Born in Australia in 1949, lives and works in Jalalabad, Afghanistan and Sydney, Australia.
George Gittoes’ work as a documentary filmmaker and artist has consistently expressed his social, political and humanitarian concern at the effects of injustice and conflict. Until the mid-1980s, this work was chiefly done in Australia. In 1986 he travelled to Nicaragua, and since then the focus of Gittoes’ work has been largely international. He has travelled to and worked in many regions of conflict, including the Philippines, Somalia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Bougainville, and South Africa, witnessing global conflict in his artistic work. In recent years his work has especially centred on the Middle East, with repeated visits to Israel and Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
1968-1969: Studies painting and drawing at the Art Students League of New York, work with African-American realist artist Joseph Delaney and as a camera man at Andy Warhol's Factory.
SOLO EXHIBITONS / FILMS (selection)
I Witness at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney.
Love City Jalalabad, Film Screening, DuflonRacz, Bern, Switzerland
Nothing is Enough, Light Works, Syracuse
Beauty in the Face of Everything, works on paper at Art Equity, Sydney.
Love City [Jalalabad] previews at Documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany.
Witness to War, retrospective exhibition, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston.
Solo seven-film retrospective at Anthology Film Archives, New York, an international centre for the preservation, study and exhibition of film and video. Screenings include The Bullets of the Poets, Soundtrack to War, Rampage, Miscreants of Taliwood, Love City [Jalalabad], Talk Show and The Tailor’s Story.
Descendence, DuflonRacz, Bern, Switzerland
Miscreants of Taliwood screens at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Feature documentary Miscreants of Taliwood, premieres at the Adelaide Film Festival. Later screened at Telluride Film Festival, Colorado; International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam; Planete + Doc Film Festival, Poland; Biografilm Festival, Italy; Santa Cruz Film Festival, California; Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival, United Kingdom; Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Denmark; and Traverse City Film Festival, Michigan.
The Time: A Season in Pakistan, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney
Miscreants of Taliwood, the third film in his War on Terror trilogy. The film combines the drama and action of a Pashto telemovie with documentary footage in the Taliban-controlled tribal belt.
30 Years – Long Journey retrospective exhibition of three decades of work at Art Equity, Sydney.
Releases Rampage, which screens at the Berlin, Sydney, Vancouver and Montreal filmfestivals, followed by cinema releases in Australia, the United Kingdom and United States.
Soundtrack to War screens at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Release of Soundtrack to War , premiere on ABC Television.
Release of Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 which features seventeen clips from Soundtrack to War
No Exit: A Tale of Two Cities – George Gittoes in New York and Baghdad, solo exhibition at Macquarie University Art Gallery, Sydney
Lives in the Balance, Durban Art Gallery, Johannesburg Art Gallery, and Pretoria Art Gallery.
Minefields exhibited at the Palace of Nations (United Nations Office), Geneva, Switzerland
Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney; and in Moscow, Russia.
World Diary, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Sydney
The Realism of Peace, Museum and Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin. The works document his tours with Australian peacekeeping forces to Somalia, Cambodia, Western Sahara, the Middle East, Sinai, Rwanda and Mozambique. The exhibition tours nationally until 1997.
Solo Show, Parliament House, Sydney.
Freedom Dance, Arthaus Gallery, Sydney.
Dry Solace, collaboration with WATT, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; and Townsville Civic Theatre, Queensland.
Empire State Suite, a series of 24 etchings responding to media coverage of the Gulf War.
Heavy Industry, interstate touring exhibition developed by Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery.
William Mora Galleries, Melbourne.
Crows Over Cane Fields, solo exhibition at Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney of paintings developed during visits to the Philippines.
Heavy Industry series which explores the working conditions of miners and steelworkers in Wollongong, Newcastle and Broken Hill. Artist in residence at Wollongong City Art Gallery for Heavy Industry, followed by a solo exhibition.
Artist in residence at Newcastle Art Gallery to continue the Heavy Industry project, followed by solo exhibition.
Artist in residence at Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery to continue the Heavy Industry project,followed by solo exhibition.
Paintings, William Mora Galleries, Melbourne.
Solo exhibition of paintings developed during visits to the Northern Territory at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin and Coventry Gallery, Sydney.
Refined Fire nominated for Best Experimental Film at the Australian Film Institute awards; wins silver medal at the Hiroshima Film Festival, Japan; is a finalist in the Baltimore Film festival; and wins best cinematographer and best special effects at the Armidale Film Festival, NSW.
Australian representative at the International Photographic Exhibition, Fribourg, Switzerland.
Sunfish, Macquarie Galleries, Sydney
Rainbow Way, Sydney and Melbourne film festivals and theatrical release.
Solander Gallery, Canberra.
Works in Progress, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.
Rainbow Way, Coventry Gallery, Sydney and Brummels Gallery, Melbourne.
GROUP EXHIBITIONS (selection)
Space-Light: Holography and Laser Spectacular at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (now Powerhouse Museum), Sydney.
Innenseite at Projektgruppe Stoffwechsel, Kassel, Germany satellite exhibition of Documenta X.
Sarajevo, developed by Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts
University of New South Wales, Sydney
Turbulence, the 3rd Auckland Triennial at Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand.
Sydney Peace Prize
Bassel Shehadeh Award for Social Justice
Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of New South Wales, Sydney
Centenary Medal from the Australian Government
Member of the Order of Australia, for ‘service to art and international relations as an artist and photographer portraying the effects on the environment of war, international disasters and heavy industry’
Blake Prize for Religious Art
Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
Artist Development Grant from the Australia Council for the Arts
2013 Artist in residence at Light Work in Syracuse, New York
2002 School of Humanities, Michigan University
1998 Asialink residency at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
PUBLICATIONS / FILMS
George Gittoes, monograph by Gavin Fry, published by Craftsman House, 1998
I Witness: The Art of George Gittoes, an independent film by director Don Featherstone, 1999
War Paint: The World According to George Gittoes, ABC Television Artspace documentary, 2014
Since 2011: Multi-disciplinary arts centre Yellow House in Jalalabad with Hellen Rose, in the Pashtun-dominated region south of Afghanistan.
2012: Establishes Buraq films with Afghan filmmakers to produce high-quality Pashto-language films, based at the Yellow House, Jalalabad.
Soundtrack to War, 2005 (director and cinematographer)
Rampage, 2006 (director)
The Miscreants of Taliwood, 2009 (director and writer)
Love City, Jalalabad, 2013 (director and writer)
Snow Monkey, 2015 (director and writer)