Tobi Wilkinson is a Sydney-based fine art photographer who studied with Gordon Undy as her mentor at point light in Surry Hills. She works predominantly with black and white film and hand crafts her prints on fibre-based paper in a traditional wet darkroom.
Tobi has had work hung in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Olive Cotton Awards and the Blake Prize Directors Cut as well as several private exhibitions.
In 2012 she completed a Ralph Gibson course in Sydney with the master photographer which led to a body of work on the female nude and an exhibition entitled “Source”. This exhibition was the result of a lengthy collaboration with fellow photographers Anne Lynam and Gordon Undy and was presented at Point Light Gallery in 2013.
Since 2008 Tobi has been engaged in a study of the Gyuto Monks of Tibet, photographing them in their monastery in Dharamsala, in sites around Australia as well as in her studio in Surry Hills. The monks have provided fertile ground to explore the essence of spirituality through their tantric practices. Tobi has had solo exhibitions from this study at the Bondi Pavilion Art Gallery in 2010, 2012 and in 2014.
In 2009 Tobi was the official photographer on the Australian tour of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
“My interest has always been in traditional black&white photography and especially in the hand printing and developing process which can have a profound influence on the final image. After receiving my first camera as a gift in 2001 and doing every short course in Sydney that was available, I then spent a year under the mentorship of Gordon Undy at Point Light Gallery, exploring fine art photography and printing.
I have found myself drawn into the world of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his monks at the monastery known as the Gyuto Tantric University in Dharamsala. They have become the motivation for numerous photographic assignments both here and in India and I was assigned as one of the two official photographers for His Holiness’ 2009 tour of Australia.
I am drawn to the esoteric, the abstract, to the reflections of life evident in shadows and shapes, in the effect of movement and what is unseen, or barely seen. This exhibition of the monks and their robes combines all of these elements, underpinned by their spiritual prowess which speaks to every waking moment in their lives.”
Courses & Training: Point Light Gallery (2001 – 2003) – A series of short courses – Point Light Gallery 2003 – 1 year mentor program under Gordon Undy – National Art School (2003 – 2007) – Various short courses – Australian Centre for Photography 2004 – Short courses
Group Shows: Emergence 6 – August 2002 – Point Light Gallery – Emergence 7 – July 2003 – Point Light Gallery – Shoot the Chef (finalist) – September 2003 – Art Gallery of NSW – Arrival – February 2004 – Point Light Gallery – Natural Selection – July 2005 – Point Light Gallery – Olive Cotton Award (2nd in People’s Choice Ballot) – August 2007 – Tweed River Art Gallery – Blanco Negro, Photographer’s Exhibition, 2011, 2012 – Blake on-line Exhibition, Director’s cut, January 2013 – Inaugural Lecia Exhibition, Fotoreisel – Photographer’s Gallery, July 2013 – Source, Point Light Gallery, August 2013 – Modern Classics, Point Light Gallery, 2014
Solo Exhibition: India’s Unknown World – 2003, Hyde Park Club, Sydney – Tibet’s Timeless Tantric Tradition, January 2010, Bondi Pavilion, Sydney – In the Studio – April 2012, Bondi Pavilion, Sydney – Buddha’s Robes – April 2014, Bondi Pavilion, Sydney – Buddha’s Robes – June 2015, Thc Colour Factory, Melbourne – Mindful Practice, The Gyuto Monks Summer Retreat – April 2016, Bondi Pavilion, Sydney