Exposure is a series of photo galleries showcasing photographic talent in Australia. Our featured photographers share their best shots and give us an insight into both their creative and technical processes. If you are interested in being featured in Exposure, or know any photo buffs who might be, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Belinda Mason is an award-winning Sydney-based photographer. She worked as a News Ltd Press photographer in the late 1980s before becoming a freelance photographer.
Her work focuses on taboo social subjects that explore the very personal and sometimes difficult subjects of grief, body image, identity and family. Belinda is the 2008 winner of the richest photography prize in Australia, The Moran Prize. Her winning image is entitled "Four Generations".
Belinda was recently awarded "Most Emotionally Intense Image" at the CCP 2008 Kodak Salon. This same image of a burn survivor won the Perth 2008 PCP Iris Award. Her work has been exhibited at the NSW Art Gallery as part of the Shoot The Chef exhibition, and she has participated in exhibitions such as Head On, Josephine Ulrick and Olive Cotton Awards, the Alice Prize, Iris Awards.
Charlie & Jonno
Charlie and I met in 1983 in Adelaide when he was studying at Adelaide University and I was working with the Kaurna community in Adelaide on an exhibition called "The Plains People". I travelled to Maningrida to see Charlie over the years, but it wasn't until 2003 that we decided to exhibit any of the images that I shot. For me these images were very personal "holiday snaps". To assist with the rebuilding of the town, 80 per cent of the proceeds of sale of the work is given to the indigenous community of Maningrida after the largest cyclone in Australian history destroyed the town.
In 2007, Charlie passed away. I am now working with his son Blake Carter to teach photography to young Indigenous Australians living in remote areas of Arnhem Land to empower them with the ability to record their own culture rather than have white people like myself do it.
As a result of the 2006 exhibition, Architects without Frontiers went to Maningrida in July to help with the rebuilding. The Maningrida exhibition has also won the BHP Images of the Outback award for 2003 and 2004. These images are part of the prestigious Fuji ACMP Collection 10, and were selected for the NSW Art Gallery
This series confronts the prejudices and typecasting of men and emotions. This telling work features the journey of 39 men who have exposed their bodies, minds and souls by providing an insight into their most intimate thoughts and emotions.
John is a dear friend of my mother's, he and his wife sailed and went four-wheel driving with my parents for many years. Photographs of their adventures cover the walls of their home along with images of John's career as an actor and drama teacher. His wife Janet has Alzheimers, but still recalls many colourful stories. They have been married 59 years. John was 83 when this image was taken and physically a shadow of the robust outback adventurer I knew, he died of old age 42 days after the photo shoot.
Michael is a fellow photographer, and great friend. He and Lewis are so alike that the image is of both the right-hand sides of their faces. They seem alike physically and emotionally which does not always draw them closer together.
This image "Ramesh" won the Perth PCP Iris Award this year and also the Kodak Salon at CCP Melbourne for "the most emotionally intense image".
The "Beyond the Burn" project concentrates on what occurs to a person after being burnt and subsequent to the completion of the physical healing process. This in turn reveals the powerful emotional journey of a burn survivor. The immediate attention of the trauma associated with burns is addressed in the media with the intensity of the acute event itself. What is easily forgotten is that burns alter an individual's life forever and the journey of a burn survivor is a lifelong one. This project is a testament to those who have travelled that road and those whom have tried to ease the journey. Physical and emotional pain is parallel.
It is possible to see the physical scars of the participants of this project, while for some, their invisible emotional scars run just as deep and take just as long to heal.
He was burnt as a teenager whilst working on his motorbike. Now that his own son is in his late teens, Denis wonders if his son's face is similar to the face that he would have now if not for the accident.
The girl in the image has quite profound scars. One lover said that it looked like the milk and coffee mixing on a latte as he touched her naked body for the first time. I was also stunned by her decision to burn the photographs that recorded her hospital stays. She could have torn them up or thrown them away, but she chose to, of all things, burn them.
Intimate Encounters is a unique and highly emotive essay that takes the viewer through a journey of emotions, tapping into thoughts and feelings so often dismissed and denied of people with disabilities. All images were developed with full input and participation from the people photographed; it was a truly collaborative experience, shaped by the participant's own feelings, thoughts and aspirations.
"Our child is entering the world of ability from a unique perspective."
Belinda Mason has worked extensively with all the participants to define how they wish to be represented. This is a radical shift in the way people with disabilities are generally photographed; rather than objectifying their experiences, they are the active creators of their representation. The work explores the myriad of connections between disability and sexuality.