A Thousand Words

National Exhibition Register

  • Hard hat diver preparing to enter water from the Maritime Services Board diver's punt
    Hard hat diver preparing to enter water from the Maritime Services Board diver's punt
    Image Credit
    Hard hat diver preparing to enter water from the Maritime Services Board diver's punt. Photo © State Archives & Records Authority

About the exhibition

'A picture tells a thousand words.' This adage is the inspiration for an innovative new exhibition, in which the public becomes the curator. A Thousand Words presents 32 of the most compelling photographic images from the rich collections of Sydney Living Museums and the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW, created between the 1880s and the 1980s.

A Thousand Words adopts a philosophy that everyone can interpret history through the lens of their background, experiences, values, and aspirations. Unlike a standard exhibition, the images are presented without traditional curatorial interpretation. Instead, the public have been invited to contribute responses - whether emotive, nostalgic or imaginative - and this 'crowdsourced' material translated into the exhibition design. New creative works have also been commissioned from established and emerging writers and artists, each responding to an image from the exhibition.

A Thousand Words is a collaboration between Sydney Living Museums and State Archives. Winner of the MAGNA award - Temporary & Ttravelling exhibition 2021.

Artists and Curator

Penny Stannard

Ethan Bell, Hani Abdile, Blak Douglas

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
20/01/2023 - 31/12/2025
Exhibition size
Over 100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Sydney Living Museum
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Catalogue/Book, Education Kit, Exhibition Tour Manual, Installation Support Available, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Invitations or Invitation Template, Labels, Media Kit, Public Program Opportunities, Public Workshops
Other materials
32 Large scale exhibition prints 1 painting by Blak Douglas 2 digital contemporary artworks Wordcloud silent animation (20 mins) Exhibition publication Desing and installation support
Primary contact
Tara Kita
Senior Producer Travelling Exhibitions
Sydney Living Museums
02 8239 2265 / 0405 341 112
A Thousand Words is a travelling exhibition form Sydney Living Museums