Dr Rowan Conroy

PhD Visual Art (Uni. Syd), BVA Hons 1 (Uni. Syd)
Senior Lecturer Photography and Media Arts, School of Art & Design
College Arts & Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Lens Based Practice 190503
  • Visual Arts And Crafts Not Elsewhere Classified 190599

Research interests

In 2018, Conroy was awarded the Create NSW Regional Artist Fellowship to undertake two periods of artistic interpretation at the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project excavations in Cyprus, which he undertook in 2018 and 2019. Conroy’s project focused on high resolution mapping of the site using professional drone equipment, resulting in a range of 3D photogrammetry models covering key areas of the site and finds. Rowan also shoots footage of the process of excavation from an artistic perspective, revealing unique and often overlooked aspects of the aesthetics of the methods of field archaeology. Using drone technology and high-end digital imaging platforms, Conroy’s research explores new ways of seeing and perspectives enabled by emerging technologies and software. This research was the subject of the major exhibition Sightseeing at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery (Jul-Sep 2019).

Conroy's work focuses on the use of large format photography to document ancient and modern, rural and urban architecture and detritus as a means to reflect upon the archaeology of the present. He combines the use of traditional large format view cameras with the latest digital technology to produce photographic prints of great detail and clarity. Conroy has combined his interest in archaeology and the visual arts through archaeological illustration and photography, which has been made possible through twenty years of involvement on excavations in Greece and Cyprus, and research journeys in Lebanon, Syria and Turkey. The major focus of Conroy's practice continues to be the melding between the disciplines of art and archaeology and is clearly reflected in his role as Associate Director, Artistic Interpretation at the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Excavations in Cyprus.

Theoretical and critical enquiry key areas of interest

  • The drone in artistic practice
  • Contemporary photographic practice
  • Photographic archives, museum archives 
  • Landscape studies, photography, and the environment 
  • Rephotography: Landscape and site photography
  • Archaeology and the visual arts: Photography as archaeology
  • Archaeologies of the contemporary past and the archaeology of the present
  • Contemporary ruins, ruin thought, the ruin in photography
  • The photobook and artist’s books

Materials and technology key areas of interest

  • Inkjet printing: alternative processes and ink sets, fine art applications
  • The print and the future of still photography: digital and analogue print objects in the age of the retina display
  • Alternative and hacked printing technologies for artistic output
  • High resolution imaging
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as an area of artistic research
  • 3D photogrammetry in the visual arts, heritage, museums and archaeology

Biography

Dr Rowan Conroy is Senior Lecturer, Photography and Media Arts, Australian National University School of Art & Design; and Associate Director, Artistic Interpretation at the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Excavations in Cyprus. Conroy is Chief Investigator in the Digital Imaging Research Facility which collaborates across campus and outwardly to apply cutting-edge image capture in a range of contexts. 

Conroy has been teaching visual arts at a tertiary level for over a decade and has a lifelong involvement in archaeology as a practising artist. Conroy’s research areas include: Photography in the visual arts; new approaches to documentary; interdisciplinary approaches to visual art and archaeology; photography and cultural heritage; and digital capture and printing technology as a research tool in the visual arts and Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums (GLAM) sector. Since 2016, Conroy has explored the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) in his practice, making several digital video installations and exploring drone-based 3D photogrammetry as a creative technique. Conroy has exhibited extensively in Australia and internationally and his works are held in numerous public and private collections.

Rowan Conroy holds a PhD (2012) and a BVA (Hons I) (2004) from Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney. Conroy's PhD was awarded for his thesis Archaeologies of the Present: Rephotographing the William John Woodhouse Photographic Archive. His doctoral research was the subject of a major exhibition at the Australian Centre for Photography, The Woodhouse Rephotography Project (Aug-Nov 2013).

Researcher's projects

Associate Director, Artistic Interpretation, Paphos Theatre Archaeological Excavations in Cyprus, 2019-present

Chief Investigator of the Digital Imaging Research Facility, ANU School of Art & Design, 2018-present

Chief Investigator of the Inkjet Research Facility, ANU School of Art & Design, 2015-present

Archaeologies of the Present and the Poetics of Detritus, 2008-present

Weereewa / Bad Water, 2013-2019 

The William J. Woodhouse Rephotography Project, 2009-2013

Current student projects

Chair

Bec Bigg-Wither. Air to Ground: Looking Inward on the 50th Anniversary of the First Moon Landing (PhD)

Tina Fiveash. The Death Letter Project: Photography and Death Belief in Australia (PhD)

Rowena Hall. Familial Colonial Histories in Art: Re-Presenting Colonisation and Settler Relationships (PhD) 

Dean Keep. Photographing Hiroshima: Post-Memory and Walking in Urban Palimpsest (PhD)

Marzena Wasikowska. How Might the Consequences of a Warming Planet be Pre-Visualised in a photographic media response (PhD)

Panel member

Miho Watanabe. Awareness of Between-ness (PhD)

 

Past student projects

Chair

Kate Murphy, 2019. Bringing Back New Worlds: A Poetics of Exploratory Space (PhD)

Panel member

Odette England, 2017. Intimate Past & Present Light: Using Photography to Investigate Self-Defining Memories (PhD)

CJ Taylor, 2017. Mere Tyrannies (PhD)

Publications

Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  05 August 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers