Matthew Abbott

6x6 Southeast Asia and Oceania Talent:
Matthew Abbott

"Matthew has a very particular eye and commitment to telling stories in his own country. There is a particular beauty and melancholy that he manages to depict in a particular geographic location of Australia. Rarely do photographers choose to photograph simple, straight stories that have local resonance; I feel we need to celebrate the photographers who studiously dedicate themselves to a local audience and local stories.” - Donald Weber, photographer and 6x6 nominator, Canada

Based in Sydney, Matthew Abbott covers social and political issues that define Australia. He studied International Photojournalism at the Danish School of Journalism and completed a Masters of Arts at Sydney University. Works by Abbott have been selected for The National Portrait Prize in 2012, 2015 and 2016. He won the Sydney Morning Herald Documentary Photographer Award and the Melbourne Leica Photojournalism Award. In 2016, he won the IRIS portrait prize at the PCP, and again the IRIS prize in 2017. He is a current member of Oculi collective.

The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards

‘The Land Where The Crow Flies Backwards’ follows the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia’s longest river system. The towns along the river were once considered the backbone of the Australian economy - now, they are former shadows of themselves. The land is plagued by drought and society is in flux; society is threatened by a dwindling youth population and high unemployment, while the local Indigenous community is still reeling from the ongoing scars of colonisation. Along the river, the fragility of life is an everyday reality.

When They Sing of Australia They Never Mention the Flies

“Highway One skirts the fringes of the Australian continent. I use the world’s longest continuous road as an avenue to access and connect some of the most disparate places and people in the country. The photographs depict both the mundane and at times surreal nature of life in remote communities - the hardships and comforts of home. As a document of the ephemerality of landscapes and the interminable striving of its people, the work presents an unvarnished view of remote Australia.” - Matthew Abbott

Camp Dead End

More than 800 men seeking asylum in Australia have been held on Manus Island, PNG, by the Australian government over the last four years. They fear for their safety and are facing uncertain futures. I visited the island and documented the lives of the refugees and asylum seekers, including a brutal attack, and Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre aka Camp Dead End.

See Matthew Abbott's 'Camp Dead End' on Witness, World Press Photo's online magazine.