Best of Activist Art: Ferne Millen

Ferne Millen has been practicing as a commercial photographer and art director for more than 20 years, using her craft to uplift and educate. “I have always been curious and engaged with human activism and rights from a young age,” she says. “My photography and art direction enables marginalised and important cultural groups to be seen and heard.” Using a range of materials and mediums including photography, inkjet print onto woven fabric, sound, and interviews, her work seeks to inform, connect and engage with all humanity. Based on the Surf Coast of Victoria (Wadawurrung country), a crucial aspect of Ferne’s practice is working closely with the community to act as conduit for their stories. “I wish to provide a creative and interactive platform for the voices and faces of our local Indigenous elders so that they may be seen, be heard and be recognised,” she says. The disruption of Covid-19 in 2020 led Ferne to step back from her individual practice, instead becoming involved in Journey on Wadawurrung Country. A collaboration between Ferne, sound artist and musician Vicki Hallet, and Wadawurrung traditional owner and cultural advisor Corrina Eccles, the multi-faceted platform combines sound, voice and portraits of direct descendants of Wadawurrung, which was installed at Geelong Arts Centre in February 2021.

Featured images: Left – Ferne Millen, Paapul     Burrabil Ochre facing north  toward the mountains. Archival Giclée print on polyester woven inkjet fabric, dimensions variable. Right – Ferne Millen, with Archie. Archival Giclée print on Hahnemuhle German etching cotton rag paper, dimensions variable. Courtesy: the artist.

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