Narelle Autio

Narelle Autio’s vibrant images of Australian outback and coastal life have won her widespread acclaim and continue to capture the hearts and imaginations of viewers. Her sophisticated use of colour, light and composition create photographs that evoke the complex beauty of Australia’s landscape, which is otherwise eroded by postcards and clichés.

Narelle was born and raised in Adelaide, completing her studies with a Degree in Visual Arts from the University of South Australia in 1990. In 1991 she began her career as a photojournalist at the Adelaide Advertiser before leaving Australia in 1994. Narelle travelled extensively throughout the USA and Europe, working in England for numerous UK national newspapers as well as being the principal photographer for Australia’s News Limited London bureau. She worked and travelled throughout the USA before returning home in 1998 where she became a senior staff photographer at the Sydney Morning Herald until 2003, photographing news, arts and sport including the Sydney 2000 Olympics. 

In 2002, Narelle was chosen as the winner of the international Leica Oskar Barnack Award for her series Coastal Dwellers. She is the only Australian to win this prestigious award. Narelle has also won two World Press Photo Awards, an American Picture of the Year Award and two Walkley Awards for Australian Journalism. Autio has twice been a finalist in the Basil Sellers Art Prize and the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, a finalist in the Fleuireu Art Prize, The Olive Cotton Award, and The Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award.

The Seventh Wave, collaborating with Trent Parke was Autioʼs first exhibition in 2000.  A photographic book of the same name accompanied the exhibition.  She followed this in 2002 with the series Not of this Earth (a view from the Sydney Harbour Bridge)

Her solo show in 2004, Watercolours, continued her exploration of Australians swimming and at leisure on and around the Australian coastline and in 2009 she created the show The Summer of Us, a document of what is left behind on the beach through nature and by man.  Water hole, a story of our relationship with water in the outback opened in 2012.

Narelle has also collaborated extensively with her husband and photographer, Trent Parke. First with the photo book and exhibition, The Seventh Wave (2000) As well as providing additional photography, she was the principal designer and co-curator of Parke’s exhibition The Black Rose, which opened in Adelaide at the Art Gallery of South Australia during the 2015 Festival. They again came together with the joint exhibition, To the Sea in 2013 and more recently The Summation of Force (2018) An eight-channel moving image work that launched the Adelaide Film Festival that same year. The virtual reality version of the film went on to screen at the renowned Sundance Film Festival in Park City USA. It was them exhibited extensively across both the US, Asia and Europe, collecting the VR award at Amsterdam’s Imagine Film Festival in the Netherlands.

In 2015 she opened her solo show Indifference, a 15+year documentation of Australian native animals, birds and lizards left as ‘road-kill’ Her latest exhibition Place in Between; The Changelings (2021) coincided with the launch of her first solo monograph of the same name. Published in the UK by Stanley / Barker and selling out within four months

In 2001 and again in 2005 Autio was selected in the Australian Art Collectors Magazine's "50 most collectable Australian artists". Her work has been published extensively and exhibited throughout the world and collected in various institutions across Australia and numerous private collections nationally and internationally, some of which are National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Monash Gallery of Art, ABN Amro, Artbank,, Art Gallery of South Australia, Australia National Maritime Museum, BHP Billiton, Parliament House Collection, National Gallery of Victoria, RACV Collection and the Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art.

Narelle currently resides in Adelaide with her husband, Trent Parke and two children.


2023  The Eyes of Her, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide SA
2022  Hugo Michell Gallery at Jan Murphy Gallery, Jan Murphy Gallery, QLD
2021  Place in Between: The Changelings, Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney
Place in Between: The Changelings, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide SA
Summation of Force (with Trent Parke) Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney
2019  Around a Golden Sun, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide SA
Narelle Autio: Key Works, Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney NSW
Summation of Force Virtual Reality, (with Trent Parke) Main Corner Complex, Mount Gambier, South Australia
2018  Summation of Force Virtual Reality, (with Trent Parke) International Premier Sundance  Film Festival, Utah, USA 
2017  Summation of Force, with Trent Parke: Anne and Gordan Samstag Museum of ArtAdelaide: Winner of the SALA moving Image Award
Summation of Force Virtual Reality, (with Trent Parke) Australian Premier and Opening of Adelaide Film Festival
Narelle Autio / Trent Parke: The Seventh Wave: Hugo Michell Gallery Adelaide 
2015  Indifference, Hugo Michell Gallery SA
Water hole, Glasshouse Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie 
2014   Narelle Autio The Summer of Us: Bibliothèque départementale des Bouches-du-Rhône.Marseille, France.
The Summer of Us, Australian Embassy, Paris, France
An exhibition of photography by Narelle Autio, Adelaide Perry Gallery, NSW
2013  To the Sea, Stills Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2012  Water hole, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide SA
Water hole, Stills Gallery, Sydney, NSW
The Summer of Us, Gold Coast City Gallery, The Arts Centre Gold Coast, QLD
Narelle Autio, The Level, Stills Gallery Sydney
Narelle Autio / Trent Parke, Stills on The Street, Sydney NSW
2011  The Summer of Us, Photo De Mer, Vannes, France
2010  FotoFreo Festival
2010, Fremantle, WANarelle Autio, Sydney Children’s Hospital, Sydney, NSW                 
The Summer of Us, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
2009  The Summer of Us, Stills Gallery, Sydney   , NSW                 
Yarra’s Edge Billboard Project, Melbourne, VIC
2008  Narelle Autio, Johnston Gallery, Perth, WA
2006  New Colour Work, Depot Gallery, Sydney NSW
2004  Watercolours, Stills Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2002  Not of this Earth, Stills Gallery, Sydney, NSW
Leica Oskar Barnack Award Europe / International Touring Exhibition
2000  The Seventh Wave, Stills Gallery, Sydney, NSW 


2024  The Call of the Ocean, La Gacilly Photo Festival, France
Night, Harts Mill, Adelaide
Celebrating 15 Years of Hugo Michell Gallery, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
A Wall of Women by Women, Ballarat International Photo Biennale
Bewilderness: Recent Acquisitions, Art Gallery of South Australia
2022  Return to Nature: Monash Gallery of Art, Victoria
2021  William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize: Monash Gallery of Art
40 Years of the Leica Oskar Barnack Awards. Ernst Leitz Muesum, Wetzlar Germany
2020  20/20: Celebrating twenty years with twenty new portrait commissions: Anna Meares OAM, National Portrait Gallery Canberra
VESSEL: The Packing Shed, Harts Mill, Adelaide
New Collectors, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide
The Grey Zone, Art Bank Collection, Melbourne Showroom
2019  Light Years, Michael Reid Gallery, Sydney
BRIDGE: Fringe Festival, Packing Shed Harts Mill, Port Adelaide
2018  Wild: Flora and Fauna in Australian Art, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery. NSW
GRAIN: Fringe Festival, Packing Shed Harts Mill, Port Adelaide
WALL POWER, Contemporary Australian Photography, Australia House, London UK
By the Sea, Parliament House, Canberra ACT
WORD: Hugo Michell Gallery Adelaide
2017  Multiple: WALL POWER, Contemporary Australian Photography, Michael Reid BerlinCurtain Call, final exhibition, Stills Gallery, Sydney NSW
Summer 16/17   Stills Gallery Sydney
2016  Life Aquatic, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, Victoria
Basil Sellers Art Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne Victoria
Fleurieu Art Prize:  The Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art
anything at all, SALA Festival, Adelaide Central School of Art
SPEED: The Fast and the Curious, Murray Art Museum Albury
Waves and Water, Noosa Regional Gallery, QLD
Feast: Stills Gallery, NSW
2015  The Black Rose, Trent Parke. Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Elemental, McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Victoria.
Basil Sellers Art Prize, Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide. S.A
2014  Trip 2014:  The Baths of the Diocletian, Rome Italy
Holiday and Memory: Penrith Regional Gallery NSW
Basil Sellers Art Prize, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne Victoria
Melbourne Art Fair2014: Melbourne, Victoria
Waves and Water; Australian beach photographs, McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Vic
Season 14, Stills Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2013  Drawn to Water: A Floating Photographic Exhibition,East River Ferry, New York City. USA
Olive Cotton Award, Tweed River Gallery, NSW
Bowness Photography Prize, Monash Gallery of Art, VIC
Summer Exhibition, Stills Gallery, Sydney NSW
Waves and Water, Manning Regional Art Gallery:  A touring exhibition from the Australian National Maritime Museum, Whitehorse Artspace, Victoria.Young Collectors, Hugo Michell Gallery. Adelaide SA
2012  Cruel & Tender, Tim Melville Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand.
Deep Space: New acquisitions from the Australian contemporary art collection,Art Gallery of South Australia.
10 x 10 Australian Photographers, Fremantle Prison, Foto
Freo, Femantle, W.A
Season 12, Garden of Earthly Delights, Stills Gallery, Sydney NSW 
2011  Imagining the Everyday, 10th Pingyao International Photography Festival, China
Deep Water, NGV International, National Gallery Victoria, Melbourne
30 to Collect, Leading Australian Artists in Support of Queensland Disaster Relief, Arthouse Gallery, Sydney NSW
Where there is Water, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW
Hijacked 2 – Germany/Australia, Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, Adelaide                     
Art of Water-Fish of Art, Lismore Regional Gallery, NSW
Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, Gold Coast, QLD
Esk Collection, University of Tasmania, Hobart Street Photography Now, London Street Photography Festival
Street Photography Now, Uno Art Space, Stutgart, Germany Street Photography Now, Studio for the Arts, Berlin, GermanyStreet
Photography Now, Galerie Lichtblick, Cologne Germany Street
Photography Now, Windows throughout Canal Saint-Martin, Paris, France
Street Photography Now, Galleria Muzeum Drukartstwa Warszawskiego,Warsaw, PolandIn-Public, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Format International Photography Festival, UKIn-Public @ 10 Exhibition- Photofusion Gallery London. UK
2010  SEASON010 Stills gallery, SydneyHijacked 2 – Germany/Australia, Australian Centre of Photography, Sydney In Public @ 10   Exhibition- Photofusion Gallery, London, UK
Group Show, Narelle Autio, Nana Ohnesorge, ElvisRichardson, Hugo Michell Gallery, Adelaide, SA
2009  The Lake, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, NSW
SEASON09, Stills gallery, SydneyArt of Water, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW
thirteen, Stills Gallery, SydneyAu féminin, Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian, Paris
2008  SEASON08, Stills Gallery, Sydney
Murray Cod: the biggest fish in the River, Flinders University Art Museum and CityGallery,Hugo Michell Gallery, Opening Show, AdelaideWho let the dogs out, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Lake Macquariekyllä hmm ei hmm, Parotta ContemporaryArt, Stuttgart
2007  Sydney Now, Museum of Sydney, NSW
Wonderful World, Anne & Gordon Samstag Museum of Art, SA
Grounded: Art, Activism, Environment, Campbeltown Arts Centre, SydneyHuman, Hous Projects, New York, NY
Season 07, Stills Gallery, Sydney
2006  Murray Cod: the biggest fish in the river Curated by John Kean for Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery, National Touring Exhibition toured by NETS, Victoria
Group Show 2006, Stills Gallery, Sydney Australia
Light Sensitive: Contemporary Australian Photography from the Loti Smorgon Fund, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria Melbourne Art Fair 2006, Melbourne, Victoria
2006  Picturing the Sea, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth Fifth Leica/CCP Documentary Photography Award, National Tour, UTS Gallery, SydneyEarth Cry, Lake Macquarie City Gallery, NSW
2005  Art Cologne 2005, Germany Swell, Lake Macquarie City Gallery, NSW ABN AMRO 2005 Emerging Artist Award, ABN Amro Tower, Sydney
Fifth Leica/CCP Documentary Photography Award, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne
This Urban World, Devonport Regional Gallery, Tasmania Random, Oculi Photographers, Customs House, Sydney
Great Escapes, Lake Macquarie City Gallery, NSW
Concord, South Australian School of Art, SA
2004  FotoFreo Photographic Festival, Dream/Life, The Seventh Wave and Coastal Dwellers,Fremantle, Western Australian Maritime Museum
Dream/Life & The Seventh Wave, Ariel Meyerowitz Gallery, New York
2003  Second Sight, Brisbane City Gallery, Queensland Return to the Real, Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania, Tasmania
Summer Life, ‘The Seventh Wave’, Alice Austen House Museum, New York
2002  Nooderlicht Fotofestival, Groningen, The Netherlands
Summer Life, Alice Austin House Museum, Long Island, New York, USA
Dva Pivo Prosim (Two beers please) with Trent Parke, Stills Gallery, Sydney
'Rencontres d’Arles', Arles, France and international touring exhibition to Vienna, Prague, and Tokyo World Press Photo Award / Exhibition – ‘Little Ballerinas’, international touring exhibition to 70 locations worldwide, including the State Library of NSW Witness, an exhibition of Australian Photojournalism Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney NSW and national touring exhibition
Witness, an exhibition of Australian Photojournalism, Art Museum, University of SA
2001  Leica Documentary Photography Exhibition and Award, Centre for Contemporary
Photography, Melbourne, VICWorld Press Photo Award / Exhibition – ‘Mercy Street’, International touring exhibition The Seventh Wave with Trent Parke, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery, NSW
Watermarks, Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney NSW
Reportage: ‘Australian Outback Races’ with Trent Parke, Twin Cinemas, Paddington
2000  The Seventh Wave with Trent Parke, Stills Gallery, Sydney NSWArt at Work, Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport Project, NSWReportage – ‘The Seventh Wave’, Valhalla Cinema, Sydney NSW
1991  Leica Documentary Photography Exhibition & Award, Centre for
Contemporary Photography, Melbourne VIC and touring exhibitionReportage – ‘The Seventh Wave, Synchronised Swimming’ Valhalla Cinema, Sydney NSW 


National Gallery of Australia
National Portrait Gallery
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Monash Gallery of Art
Art Gallery of South Australia
Australia National Maritime Museum
BHP Billiton
Parliament House Collection
National Gallery of Victoria
RACV Collection
Anne and Gordon Samstag Museum of Art