Born 1984, Gadigal Nura/Sydney, Australia

Justine Varga is an Australian artist widely recognised for her deliberative engagement with the practice of photography. Since graduating from the National Art School with Honours in Gadigal Nura/Sydney in 2007, her work has been included in a number of important museum exhibitions including: Primavera: Young Australian Artists, curated by Anna Davies for the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Gadigal Nura/Sydney (2012); Flatlands: Photography and Everyday Space at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Gadigal Nura/Sydney (2012-13); Australian Art: Now at the National Gallery of Australia in Kamberri/Canberra (2015); Emanations: The Art of the Cameraless Photograph, curated by Geoffrey Batchen for the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, in New Plymouth, Aotearoa New Zealand (2016); New Matter: Recent Forms of Photography, curated by Isobel Parker Philip at the Art Gallery of New South Wales (2016-17); TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form, curated by Emily Cormack for the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Wurundjeri Country, Victoria (2018); Performing Drawing, curated by Sarina Noordhuis-Fairfax for the National Gallery of Australia (2018); Defining Space/Place: Australian Contemporary Photography, curated by Deborah Klochko for the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, United States (2019); News from the Sun, curated by Aaron Lister for the City Gallery Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand (2019-20); Ways of Seeing, curated by Maria Zagala for the Art Gallery of South Australia, Tarntanya/Adelaide (2019-20); Direct Contact: Cameraless Photography Now, curated by Lauren Richman for the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, United States (2023); and Nameless Things, Proscholium, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, United Kingdom (2023). In 2018, she co-curated Runes: Photography and Decipherment for the Centre for Contemporary Photography in Naarm/Melbourne. In that same year, she completed a major commission for Duo Central Park in Gadigal Nura/Sydney, a building designed by Foster + Partners in London. A suite of her photographs will be exhibited at Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey, United States in 2024. She is currently reading towards a DPhil in Fine Art at the Queen’s College and Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford.

Varga’s photographs have regularly won prestigious awards. These include the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s Primavera Veolia Acquisitive Prize (2014); the Australia Council London Studio Residency (2014); the Josephine Ulrick & Win Shubert Foundation for the Arts Photography Award (in 2013 and 2016); the biannual Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture (2017); and the 21st Dobell Drawing Prize (2019), making her the first photographer to receive this honour. Varga is a regular contributor to public and scholarly conversations on the place of photography in contemporary art and frequently delivers public papers; University of Lisbon, Portugal (2022); University of Westminster, United Kingdom (2023); and University of Sydney (2023). Her work has been included in published histories of photography, such as Installation View: Photography Exhibitions in Australia (18482020) (Perimeter Editions, 2021), and Negative/Positive: A History of Photography (Routledge, 2021). In 2024, a special issue of the Swedish journal OEI: Photography on Edge, including an interview, portfolio, and several of her essays, will be launched in Stockholm. Varga’s photography is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, Museum of Australian Photography, Macquarie University, and University of Queensland, among others, as well as numerous private collections in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, France, and the United Kingdom.