Sandra was born as John but started living as Sandra 6 years ago. When she became Sandra she left behind a career that spanned 37 years in the Air force. In this photo Sandra is getting ready for Anzac Day. She chooses not to march but prefers to stand on the sidelines and quietly observe. She is scared that a day so meaningful to her may be ruined by someone verbally or physically attacking her. While exploring transgender I have been most astounded by my subjects resilience and strength. Sandra recently found out that the female hormones she has been taking may be the cause of numerous blood clots that have recently appeared in her brain. She has been advised to stop taking them immediately. This may mean that the breasts she has developed may decrease in size, her body hair may grow back and her physical transformation may start reversing. This is not an option for Sandra. She refuses to become a man again.
Sawat from the series Sang Tong, translates as 'the golden shell' and comes from a beautiful old Thai folk tale about a boy who emerges triumphant and 'golden' from disquieting circumstances beyond his control. The series features portraits of young children who are all adoptees from Thailand and now living in Melbourne. It is appropriate this series should be titled Sang Tong‚' the Boy with the Golden Shell'. Derived from an old Thai folk tale, Sang Tong was born into royalty but abandoned and later adopted by a giantess, who disguised herself so that the boy would not feel like an outsider. The ploy worked until he was 10 years old, when he found out that he was adopted and set out to explore the world. Wondering through the giantess' palace, Sang Tong discovered a range of magical objects, includes a pair of shoes that enabled him to fly. Sang Tong found a well of silver and gold. After lowering himself into it, he emerged with a beautiful golden body, however he also found a magical mask which disguised him as an ugly person. He later encountered a princess, who saw past the mask to fall in love with the beautiful man within. 'Suspension' is the dominant word that comes to mind when I think of my working method for this series. The magical world was in the centre where each child lay on a high, glass structure. Above them floating objects were suspended, and below painted canvases and props.
Jack Charles' is a portrait drawn from the series 'National Treasures', celebrating age in the LGBTI community as a salute to those who have experienced vast social change through their lifetimes. The sitters are older members of our community who are proud, enthusiastic, encouraging and inspiring examples of Sydney's LGBTI people. Through positive imagery of these people who are often overlooked, this body of work documents their strength, happiness, purpose and legitimacy in where they stand and how they live in an ever-changing society. Regardless of sexual preference and or gender related issues, the nature of growing older in our world brings with it a whole range of complex issues and confronting realities. 'National Treasures' works to break down expected associations with the elderly and instead celebrates a selection of inspirational role models from the community who are aging with grace, dignity, vitality and personality. This resonates on a number of levels and strives to assure all ageing members of the LGBTI family that, far from being alone, each of them is a valued part of a large, nurturing and inclusive community.
Throughout the last year leading up to his teenage years, Riley had been mercilessly bullied at school. He had been knocked out inside the classroom. Kicked, punched and verbally abused in the schoolyard and followed and harassed on his way home. After endless meetings with school principal to no avail, Riley's parents decided to sell the family home and move away from the area. Taken in his backyard, this image was made on the evening prior to their departure for New Zealand.
The image shows Dr Gill Hicks in her kitchen with her prosthetic legs at the chair next to her. Gill was the last survivor to be pulled from the train in the 2005 London Bombings. She lost both her legs below the knee. Despite this and other serious, permanent injuries, she has gone on to become a great campaigner for peace and is South Australia's Australian of the Year 2015.
"We Are Here* is series of portraits of Adolek and Marysia Korman, Holocaust survivors, and their descendants. Having endured the brutality of Auschwitz, their magnificent approach to life is a testament to the strength of the human spirit to survive and forgive. They are tenacious, joyous and loving. It has been both educative and a privilege to photograph their family.
*The Partisan Song by Herschel Glick, 1938 "
Ali is one of many refugees from Sudan who has now call Australia home. The portrait is based on the exploration of homesickness in collaboration with Ali and fashion designer Sharka Bosakova, through wearable garments created with recycle and found materials.
A portrait from the Desert Ink series. Desert Ink is a tale of 8 Mexican tattoo artists from the wrong side of the tracks, who following their love of art and tattooing found the will to change. With identities forged in street furnaces of gang banging, shoot outs, drug dealing and jail time, this band of men crafters new identities, forming a new type of gang, united by art and their determination to earn a decent living, rising from the trappings of their nefarious past lives. A lot of their brothers are either still doing time, or 6 feet underground.
Ania, the poet, writer, woman and king.
In this portrait, inspired by Ania’s writing, I have endeavoured to provide a visual and multilayered glimpse into her work. This portrait delves into an ambiguous character from Ania's current project “Horse”.
Amineh (name changed) and her family fled Iran in 2013. They were picked up by the Australian Navy from a struggling boat and taken to Christmas Island, where they arrived just days after then PM Kevin Rudd made the declaration that ensured no-one arriving in Australia by boat would be settled on Australian shores. During her incarceration in Nauru, Amineh developed severe depression leading to an admission to a psychiatric ward in Brisbane, and on top of that was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite her psychiatrist warning of significant chance of relapse and harm to herself and/or her family if she was returned to Nauru, she was sent back against the doctor's orders and lives in perpetual misery.
Boys will be boys' as the well-used axiom suggests. This spontaneous image of Kobi breaking out in Jacksonesque style dance moves drew the attention of the people gathered around outside a Ballarat church. I guess if you are dressed-up for the day, a few dance moves are in order. Never take life too seriously and remember to have some fun!
This portrait is of Daniel and David Wilfred. Daniel and David are songmen from Ngukurr in Arnhem Land. They collaborate with the Australian Art Orchestra in a project called 'Crossing Roper Bar'. 'Crossing Roper Bar' is a visionary exploration of the musical traditions of Australia's first people by the Australian Art Orchestra in collaboration with the Young Wagilak Group. The Wagilak speaking songmen of South East Arnhem Land are custodians of one of the oldest continuously practised cultures on Earth. Their songs are performed regularly in Ngukurr.
Julie is a 'Disko Meri', the local term for a bar girl in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The girls who work as 'Disko Meri' are supposed to act as company for the men who frequent the clubs, encouraging the men to buy more drinks and stay longer. Many, though not Julie, also make available various forms of prostitution.
This image of George Gittoes shows an artist in reflection. His body language is slightly ambiguous and eyes troubled. What lays beneath? It is difficult to encapsulate such a man into a few words as his life has covered so many extremes. Filmmaker, photographer and painter Gittoes is rare and complex amalgum of all these disciplines and much more. He has witnessed the darkest side of humanity on numerous occasions in conflict and war and is drawn imperceptibly to these conflagrations. Recording these experiences is not enough; Gittoes has to immerse himself into the very gravitas of the situation and has on more than one occasion dodged death. I was drawn to photographing a man that can leave his family for extended lengths of time to literally endure what troubles man most - the true cost of war. Gittoes confessed during this photographic sitting rather soberly that he was a little superstitious that this may be the very last photograph of him. In a matter of days he was headed to to Pakistans wild North West Frontier Province to start his latest film. I sincerely do hope that he is not proved right insha Allah ( God willing ).
A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (French: Un bar aux Folies Bergère), painted and exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1882, was the last major work by French painter Édouard Manet. It originally belonged to the composer Emmanuel Chabrier, who was Manet's neighbor, and hung over his piano. This portrait recreates that artwork from a series of 6 pieces we recreated celebrating famous art with live models.
My recreation of the famous Dutch painter Vermeer's 'Girl with a Pearl Earring' was taken on black and white film, printed by hand and uses natural light. This recreation seeks to simultaneously capture a portrait of my daughter and make a comment about the current trend in recycling.
I have worked with Gretel for many years doing portraits and photographing her many paintings and works in progress. One of 2 images taken on the same evening in 1996 on an old Rolleicord camera, this depicts Gretel as her alter ego Madame Lash.