Tracey Moffatt (born 1960, Brisbane, Australia) is an artist best known for her photographic works, though she also works as a filmmaker, creating numerous films, documentaries and videos. She studied visual communications at the Queensland College of Art. After graduating in 1982, she moved to Sydney where she developed her stylistically diverse body of films and photography that investigates issues on an existential level such as race, gender, sexuality, identity, childhood trauma, birth and death, dreams and memories, and media.
Her photographic and cinematographic works tell the story of Aboriginal trauma caused by colonization. By tracing scars left by racism and aggressive assimilation politics, she explores contemporary issues surrounding Aboriginal cultural identity in postcolonial Australia. Of mixed Australian and Aboriginal parentage, Moffatt herself is part of the ‘stolen generation’, a time when Aboriginal children were taken from their parents by the government to be raised by white families. Though she consistently advocates the Indigenous perspective on history, Moffatt refuses to be categorized as an ‘Aboriginal artist.’
Moffatt is one of Australia’s most successful artists. Her photographic and cinematographic works have been shown in over a hundred solo exhibitions in Australia, Europe and the United States, and she will represent Australia in the upcoming 57th Venice Biennial. She first gained significant critical acclaim when her short film Night Cries was selected for official competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival, after which her first feature film was also selected for Cannes in 1993. Solo exhibitions of Moffatt’s work have been organized by the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney (1989), Artpace in San Antonio (1995), DIA Center for the Arts in New York (1997), Kunsthalle Vienna (1998), Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (1999), Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (2003–04), and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2005). Her works have also been included in important group exhibitions like the Sydney Biennial (1993, 2000, and 2008) Venice Biennale (1997), São Paulo Bienal (1996 and 1998), Prague Biennale (2005), Family Pictures at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York (2007), and Liverpool Biennial (2008). In 2007 she was awarded the Infinity Award for Excellence in Photography by the International Center for Photography in New York. Moffatt lives and works in New York.
In 2017, she partakes in the group exhibition In the future everything will be as certain as it used to be at Framer Framed (16 March – 23 April 2017).