Elizabeth Looker is an award-winning photographer whose work and exhibitions range from ethereal to commercial, portraiture to experimental, landscape to raw human forms. Empathy and authenticity in her approach and process allow her to connect to the essence of her subjects. Her work, ‘Life Dancers’, won Australia’s National Photographic Portrait Prize, 2016, and she has just won the Art Handlers’ Award for her portrait ‘A calm so deep’ in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, 2019.
With the support of Minderoo Foundation https://www.minderoo.com.au, Elizabeth spent two months of 2018 in Gothenburg, Sweden as an artist-in-residence at KONSTEPIDEMIN ‘Epidemic of Art’, Sweden’s biggest workplace for independent artists. Her photographic project while there was inspired and informed by her Swedish ancestor, Charles Haag, whose acclaimed early 20th century American exhibition, ‘The Spirits of the Woods’, honoured the strength, humility, grace and persistence of humanity in sculpted mahogany, willow and oak. Working collaboratively with international dancers from the GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, Elizabeth set out to catch, through her lens, the spirit of her subjects; to connect so as to see beyond the flesh; to see and capture their energy and core. During several extraordinary shoots in her Gothenburg studio, catalytic conversations took place which took photographer and her subjects on a journey of self-discovery, creating profound, cathartic experiences for both.
"I am a quiet observer. My subjects have lived for a few days, for a hundred years, they are men and women, children, strangers, friends of friends, anyone who will sit with me and trust me enough to show themselves."
Client list includes Rolling Stone, Dazed and Confused, GQ, Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire, Dumbo Feather, In Style, Water Corporation, Royal Life Saving Society, Synergy, Southern Plus, Minderoo, Edith Cowan University, Levi's, Lee, Wrangler, Roxy, David Jones, Myer, Fabric Quarterly, The New Story, Toni Maticevski.
2018 The Spirit and The Flesh, Kidogo, Fremantle
2016 Elizabeth Looker - Introspective, J Shed, Fremantle
2011 South American Alchemy, South Terrace, Fremantle
2007 Portraits, Nicholson St, Victoria
2019 Maggie Diaz Photography Prize for Women (FINALIST), Melbourne, Victoria
2019 Gala Awards 13th Julia Margaret Cameron Award (EXHIBITED FINALIST AND HONOURABLE MENTION), Gallery Valid Foto, Barcelona, Spain
2019 Head On Portrait Prize (FINALIST) Sydney, New South Wales
2019 National Photographic Portrait Prize (WINNER - ART HANDLERS’ AWARD) National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
2018 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize (FINALIST), Sydney, New South Wales
2018 Moran Prize (SEMI FINALIST) Sydney, New South Wales
2017 PADC Photography of the Year and GOLD SKULL recipient (WINNER) W.A
2016 National Photographic Portrait Prize (WINNER) National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
2016 International Photography Awards Family of Man (6 HONOURABLE MENTIONS)
2016 Tokyo International Photo Awards (HON MENTION) Tokyo, Japan
2016 Moscow International Photo Awards (HON MENTION) Moscow, Russia
2015 Olive Cotton Award (FINALIST) Rural, New South Wales
2015 Head On Portrait Prize (FINALIST) Sydney, New South Wales
2015 Canon Light Awards (PRIZE WINNER) Sydney, New South Wales
2015 Mosman Park Art Award (FINALIST) Mosman Park, Perth
2013 Moran Prize (SEMI FINALIST) State Library, Sydney
2012 Moran Prize (SEMI FINALIST) State Library, Sydney
2011 Moran Prize (FINALIST HIGHLY COMMENDED) State Library, Sydney
2004 Unleashing Art GPO Building, Melbourne
Grants, Funding and Prizes
2019 Winner Art Handlers’ Award, National Photographic Portrait Prize, NPG, Canberra
2018 Recipient International Artist in Residence KONSTEPIDEMIN, Gothenburg, Sweden
2018 Recipient of Minderoo Foundation Artist Grant, Western Australia
2017 Recipient PADC Gold Skull Award for Advertising Photography of the Year
2016 Winner National Photographic Portrait Prize, NPG, Canberra
2016 Recipient of DCA Creative Development Grant, Western Australia
2011 Highly Commended, Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, NSW
2016 Contributing Panelist, On Portraiture, National Photographic Portrait Prize Forum
2017 On Light Effects and Personal Practice, by invitation, National Portrait Gallery of Australia.
2018 Awareness, Connection and Truth Through Photography, by invitation, Grace Forrest in support of Walk Free Foundation
Feature Articles on Elizabeth
2018 The New Story
2019 Fabric Quarterly