Graham S. Burstow

Born Toowoomba, Queensland, 1927

Graham started photography as a young man of seventeen – introduced to it by his younger brother, Sydney, who had joined the Toowoomba Grammar School’s camera club. Thus began a lifelong passion for the artform and a commitment to its promotion through the photographic society movement – the latter seeing him recognized through the award of an Order of Australia Medal for Services to Photography in Australia in 2004.

Other career highlights of Graham’s include:
    • the staging of his solo exhibition Flesh: The Gold Coast in the 1960s, 70s and 80s and the publication of the related book, both in 2014
    • the publication of a book of his prints called Touch Me, in 1998
    • his inclusion in a group of six prominent Queensland-based photographers chosen by the Queensland Art Gallery to document aspects of Queensland life for a major exhibition, Journeys North, as part of the bicentenary celebrations 1988

Graham is a life member and Patron of the Toowoomba Photographic Society, of which he has held most offices. In 1962, he became a Foundation Member of the Australian Photographic Society. He is now an Honorary Life Member, Past President, Past Chairman of the Print Division, and still sits on three subcommittees. By submitting his work to exhibitions in more than thirty overseas countries and by being Chairman of six International Exhibitions in Australia, he was able to make use of this knowledge in establishing some of the services now organised in Australia.

One of these was the establishment of the ‘Social Documentary’ category in Australian exhibitions – a type of photography he particularly enjoys. As a result of his exhibition history, Graham is the first Queenslander to have achieved a Fellowship in each of the Australian, British, and American Photographic societies.

Graham maintains a strong involvement in the Photographic Society of Queensland, being a regular lecturer and subcommittee member. He continues to photograph using film and creates prints using silver gelatin.


Queensland Art Gallery
State Library of Queensland
HOTA (Home of the Arts) Gallery, Gold Coast
Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery
National Library of Australia
Heritage Collection, Toowoomba
Various private collections

Select Exhibitions

Solo exhibitions

2015Flesh: The Gold Coast in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. HOTA (Home of the Arts), Gold Coast
2014Flesh: The Gold Coast in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Brisbane Powerhouse
2002Sometimes a Light, retrospective exhibition. Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery

Group exhibitions

2016Journeys North Revisited. Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
2013Icons on Icons. Cobb & Co Museum, Toowoomba
1996Power to Move: Aspects of Australian Photography. Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
1996Selected Australian Photographers. Bendigo, Victoria
1995Dalby Images: Six Australian Photographers. The Dalby Art Gallery, Queensland
1989Selected Australian Photographers. Sichuan, China
1988Journeys North. Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
1983Ten Australian Masters Travelling exhibition: Sydney, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Lismore
1978Five Photographers, Five Continents. Royal Photoclub Entre Nous, Nevilles, Belgium
1972Twenty Australian Photographers. Limousin, France


2019Closer. Self published, Toowoomba
2014Flesh: the Gold Coast in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. University of Queensland Press, Brisbane
1998Touch Me. Top Shelf Productions, Toowoomba
1990Christmas in Australia. Edited by Malcolm McGregor. Hutchinson, Sydney
1978Australian Photography: a Contemporary View. Edited by Laurence Le Guay. Globe Publishing, Sydney
1976Australian Photography. Edited by Laurence Le Guay. Globe Publishing, Sydney
1970Camera in Australia. Edited by Allen G Gray. Reed Books, Sydney, for the Australian Photographic Society

Positions held

1988 –Judge, Heritage Acquisitive Award, Toowoomba
1959 – 90President, then Secretary of the Toowoomba Photographic Society
1983 – 84President of the Australian Photographic Society
1971 – 81Chairman of the Print Division of the Australian Photographic Society
1962 – 74Chairman of one National and six International Exhibitions


2017SAPS – Service to the Australian Photographic Society
2013PSQF – Fellowship of the Queensland Photographic Society
2006FPSA – Fellowship of the Photographic Society of America
2004OAM – Order of Australia Medal
HAFB – Honorary Associateship of the Federation of Brazil
2003FRPS – Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society
1993PSQA – Associateship of the Queensland Photographic Society
1992APSA – Associateship of the Photographic Society of America
1989FAPS – Fellowship of the Australian Photographic Society
1986Hon FAPS – Honorary Fellowship of the Australian Photographic Society
1974AAPS – Associateship of the Australian Photographic Society
1969EFIAP – Excellence of the International Federation of Photographic Art
1967ARPS – Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society
1960AFIAP – Associateship of the International Federation of Photographic Art

Prizes, Awards & Grants

1997Winton Acquisitive Award
Ilford/Anitec Award
1996Regional Art Development Board Grant, Toowoomba
Musswellbrook Acquisitive Award
1994Gold Award – Vigex International Exhibition, Geelong
1988Gold Award – Sydney International Exhibition
Gold Award – Bicentenary International Exhibition, Geelong
1986Queensland Art Gallery Grant – Supported by the Commissioning Programme of the Australian Bicentennial Authority
1982Caltex Award
1980Commonwealth Australia Day Award
1978Arts Medal – Royal Photoclub Entre Nous, Belgium
1974Commonwealth Medal for Amateur Photography
1964Australian Photo Review – Recognition Medal

PHOTO: Mikaela Burstow 2020