I am an Australian artist with a background in environmental science. I am based in Wamboin (New South Wales), adjacent to the Australian Capital Territory.

My skills and work experience bridges visual art, environmental science and education. After graduating from a Bachelor of Natural Resources, I worked for government agencies within the subject areas water quality, river health and fluvial geomorphology. Roles included program manager, applied researcher and science communicator. A desire to explore environmental themes as a visual artist led me back to university. In 2017, I completed my PhD inVisual Art from The Australian National University, majoring in photography. My thesis focused on place-based art practices, which I explored in two parts: through qualitatively evaluating other artist’s experiences; and through making the photography series “Grassy Woodlands” in consultation with ecologists. This award-winning series has been exhibited extensively, and resulted in the book, “Grassland in Transition” – a collaboration with woodland ecologist Dr Sue McIntyre.

My work as an artist involves exhibiting, selling artworks, accepting commissions, undertaking residencies and fellowships, and delivering photography workshops (primary and secondary school focus). I use photography to explore a human place in nature, and aim to help raise the awareness of, attachment to, and stewardship of nature. Within my photography workshops, I am particularly interested in helping children, through the process of making art, to learn about and cherish the places they live. My qualifications and work experience in the visual arts and natural resource management enable me to work across disciplines. I enjoy working collaboratively, and creatively sharing stories that help to build on our relationship with, and understanding of nature.


Clients include Bushy Landscapes (NSW), Ginninderry (ACT), Goulburn Regional Art Gallery (NSW), Centre for Contemporary Photography/Cityof Yarra Billboard (Victoria), Centenary of Canberra (ACT), and Stockland Shellharbour (NSW).

Solo Exhibitions


"Inhabiting the Woodlands", Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, NSW


“Grassy Woodlands”, Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW

“Grassy Woodlands”, Crawford Gallery, Sydney


“Grassy Woodlands”, Moree Plains Gallery, Moree, NSW

PhD in Visual Arts examination exhibition, ANU School of Art Gallery, Canberra

“Grassy Woodlands”, Weswal Gallery, Tamworth, NSW


“Grassy Woodland in Spring 2014” and “Fertilised Pasture in Spring 2014” for ‘OUT THERE’ Billboard Art Program, CCP/City of Yarra Billboard, Melbourne


“Box-gum Grassy Woodlands”, Light Journeys, www.lightjourneys.net.au


‘Researching the River’, Discovery, CSIRO, Canberra

Select Group Exhibitions

2018: "The Fellows", School of Art and Design, ACT

2017: “The Botany of Desire”, Benalla Art Gallery, Victoria; "Artisans in the Gardens”, The Royal Botanical Garden Sydney; “Out of the Blue”, Photospace, School of Art and Design Gallery, ANU, Canberra; “Naturally Yours”, School of Art and Design Gallery, ANU, Canberra; “Witching Hour”, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; “Earthkey”, Fyregallery, NSW; “How Does Your Garden Grow?” Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, NSW; “Making Design Research”, School of Art and Design Gallery, ANU, Canberra

2016: “A Regional Mix: Tamworth”, Janet Clayton Gallery, Paddington, NSW; “Land Dialogues”, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga, NSW; "Vice Chancellor's College Visiting Artists Fellow Scheme", School of Art, ANU, Canberra

2015: Bowness Photography Prize, Monash Gallery of Art, Victoria

2014: “Pingyao International Photography Festival”, China; “Unmade Edges: A Centenary Legacy Exhibition”, Belconnen Arts Centre, ACT

2013: “Exhibition and Storytelling Event”, Gold Creek Station, Hall ACT for the Centenary of Canberra project ‘Portrait of a Nation: Unmade Edges – Distinctive Places, Hall’.

2010: “Engaging Visions: Your Place in Fine Art”, School of Art Gallery, ANU, Canberra; “The Contested Landscapes of Western Sydney. Exhibition of Fine Art”, See Street Gallery, Sydney; “Weereewa Photography Prize”, X Gallery, Bungendore, NSW

2009: “Capture”, ANU Climate Change Photographic Competition, ANU, Canberra; “Engaging Visions: A Benalla Field Study”, Benalla Art Gallery, Victoria; "Riverland”, The McCormick Centre for the Environment and Jeenaz (Murray Avenue), Renmark, South Australia

2008: “Tumut: An Exhibition of Visual Art”, Ex-State Bank Building, Tumut, NSW

2007: “Balonne”, Webster’s Building, St George, Queensland; “Landlines: Approaches to Land and Landscape”, Woodworks Gallery Bungendore, NSW

2006: 'Shep. The Earth: An Address About Water”, Shepparton Art Gallery, Shepparton, Victoria

2005: “Present Tense”, School of Art Gallery, ANU, Canberra

2004: “Here With Us: Mental Inset”, Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra

2003: “Land$cape: Gold and Water”, Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, NSW; "Graduate Show: Certificate in Creative Photography”, PhotoAccess, Manuka, ACT

Grants and Awards

2017: Friends of the National Library Creative Arts Fellowship 2018;  Finalist, Fremantle Print Award; Capital Region Landkeepers Trust Grant

2016: Winner, Pat Corrigan AM Acquisitive Award, Centre for Contemporary Photography Salon, Melbourne; NSW Artist’s Grant, Administered by National Association for the Visual Arts

2015: Finalist, Bowness Photography Prize; ANU Vice Chancellor's College Visiting Artists Fellow Scheme

2014: Veolia Creative Arts Scholarship

2010: Winner, Weereewa Photography Prize; Shortlisted, Head On Portrait Prize

2009: Winner, ANU Climate Change ‘Capture’ Photographic Competition

2008: School of Art Materials Award, ANU, Canberra

2007: Murray-Darling Basin Authority PhD Scholarship

Art Related Publications

Carolyn Young and Sue McIntyre (2018). "Grassland in Transition". Carolyn Young, Wamboin.

Carolyn Young and Sue McIntyre (2018). Carolyn Young: Grassy Woodlands. “Western Humanities Review”, 72.1:130-140.

Baracco, M. and Wright, L. (Eds.) (2018). “Repair: Architecture Actively Engaging with the Repair of the Places it is Part of”. Australian Pavilion, Biennale Architettura 2018. Australian Institute of Architects, Melbourne and Actar Publishes, New York.

Guy Abrahams, Bronwyn Johnson and Kelly Gellatly (eds) (2016).“Art+Climate=Change”. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.

Carolyn Young (2016) "Exploring the art and environment phenomenon through photography and tertiary-level place-based education”. Ph.D., The Australian National University.

Carolyn Young, John C. Reid and Bart Meehan (2015). Taking action: researching an innovative pedagogy for an aesthetic environmental approach to environmental issues. “Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability”, 16: 64-72.

Barbie Robinson and David Chalker (eds) (2013). “100 Views of Canberra”. PhotoAccess, Canberra.

John C. Reid, Rod Lamberts, Carolyn Young, and Charles Tambiah (2010). “Engaging Visions: Engaging Artists with the Community about the Environment”. The Australian National University, Canberra.


Parliament House Art Collection (Canberra),Tamworth Regional Gallery (Tamworth), Pat Corrigan AM Collection, Goulburn-Broken Catchment Management Authority (Shepparton), Murray-Darling Basin Authority (Canberra), The Australian National University (Canberra), Canberra Hospital, Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Melbourne), and private collections.

Using Format