About the Collection

On the Fringes

The On the Fringes: South West Sydney 1994-2014 collection explores social history and cultural life on the outskirts of south-western Sydney. Recorded through photography, audio interviews, and video footage, the collection documents the communities of Green Valley (six suburbs of fibro housing) and the market gardens of Austral, Leppington, Bringelly and the surrounding region

There are the shots of market gardeners and koi farmers, local walking groups and bocce players, big noisy families celebrating weddings and birthdays, and solitary folk leading quiet, ordinary lives. Take a look!

Therese Sweeney

Born 1961

I have been engaging communities, industry & families in photography, film, digital media & oral history recordings since the early 1990’s. I consider myself a highly skilled artist, historian, technician, curator, archivist, writer, publisher & an expert in community engagement & project management.

For 25 years or more I have exhibited photography, video installations & sound recordings at major galleries throughout Sydney; at key libraries & museums across Sydney; in the landscape and built environment as video projections; online archives; & at key community sites such as clubs & shopping centres. My work is held in both private collections and major public institutions across the nation.

I have written, trained & delivered media courses with residents, transferring my skills in Green Valley, Airds, Macquarie Fields & throughout Liverpool for many years. All these projects have resulted in successful exhibition outcomes, including national recognition by way of nomination for media training at ATOM awards in 2001. More recently trained at regional sites in oral history technologies & protocols.

I have received numerous scholarships throughout my creative life, including a research fellowship at UTS through Shopfront & NSW Dept. of Women in 2000.

Prior to above I was employed in NSW government for over a decade, resigning as Senior Policy Officer, Legal Aid Commission in 1991, a human resource specialist.

Today, I continue my work on the South Coast of NSW and have in recent years written a number of oral history books via commission from private clients, industry & government.

Sweeney Ink has been publishing family, company and regional history books from 2016. South Coast Cultural Media Ink produces regional industry and community histories and organises training in new media recording and storytelling.

Major Exhibitions & Project History

2018 to present

Publication: Camden Park Estate, The Community Story, an Oral History, Sweeney Therese (Ed 2). 2019 Belgenny Farm Trust. To edit an additional 12 stories for 2nd Ed. To be republished 2019/20. Sold out 1st Ed.in 2018.
Exhibition: Marriage-Love-Law: Penrith Regional Gallery 2019, by State Archives & Records NSW-Colour transparency, Wedding portrait, West Hoxton, 2001.
Publication: Farming was our University: The Perich family / an oral history by Therese Sweeney. Sweeney Ink Publishing [Bringelly, New South Wales] 2018.
Publication: A journey from Pasman: The story of Biserka Skontra, an Oral history, by Therese Sweeney-to be published in late 19.
Guest speaker: ‘Artists working with oral history/Oral historians working with artists’, November 2018. Presented by Oral History NSW in partnership with Verge Gallery. Chaired by Dr Paula Hamilton. (online@Verge gallery).
Film & video archivist: Digitising tape & film of 5 film projects made by Therese Sweeney on Green Valley in mid-late 1990’s, 2018-19. Soon to be hosted by UTS archive ‘On the Fringes, South West Sydney 1994-2014.’
Invited artist - Mental Health Week July 2018: Shoalhaven Regional Gallery. Photograph titled, ‘Live a Little’, large work on paper, gyprock and wood.
2015 to 2017

Publication: Camden Park Estate, The Community Story, an Oral History, Sweeney Therese (Ed 1). 2015 Belgenny Farm Trust.
Archivist (consultant): Belgenny Farm Trust: Prepared 80 sound recordings & approx. 2000 photographs (recorded, produced & scanned) on 20th century material; for permanent archival storage to State Library NSW. Delivered on ext. drive. at national archival standards. Held at Camden Library. Additionally, secured 19th century company records/photographs on Camden Park Estate now held at State Library NSW.
Sound archivist: Technical preparation-near 70 sound files (recorded from 1994-2012 on residents from Green Valley & surrounding migrant market gardeners) & meta-data descriptions for UTS archive, ‘On the Fringes, South West Sydney 1994-2014.’
Consultant oral history trainer: to regional library staff in Newcastle/Riverina & Dubbo on behalf of Oral History NSW & State Library NSW.
Researcher, oral historian & writer: Private commission- Perich family- an extensive family history-farming, migration & business.
Consultant Oral Historian/Researcher: Belgenny Farm Oral History project, ran from 2011-2017.
Commissioned writer/researcher: Private commission-began a memoir for publication in 2019.
Photographic exhibition-retrospective: UTS Library 25 May-1 July 16. A collection of black & white prints and video projections, Intimate Moments x 4 videos (2008) Selected works from, ‘On the Fringes South West Sydney 1994-2014’.
Photographic exhibition-DUHK-LING - Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, 12 November 16 - 21 January 17. A series of digital colour prints, large scale, on wood, plaster & paper.
2014

Exhibition-Creative Moments: Shoalhaven Regional Gallery. Group show. Video projections and photography.
Official launch/live hosting-UTS Library- Sweeney’s extensive media archive titled. On the Fringes South West Sydney 1994-2014. Photographic negatives/transparencies/ meta data written undertaken from 1994-2014. Assisted by Dr Paul Ashton & Dr Penny Stannard.
2013

Painter/Artist: Autumn Show, Group exhibition, Harrington Street gallery (Co-Op), Chippendale. A series of impressionistic paintings.
Oral history mentor-Lightening Ridge. Developed & presented training to community on behalf of Oral History NSW.
2012

Director/writer-Video-Pioneers of the Fringe South West Sydney -20 min. documentary on migrant market gardener’s. Screened to the local community at Austral Bowling club.
Photography mentor: UTS Social leaders group, Shopfront.
Memory Bank Cultural Media Inc-As oral historian, photographer, editor, video artist, director-Finalised an extensive multi media engagement in the south west Sydney market gardens which ran for 5 years. Collecting knowledge, memories, archives with pioneering migrants from south-east Europe.
2011

Belgenny Farm Oral history project, Consultant oral historian. Began extensive engagement in region as sound recordings, photography & digital archiving (through 2017)-delivering an extensive multi-media archive identifying 80 former employees and family.
Trainer/Curator-Exhibiton: Made on the Kitchen Table, Casula Powerhouse-Photography. Photography mentor, course delivery & curatorial vision. Trained16 indigenous women from south west Sydney & set up a not-for-profit organisation for the women. This project ran over 3 months.
Exhibition: ‘Eat’ History week-OHAA (NSW) website exhibition-sound bites.
2010

Video artist-Our Migrant farmers:Group show. Casula Powerhouse, 2 x 3min video installations, artist. Liverpool Bicentenary.
Video artist-Tomato Stories, Solo exhibition in theatre: Casula Powerhouse, Forum interviewing a panel of six migrant farming women & 7min film, ‘Tomato Stories’ screened.
Memory Bank Cultural Media Inc. launch: Casula Powerhouse. Official launch of my charity/organisation by Noeline Brown, Ambassador for Ageing. Attended by Local, State and federal MP’s and the community. The most attended art event by the public in the galleries history ( at that point in time).
2008

Pioneers of the Fringe:Extensive oral history & photography campaign begins with pioneering farming residents in Leppington, Austral and Bringelly (through 2012).
Video artist-Intimate Moments:Solo exhibition. Video projections Liverpool CBD, 4 x 4min video installations, Screened through International Women’s Day (March).
2007

Exhibition: Conversations at the Diner-Solo exhibition. Sound (oral histories), text & photography project on the New York Restaurant, Kellet St. Kings Cross, Sydney. Exhibited across 3 sites in Kings Cross, including City of Sydney libraries (archived) & the Diner. Extensive press/radio attention.
Exhibition: Riotous Suburbs: Cross Art projects, Group show, Kings Cross. Photography on Macquarie Fields.
Documentary Video: Love & Music-8min documentary, ageing dramatic soprano Noela Strange-Muir. Screened at Chauvel and 2 film festivals.
Trainer-mentor: ‘New Angles @ Macfields’, Glenfield Library. Residents group show, photography. Photography mentor and curator to residents on the estate for six month period with partner WorkVentures.
Postcard series, Greetings from Macquarie Fields Residents photography. Curator of slideshow, Campbelltown City Arts Centre. Distributed to residents.
Photographic mentor & trainer: to residents from Airds Estate. Residents’ exhibition at local community service.
2005-2006

Photographer/Oral Historian/researcher: Bringelly City on the Edge: Solo exhibition. Narellan Library, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Liverpool Library. Solo show. Photography and Video on contemporary market gardeners (through 2006). Archived at Liverpool City Library.
Video artist: Tunnel Vision, Greed & Stupidity: Cross Art projects; Group show. Video installation x 2.
Trainer & Curator-Light, Stills, Emotion: Educational Card series-Photographic mentor to young women-Liverpool Women’s Health Centre.
2004

Trainer-mentor-Curator: Women shoot West, Exhibited at Liverpool Hospital. Female residents-adults- photography from Liverpool Women’s Resource Centre, Ashcroft.
Writer: Real time Arts, review exhibitions & write daily reviews/critiques on artists @Biennale of Electronic Arts, Perth.
Photographer: Reframing the Valley, 10 year retrospective, solo exhibition Leichhardt library, photography. Curator Liz Muller.
2001

Consultant teacher & producer: After the Bell & New Girl, A series of documentary videos, mentored 12 young women at Miller Technology High School. Course developer, facilitator and Producer. Project ran for 3 months and achieved awards at Local & State festivals & nomination for National award (ATOM).
1997

Photographer: Fibro, Perspecta 97, Casula Powerhouse, group show. 22 Photography panels on canvas. Reviewed by Photofile & a series of works published.
Photographic print series: South West Sydney series, Alan Davies (Curator) State Library of NSW, purchased block of photographic prints by Sweeney to permanently archive. Dark room printing on large fibre based paper undertaken by Sweeney. A series of prints is also held at Liverpool City Library.
1994-96

Documentary photographer -Legal Walls, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre 94. A three month project. Slideshow and booklet ran through gallery.
Photographer, South West Sydney project 94 (through 2014). Major initiation by Sweeney to begin engaging the fringes of the region.
Published: A series of Sweeney’s photographs, ‘On the Frontier, A Social History of Liverpool, Hale & Iremonger, 1996 by Chris Keating.
Student: Commenced a BA (Communications) at UTS in 96- 99.
Photographer: Leichhardt series, 95: Alan Davies, Curator, State Library of NSW, selected & purchased a block of photographic prints on gentrification of Leichhardt. Photography and printing by Sweeney(through 1999). A series also purchased by Leichhardt Library.

Awards

Research Fellowship (Community) Shopfront UTS & NSW Dept. for Women (2001)
Scholarship- Photography Charles Sturt University, Wagga (2005)
Scholarship-Editing Documentary Metro Screen, Paddington (2007)
Scholarship-Not-For-Profit Management Development, UTS (2010)

Qualifications

Bachelor of Arts (Communication), Social History & Film, University of Technology, Sydney (1999)
Assoc. Diploma in Health Sciences (Massage Therapy) TAFE (1992)

Instructions

There are lots of ways to find your way around the site. These instructions will get you started.

Hit the explore button at the top of the page. This will take you to the browse page, where a selection of photographs are displayed. Select an image. On the right hand side of each image there is a list of keywords and subjects. Sometimes, there is also a bank of related images. Select a keyword or subject term or a related image to browse the collection.

To return to the brows page, hit the Browse button at the top of the page. To return to the front page, hit the Therese Sweeney Ink button.

License

Unless otherwise noted, content on the sweeney.lib.uts.edu.au website is owned by Therese Sweeney. To request a license for non-commercial or commercial use of her work, please contact Therese Sweeney by phone on 0415900320, or by email.