We wanted to explore how the Trust's support provides momentum to our grantees' careers.

So we asked, ‘How has your grant and the professional development opportunity it supported impacted your ambition?'.


It has given me the confidence to take risks and transform a dream into a reality.
Kiah Pullens

Kiah Pullens’ practice explores the boundaries of the photographic medium, focusing on the image-making process, rather than the image-taking process.

Using digital and analogue processes, Pullens breathes new life into archival images, transforming them into largescale analogue prints often displayed as installations and sculptures.

Unfortunately, inadequate public access to colour darkroom facilities in Melbourne limits Pullens’ ability to create this work and advance her practice.

In 2022, the Trust supported Pullens in undertaking a darkroom research tour of Europe, visiting a range of professional, commercial and community facilities across London, Brussels, and Stuttgart and undertaking a residency at recom ART Berlin.

Pullens’ ambition was two-fold; to advance her darkroom practice, and to use the techniques, processes, and knowledge of analogue photographic printing and successful darkroom operations in establishing an open-access colour darkroom in Melbourne.

A year on from her grant project, Pullens reflects on the experience. “The grant allowed me to deepen my technical understanding of the darkroom process and engage with masters of the medium.”

“This training led to a personal artistic project of documenting the process of large image making using heat-sensitive cameras and producing large-scale photographic works.”

Pullens’ large-scale works, developed at recom ART Berlin, were exhibited in ‘The pleasure was all mine’ at ResArtis, Melbourne. The research project also led to the establishment of Wetlab, which will be a creative space for photographic artists to experiment with the medium of C-type printing through large-scale facilities.

Wetlab’s Melbourne premises are currently under construction to accommodate specialised photographic equipment; significant considerations include ventilation and temperature control. Wetlab will host the largest publicly accessible C-type printing machine in Australia and the only open-access colour darkroom in Melbourne.

“The funding from The Ian Potter Cultural Trust has given me the confidence to take the risks and transform a dream into a reality. Wetlab is set to open its doors in 2024."