29 #3, 2009, p. 92
Marsh, Anne, Look: Contemporary Australian Photography since 1980. Melbourne: MacMillan, 2010, pp. 202-203, 267, 337
Palmer, Daniel, ‘Ian North: Canberra Suite (with Coda)’ in Ian North: Canberra Suite and Coda, 1980–81 (Adelaide: Greenaway Art Gallery, 2005)
Thomas, Sarah. Chemistry: Art in South Australia 1990-2000: The Faulding Exhibition, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 2000
Zagala, Maria. ‘Truth in restraint: the art of Ian North’, Art & Australia, Vol. 50 no.1 (Spring, 2012). pp. 138-145.
Adelaide Festival Centre; Artbank, Sydney; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Art Gallery of South Australia; Canberra Museum and Gallery; Flinders University of South Australia Art Museum; Griffith University, Brisbane; Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria; Parliament House, Canberra; Canberra Museum and Gallery; Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston; Riddoch Gallery, Mount Gambier