Timor Leste. Photos by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est Gallery

Timor Leste. Photos by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est Gallery
Yareah Magazine

Timor Leste. Moving Forward, Looking Back. An exhibition of photographs by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est. Gallery in association with Head On Photo Festival 2013.

“Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man”. Edward Steichen, TIME Magazine, 7 April 1961.

In association with Head On Photo Festival 2013, Art Est. Gallery is pleased to present Timor- Leste: Moving Forward, Looking Back, an exhibition of photographs by Conor Ashleigh.

Conor Ashleigh is a young Australian photographer, who travels all over the world, documenting the people, stories and landscapes he encounters. Timor-Leste: Moving Forward, Looking Back is an exhibition of Conor’s recent photographs from Timor-Leste, taken during visits to the island between 2009 and 2013. Conor’s photographs reflect numerous social issues and personal narratives, which expand and multiply with each visit to the island.

The last 50 Australian infantry personnel left Dili on 18 January 2013, and the UN withdrew in late December 2012. This exhibition aims to raise awareness of some of the issues Timor-Leste is facing in this new stage of its journey as an independent nation.

The exhibition at Art Est. Art Gallery and School in Leichhardt, in association with the Head On Photo Festival, will feature two series: the first is Coffee: From Tree to Cup, a digital photography study of the long and labour intensive process of coffee farming. The black and white medium format images of the second series, titled Timor Remember, have been framed as single images and in triptychs, encouraging the viewer to consider the development of the country and its architecture, history and culture.

Conor Ashleigh’s photographs are vehicles of communication, constructed to give the viewer an insight into the lives of others – in short, to help explain us to each other.

WHEN: Exhibition Dates: 16 May to 2 June 2013

Official Opening with Conor Ashleigh – Sunday 19 May 2013 3pm-5pm

Free entry. Free parking.

MORE Visit the website

WHERE: Art Est. Art School and Gallery. Studio 4, 67-69 Lords Road, Leichhardt


Timor Leste. Photos by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est Gallery

Timor Leste. Photos by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est Gallery

A women grinds coffee using a large traditional mortar & pestle style instrument. The sound of coffee being ground fill the air each morning In Eroulo, a small village in the coffee growing district of Emera.

Timor Leste. Photos by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est Gallery

Timor Leste. Photos by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est Gallery

Armado Maya Soares 70 years old, stands along a path amongst his coffee trees. Armado has grown up and picked coffee from the surrounding area for his entire life.

Timor Leste. Photos by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est Gallery

Timor Leste. Photos by Conor Ashleigh at Art Est Gallery

A statue waits to be inaugurated along the esplanade of Dili commemorating the Santa Cruz massacre. On 12 November 1991, at least 250 Timorese were killed by Indonesian soldiers at the Santa Cruz cemetery where many pro-independence demonstrators had gathered to attend the funeral of a young man killed days earlier.

Conor Ashleigh


Conor Ashleigh

Conor was 16, on an international volunteering trip when his passion for social justice was first ignited. After three years of Australian based activism and international volunteering, Conor realised he was as passionate about the medium of photography as he was about the issues he was documenting. Conor returned to Australia where he gained a bachelor of Development Studies from the University of Newcastle while also working in the community sector, primarily with homeless youth. These experiences provided Conor with the strong foundation that informs his work as a visual storyteller.

While Conor believes in the power of the media he is also deeply committed to exploring alternative avenues for educating audiences and sharing his work. Conor has had numerous solo exhibitions, regularly presents in schools and universities and facilitates workshops throughout Australia.

Conor’s work has appeared in Wall Street Journal online, Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian, Daily Mail UK, The Age, New Internationalist, Big Issue, The Diplomat and Grazia magazine, amongst others. He has also worked on humanitarian assignments for The Asia Foundation, AusAID, ACIAR UNICEF, Catholic Mission, International Federation of Red Cross, SOS Children’s Village and Oxfam.

Conor is based in Sydney while regularly working throughout the developing world on assignments.

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