John Gollings profile

John Gollings

RMIT University / Architectural photographer / Adjunct Professor, School of Media and Communications

John Gollings holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from RMIT University and an Honorary Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Architects. He is Adjunct Professor, School of Media and Communications, RMIT University.

He works in the Asia-Pacific region as an architectural photographer, much of the work involving long-term cultural projects especially in India, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Libya and New Guinea. He specialises in the documentation of cities, old and new, often from the air. He has had a particular interest in the cyclic fires and floods that characterise the Australian landscape and he documents these with aerial photography. He was co-creative director of the Venice Architectural Biennale in 2010.

Books include two volumes of New Australia Style published by Thames & Hudson; City of Victory, Aperture; and Kashgar, Oasis City on China’s Old Silk Road, Frances Lincoln Limited. In 2012 Thames & Hudson published Beautiful Ugly a monograph of his contemporary architectural photography.

His work is held in national and international collections including: Asia Society, New York; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal; Australian National Gallery, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne; State Library of Queensland, Brisbane; Janet Holmes á Court Collection, Cowaramup; Gold Coast City Gallery, Surfers Paradise; Rockhampton Art Gallery, Rockhampton; and the National Library of Australia, Canberra. The Kaladham Museum in Karnataka, India was built by the Jindal Steel Company to house John’s 40 years of work documenting the Hampi Ruins.

His work has recently been included in exhibitions at the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney; Gold Coast City Gallery, Surfers Paradise; Immigration Museum, Melbourne; Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. In 2013, McClelland Gallery exhibited Aftermath, Gollings’ bushfire series from Black Saturday.

Gollings retrospective, A History of the Built World, opened at the Monash Gallery of Art in 2018 and is now showing through India. His documentation of Nawala Rock Art, A Spirit of Place, was at Heide Gallery of Modern Art in 2019.

Australian Galleries have a major retrospective planned for 2021.

He has twice received the Australian Institute of Architects Presidents Prize and in 2013 he was awarded the inaugural William J. Mitchell International Committee Prize by the Australian Institute of Architects.

In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for ‘significant service to photography through the documentation of iconic architectural landmarks in Australia and the Asia Pacific region’.