Joyce Evans works as a documentary photography. Major areas of investigation include the edge of the road, road kills and fatalities, the land, and many other bodies of focused photo essays and photographic work.
In her landscape photography, Evans strives to capture the essence of the place, relating to the viewer not only its purely mimetic qualities, but also the spiritual and psychological sensation of the place. Among the most outstanding bodies of work are series of photographic essays taken by Evans in the Dandenongs and Mt Martha regions in the outer Melbourne; along the Hume Highway; in the Central Desert and outback Australia, most notably Oodnadatta, Oodlawirra, Menindee, and Lake Mungo; vineyards and rural villages in the South of France; the old Jewish cemetery in the centre of Prague; and numerous others.
Evans’s portrait photographs are insightful character studies, taken mainly in black and white, at close range, and more often than not constructed within the subject’s own creative environment, whether studio or office, home or out of doors; with the underlying emphasis on the psychological connexion between the sitter and his or her own space. She created a number of important portraits of a diverse cross-section of Australian intelligentsia and personalities, including Marianne Baillieu; Barbara Blackman; Baron Avid von Blumenthal; Tim Burstall; Dur-e Dara; Robert Dessaix; Germaine Greer; Elena Kats-Chernin; Joan Kerr; Ellen Koshland; David Malouf; Dame Elisabeth Murdoch; Lin Onus; Jill Reichstein; Chris Wallace-Crabbe; and innumerable others.
Joyce Evans also plays an important educational role in Australian photography. She taught history of photography at Melbourne’s RMIT University; appointed inaugural assistant director of Waverley City Gallery (now Monash Gallery of Art), 1990-91, the first municipal public collection in Melbourne to specialise in photography; established and inaugurated a course on the History of Photography and appointed Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, 1997-2010. Evans continues conducting lectures and photographic workshops, predominantly in Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Evans worked as an honorary photographer for the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in Central Australia and for over ten years documented Australian country towns and events for the National Library of Australia.
Important publications on Joyce Evans include a monograph Only One Kilometre(Melbourne: Lothian Press, 2003), and exhibition catalogues with essays by Alison Inglis, Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, Tim Page, Victoria Hammond, and many others.
Photographs by Joyce Evans were published in major art compendiums and publications in Australia and internationally, including Studio International (199: 1015, 1986-87);Silvershotz (2010), The Interior(1:1, May 1991); Focus on New Zealand (William Collins, 1986); Colour and Transparency (Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 1986).
Joyce Evans is included in McCulloch’s Encyclopaedia of Australian Art (Alan and Susan McCulloch, eds, 2006); Dictionary of Australian Women Artists (Max Germaine, 1991); Who’s Who of Australian Women (1982, 2007); and The World’s Who’s Who of Women (1986).
She is an approved valuer for Australian and International Photography from the 19th century to present day for the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
Joyce’s work is held in the following collections:
- Castlemaine Regional Art Gallery
- Hasselblad Collection Sweden
- Horsham Art Gallery (Regional)
- Jewish Museum of Australia
- Kirby Collection
- Lowenstein Collection
- Michaels Camera and Video Store Collection
- Mitchell Library, Sydney
- Monash Gallery of Art
- Musee de la Photography, Mougins, France.
- Migration Museum, Victoria
- Museum of Victoria
- National Gallery of Victoria
- National Library of Australia
- State Library of Victoria
- Victorian Tapestry Workshop
- Waverley City Collection
- Private collectors