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Born To Be Alive

20 - 28 February 2017

In mid-2016, Hillary was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma which has since spread into her pelvic wall. This is a crucial time in Hillary’s treatment and we are raising funds for her to commence immunotherapy. With the fellow support of LiveImage at Queensland College of Art (Griffith University), we are exhibiting key works of Hillary’s alongside those by Luke Roberts, Gerwyn Davies, Ray Cook, Sancintya Mohini Simpson, and Kelly Morgan. The photographic exhibition is based on queer and mixed-race agendas, with a healthy dose of humour, style, and absurdity.

All proceeds from the sale of artworks will go directly to Hillary in support of her journey.

Please see the Exhibition Catalogue to view the artworks. Exhibition Catalogue

If you are unable to attend the exhibition but you wish to help, please donate and share the following link to anyone else who may be interested in supporting Hillary:

Artist Statement

As a photographer I have always examined ideas of selfhood, representation and performance by looking at others through the lens which resulted in a fascination with portrait photography. After several years of collaborating with circus, drag performers, and the various forms which most lend themselves to hyperreal or exaggerated versions of self representation I began to wonder if and where the performance ends and the “real” person starts. Turning the camera upon myself I question, how can one ever know the “real” person when our self concepts, our self representations and corporealities are in a constant state of construction? How too can I ever be certain that I know myselves?

In this body of work I take to centre stage performing as both author and subject, questioning notions of authenticity and the stables self whilst examining the relationship between representation and portrait photography. Portrait photography has long been considered to guarantee a capture of the “real” or the “essence” of the sitter. It has been assumed that the portrayed was worthy of portrayal and that the concept of subjectivity was tied to the concept of authenticity. While portrait photographers have been revered for capturing the spirit of the subject I question what it is that they are representing? Is that “essence” merely a counterfeit, constructed by the author and performed by the subject.

Through my studio practice which is informed by the aesthetics of masquerade and performance in constructed self portraiture, I fracture the subjectivity of the poser through repetition, demonstrating how meaning can be translated through gesture, gaze, pose and performance. The vividness of the photographs and the artificial backgrounds aim to create a sense of the hyperreal, drawing further attention to the over-constructed nature of identity, gender and culture.

For collectors

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters, culture, and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.