The Rocketgirl Chronicles

Andrew Rovenko: Capturing Resilience in the Pandemic Era – Award-Winning Photographer's Insightful Chronicles

Una bambina con un casco da astronauta seduto su sedili blu di un veicolo, con scarpe rosse, in un'immagine tratta da un libro intitolato 'The Rocketgirl Chronicles'

text Petra Barkhof


Within the vast landscape of contemporary photography, there are artists who manage to capture the essence of the human experience with extraordinary mastery and sensitivity. One such talent is Andrew Rovenko, an Australian photographer of Ukrainian origins, whose lens reveals not just images, but stories, emotions, and deep reflections.

Born in 1978, Rovenko has deep roots in both Australia and Ukraine, a blend that is reflected in his work. Currently based in Melbourne, he has earned an international reputation thanks to his acclaimed series “Rocketgirl Chronicles,” created during the coronavirus lockdown in the state of Victoria.


The “Rocketgirl Chronicles” are a thrilling journey into the inner world of Rovenko and his subjects, captured in a moment of vulnerability and resilience. Through his lens, Rovenko has been able to capture beauty and strength even in the most challenging situations, offering the public an intimate look at life during the pandemic.

Rovenko’s extraordinary talent has been recognized by various authoritative sources in the world of photography. In 2021, he was named Australian Photographer of the Year by Australian Photography magazine, a recognition that attests not only to his technical skill but also his ability to communicate through images in a powerful and meaningful way.

Moreover, in 2022 he obtained the title of Emerging Photographer of the Year (Portrait category) for Australasia, confirming his place among the most promising talents in the region. These awards testify to the lasting impact of his photographs and his growing influence in the contemporary artistic landscape.


But what truly makes the “Rocketgirl Chronicles” series unique is its backstory. The images portray Rovenko’s young daughter in a homemade astronaut suit, designed by the artist’s wife. Initially conceived as simple family memories, documenting the daily walks within the allowed radius under the prolonged lockdown restrictions in Melbourne, these photographs quickly resonated both locally and abroad.

The “Rocketgirl Chronicles” have been published in prestigious magazines like Vogue and Rolling Stone, and have been exhibited in galleries in Australia, Italy, and New York. Additionally, the photograph titled “The Shuttle,” from the series, was selected as the cover for the “Portrait of Humanity” by the British Journal of Photography, an annual publication that celebrates extraordinary portraits from around the world.

Despite the digital age, Rovenko is an advocate of the traditional photographic process. The series was captured on medium format film using a Mamiya RZ67 camera, giving the images a tangible quality and depth that goes beyond mere digital.


The photo book of the “Rocketgirl Chronicles” was published in 2023 and includes over 100 images from the project. The photographs have been described as “timeless and otherworldly” by ABC News, highlighting their ability to transport the audience on a journey through imaginary worlds and shared realities.

With his new book, Andrew Rovenko continues to challenge the boundaries of contemporary photography, inviting us to explore the depths of the human soul through his lens. His unique vision and technical mastery promise to inspire and touch the heart of anyone who has the privilege of immersing themselves in his work.

Bambino in tuta spaziale con casco su un campo di fiori colorati
Bambina con casco da astronauta guarda fuori dal finestrino di un autobus rosso e bianco

all images © Andrew Rovenko

order the book or prints of Andrew Rovenko’s work here