Gemma-Rose Turnbull started taking photographs as a teenager growing up in a small country town. She enrolled in Photography in High School because it was the ‘cool’ subject that allowed you to legitimately disappear off the school grounds (to do whatever it is that teenagers in country towns do). She fell in love with photography along the way and ended up with her own key to the school darkroom.
Fast forward ten years and she graduated with First Class Honours in Documentary Photography from the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University (QCA) in 2005. While studying she was awarded a Griffith University Award for Academic Excellence, and the Queensland Arts Council Photographer for a Year scholarship.
While at QCA she worked as the Editor of the Australian PhotoJournalist Magazine and traveled to Vietnam to work on two Indochina Media Memorial Foundation (IMMF) workshops with renowned photojournalist Tim Page. After completing her degree Gemma-Rose spent two years as a photographer with The Northern Star, a daily newspaper based in Lismore, Australia.While there she was named in the top three APN photographers in Australia for 2006, and awarded NSW News Photographer of the Year 2007.
In 2008 Gemma-Rose was awarded the Mary Clerc Scholarship for Achievements in Photojournalism to attend the Missouri Photo Workshop in America. She was also named a finalist and winner of the ‘People’s Choice’ Award for her series Show Us Ya Tits in the Australian Commercial and Media Photographers Projections competition for emerging Australian photographers.
Gemma-Rose completed her Graduate Certificate in Higher Education in 2008, while lecturing Photojournalism at QCA (where she was nominated for a Griffith Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Early Career in 2009) and Visual Communication at the University of Queensland.
She was awarded an Australia Council for the Arts Connections Residency in 2010 and is currently working with non-profit organisation St Kilda Gatehouse teaching, photographing and interviewing street sex workers for her book Red Light | Dark Room (expected at the beginning of 2011).
And yes, she is still working on her long-term documentary project Show Us Ya Tits.