INDIGENOUS Tasmanian photographer Wayne Quilliam hopes to focus the eyes of the world firmly on Australia through two diverse exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles as part of G'Day USA, which opens on Sunday.
Established nine years ago, G'Day USA is an annual program designed to showcase Australian culture and business capabilities in the US.
Quilliam will launch a portfolio of landscapes at the G'Day Gala Black Tie Ball in Los Angeles on January 12 and travel to New York to exhibit works at the Australian embassy from January 18.
Quilliam was born in Hobart but has strong links to Launceston, where he lived until 15 years ago, playing football with Exeter and Rocherlea. These days he spends much of his time travelling in search of wild, natural beauty from the Andes in Bolivia to the highlands of Laos and, closer to home, the flat expanse of Lake Eyre.
``Growing up in Tasmania was the catalyst for my profession as a photographer - I have always been inspired by nature, always had a deep connection to country,'' Quilliam says.
It's the beauty of Australia's arid zones in Western New South Wales and South Australia - Lake Eyre and ``stunning'' Lake Mungo, particularly - that will dominate Quilliam's LA show.
In New York, Quilliam will be curator for exhibitions that relate to his contemporary art practice - nude art, ethnographic photography of Aboriginal culture and landscapes of Arnhem Land and the Kimberley.
Perpetually fascinated by his culture and the sense of inclusion and belonging, Quilliam says he continuously strives to ``unify subject and audience'' through his art.
``My biggest aspiration is to inspire youth to have big dreams about where life can take you,'' he said.
``I'm still very connected to home in Tasmania, but I work on a world scale.''