Philip Quirk

Born in Melbourne Australia 1948, lives in Sydney


2021 to present

Edit scan and catalogue Quirk’s earliest body of work, Torquay Years 1969-1975. Exhibition from a catalogue of 60 photographs, Saltwater Culture at Fine Thanks Gallery Torquay Easter 2023.

2015 to present

Research and documentation on an exhibition and book proposal for Prahran legacy – photography becomes Art 1966-1980. A survey of Prahran Art school photo department & its principle lecturers Athol Shmith, Paul Cox, John Cato & includes notable alumni like Carol Jerrems, Bill Henson etc. Quirk’s collaborators include Peter Leiss photographer, Dr James McArdle photographer & academic & Merle Hathaway curator


Awarded Master of Fine Art (Research) at COFA UNSW

2009 -2011 Project - Oxford Street Profile:

The profile begins at Queen Street Woollahra and finishes at Taylor Square Darlinghurst. The resulting typology is made up of 130 photographs, 65 for each side of the street. An accordion-folded book has been produced, which is 30cm x 24.5cm x 25 pages, and fully extended is 7.325 metres long.

2006 - 2007 Project - Aboriginal Teenagers and Young Mothers:

Commissioned by Beyond Empathy (Utilizing arts intervention to address the deficits experienced by disadvantaged individuals and communities), I workshopped photography to communities in NSW at Moree and Armidale.

2006 Project - Hay NSW:

This series dealt with the landscape, arable farming, and the natural environment of the Hay district in New South Wales

2005 Project - Portraits of Farmers and Farming Families:

Commissioned by the NSW Farmers Association. I travelled through 13 regions in NSW shooting portraits and the working life of farming families.

2003 - 2005 Archiving Philip Quirk Photo Collection:

Towards the end of 2003 I stood down as managing director of Wildlight Photo Agency, which I co-founded in 1984. Wildlight was the first photo agency to develop a continuing presence in the international magazine and book markets. I had a large collection of photographs and began re-organizing my film-based images. This included re-editing the collection and digitising selected works.

1998 to 2014 -The World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass Award Holland:

Chairperson for Australia & New Zealand

World Press Photo supports international photojournalism through an annual award, exhibitions, educational programs, and publications. The Joop Swart Masterclass is for photographers under 31 years. The objective of this award is to help photographer’s progress on the road toward professional maturity both in terms of theory and practice.


1970 to 1974 Assistant to Bruno Benini Fashion Photographer Melbourne

1971 to 1973 Student Prahran CAE – Graduated 1974

1974 Press Photographer Southern Cross Newspaper Group

1975 Lecturer Gordon Institute of Technology (Deakin University)

1975 to 2011 Lecturer in Photography part time, Australian Centre for Photography – foundation lecturer, Sydney College of the Arts – lecturer, University of Tasmania Art School - guest lecturer, Charles Sturt University NSW - guest lecturer, Short course lecturer COFA University of NSW,

1976 Moves to Sydney and begins photojournalism practice

1976 to 2007 Professional and personal photographer of geographic and documentary subject matter

2007 to present Personal photographer of geographic and documentary subject matter

1985 to 2003 Founding member & managing director of Wildlight Photo Agency

1997 to 2001 Publisher and project manager, Australian Faces & Places Diary, a B/W duo

tone reproduction of Australian Reportage & Documentary Photography

1998 to 2004 Spokesperson for the Society of Advertising, Commercial and Magazine

Photographers (ACMP) on copyright issues

1998 to 2014 Chairman for Australia and NZ of The World Press Photo Joop Swart

2000 Chairman of Judges ACMP Photographer Collection Melbourne

Masterclass event held in Holland

2003 to 2011 Speaking engagements, UNSW COFA Media arts students, SH Ervin Gallery floor talk on the Albury Regional Art Gallery Collection, Walkley Forum the Walkley Foundation, David Moore Lecture - Reportage Photojournalism Festival

2008 Judge for the Nikon Walkley Foundation Photographic Awards

2009 to 2011 Master’s Degree by Research, COFA University of New South Wales

Public Gallery Collections:

Australian National Gallery, Canberra ACT, Art Gallery of NSW, Parliament House Gallery Canberra, ACT, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, Albury Regional Art Gallery, Artbank Sydney Horsham Regional Art Gallery, Monash Gallery of Art Melbourne, National Library of Australia ACT, State Library of NSW

Books - Author:

Oxford Street Profile, hand-made accordion folded edition of 15 2011

Farm - Life on the Land, Reed Books 1997

Wildlight, Images of Australia, Reed Books 1995

Australian Faces and Places Diary, Wildlight/Diamond Press 1997 – 2001

Wildlight – Sydney, Hardie Grant Melbourne 1998

Wildlight - Across the Top, Hardie Grant Melbourne 1997

The Eisteddfodau of Australia & Wales, hand-made edition of 1 1980-1982

Selected Books - Contributor:

A Day in the Life of Australia, DITLA Sydney

A Day in the Life of New Zealand, JM McGregor NZ

A Day in the Life of California, Collins Publishers Inc. USA

The Writers Landscape – Wilderness, Simon & Schuster Australia

The Writers Landscape – Settlement, Simon & Schuster Australia

A Salute to Singapore, The Times Singapore

The Racing Game, JMC Melbourne

Travellers’ Guide to Aboriginal Australia, Angus & Robertson

Surprising Lands Down Under, National Geographic USA

One Digital Day, Times Books/Random House USA

Wine Atlas of Australia & New Zealand, Harper Collins

Wool -The Australian Story, Fremantle Arts Centre Press

Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Allen & Unwin

Brett Whiteley Studio, NSW Art Gallery

Sidney Nolan by Barry Pearce, NSW Art Gallery

The artist Materials - Sidney Nolan Getty Publishing

Newspapers & Magazines Australia:         

The Age Melbourne, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian,

The Good weekend, Weekend Australian, The Bulletin, Australian Geographic,

Geo Australia, Outdoor Australia, Qantas – The Australian Way, Time, 

Who Weekly, Sydney Magazine SMH      

Magazines International:

The Sunday Times Magazine & The Observer Magazine (UK), Stern, Der Spiegel, Geo, Saison, Holiday & Bunte (Germany), Forbes Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Wine Spectator, Vanity Fair, National Geographic & National Geographic Traveler (USA), Emphasis Magazines (HK)

Publications on Photography:

2023 – Surfing World Magazine article on the early 1970s

2012 - Australian Photography Magazine, profile

2011- Greeting card series from the Art Gallery of NSW Collection

2010 - Candid Camera Australian Photography 1950s – 1970s catalogue Art Gallery of SA

2009 - Australian Photography 1858-2009 Josef Lebovic Gallery Catalogue

2008 - Industrial Photography, Josef Lebovic Gallery Catalogue

2007 - Photography Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection

2003 - At Home in Australia, National Gallery of Australia - T & H

2001 - The ACMP Photographers Collection 7, ACMP

2001 – 1997 - Australian Faces and Places Diary, B/W duo-tone of contemporary

documentary and reportage photographers

1995 - One the Edge, San Diego Museum of Art

1994 - Commercial Photography Magazine, profile

1990 - Postcard Collection, Wildlight

1988 - Shades of Light, ANG – Collins & Picturing Australia - A History of Photography A&R

1987 - Window to Australia, Deakin University Press

1983 - Australian Photography Yearbook, Thomas Nelson

1982 - Postcards Colour, Cosbook

1982 - Book the Eisteddfodau B&W, hand made by Geoffrey Major

1981 - Three Years On - acquisitions 1978-81, Art Gallery of NSW    

1980 - Photographic World Magazine, profile

1979 - Australian Photographers, The Phillip Morris Collection ANG

1978 - Light Vision Magazine Melbourne

1975 - New Photography Australia ACP Sydney

1974 - Aspects of Australian Photography ACP Sydney

Selected Exhibitions – Solo

2011- Oxford Street Profile Barometer Gallery Paddington

1997 - Farm Life on the Land, George Gallery Melbourne

1997 - Farm Life on the Land Bryon Mapp Gallery Sydney

1992 - The People and the Paddocks, Touring Regional Galleries N.S.W.

1991 - The People and the Paddocks, Touring Regional Galleries W.A.

1990 - The People and the Paddocks, Touring Regional Galleries VIC & Settimana Italy

1988 - Stumbling in the Dark Macquarie Galleries, Sydney & And the Rains Came Touring

Regional Galleries NSW, VIC & QLD

1983 - Black & White Photographs, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, B & W Photographs the Developed Image, Adelaide, B &W Photographs Orange Regional Art Gallery NSW               

Exhibitions – Group:

2011 - Photographic Panoramas Josef Lebovic Gallery

2010 - Head Off! Landscapes of Australia Head on Photo Festival Sydney

2010 - Candid Camera: Australian Photography 1950s-1970s Art Gallery SA

2010 - Creating the Look: Benini & Fashion Photography MAAS contributor

2010 - Bowness Photography Prize Monash Gallery of Art Melbourne

2010 - Earth, Flower and Water the Superintendents Residence Centennial Park Sydney                

2009 - Australian Photography 1858-2009 Josef Lebovic Gallery

2008 - Industrial Photography Josef Lebovic Gallery

2006 - Making Hay, Shear Outback Museum Hay and Span Gallery

2005 - Australian Landscape & Cityscape, Josef Lebovic Gallery

2005 - Focus, Danks Street Galleries

2005 - Face to Face, National Trust SH Ervin Gallery

2004 - Australian Post-war Photo-documentary, Art Gallery of NSW

2004 - Australian Photography 1928 – 2004 Josef Lebovic Gallery

2000 - Fine Photography Collectors List No 85 Josef Lebovic Gallery

1995 - On the Edge, San Diego Museum of Art USA

1994 - Critics’ Choice, Art Gallery of NSW & We are Family, Art Gallery of NSW

1991 - Contemporary Colour Photographs, Art Gallery of NSW

1988 - Shades of Light, Bicentennial Exhibition, ANG Canberra, CSR Collection, Art Gallery of NSW, Awarded the Lady Fairfax Memorial Award for Portraiture Art Gallery of NSW, Portraiture made in Australia, Images Gallery

1983 - The Lady Fairfax Memorial Award, Art Gallery of NSW, Australian Wilderness Photography, NSW University, Australian Street Photography the '70s, ANG Canberra

1982 - The Lady Fairfax Memorial Award, Art Gallery of NSW, Colour Photography, Newcastle City Gallery, NSW, On the Beach, Wollongong City Gallery, NSW, Heat Wave, Australian Centre for Photography

1981 - Recent Acquisitions, Art Gallery of NSW                                      

1975-81- Phillip Morris Trust Collection, Touring Australia

1976 - Erwin Art Gallery, Melbourne University

1974 - Aspects of Australian Photography, Inaugural Exhibition, ACP       

1973 - Student Exhibition Kodak Gallery, Melbourne, Ilford Age of Aquarius finalist, Melbourne (disqualified)


2009 - Australian Postgraduate Scholarship COFA University of NSW

1997 – 2001 Diamond Press & Australian Paper for Aust’n F & P Diary

1988 - AWB Ltd for The People & the Paddocks

1984 - CSR Ltd for The CSR Project Art Gallery of NSW

1980 - Visual Arts Board Australia Council for The Eisteddfodau


Treasurer Bronte Breakers Swimming Club 1999 - 2002

President Bronte Breakers Swimming Club 2003 – to 2016

Member of the Cabbage Tree Club - Palm Beach SLSC 2017 to present

Member of the MCC Melbourne 1969 to present