Documentary Month 1st - 31st July 2023

Language of Light Season 2

Language of Light Season 2


Ponch Hawkes

·      feminist photographer

Ponch’s work has explored themes to do with women, sport (including circus), female bodies, relationships and identity. Starting out in the Pram Factory and early Circus Oz period, Ponch photographed circus performers, then extended out to portrayals of artists, feminists, sportspeople and others. Her first exhibited work was Our Mums and Us, featuring her female friends and their mothers, amongst them writer Helen Garner. More recent projects such as Flesh after 50 / 500 Strong exhibitions have explored the ageing female body. Hawkes’ extensive career is considered an influential part of the Australian Feminist art movement.


John Street

·      formerly a commercial photographer, now an art photographer

Born in the UK John spent the first 15 years of his life in and out of different orphanages. He remembers light being an important thing to him as he lay in fields as a child, looking up at the sky. John subsequently became a merchant seaman, then returned to London in the swinging 60s and became a commercial photographer. He migrated to Australia and continued this work, being acclaimed as a very exacting food photographer. At a later stage John swapped to an ultra large format camera to compose unique, one-off art photographs, which he describes as ‘slow photography’. At the age of 90 he has now sold his large camera but continues to make photographs that are more of a combination of art and photography – ‘painting with light’.


Ricky Maynard

·      an Indigenous documentary photographer

An Indigenous Tasmanian photographer, Ricky started as a darkroom technician at the age of 16.

In viewing the racist treatment of Indigenous people in the past via colonial photos, Ricky started questioning the photographer's role, the influence of the image in society and its persuasive power. It changed the way he viewed and made pictures: “this misrepresentation of Australia's first nation people became a lifelong pursuit of providing insight into a tragic past and providing a profound, in-depth personal interpretation rooted in my own Aboriginal experience." Ricky also struggled with alcoholism along the way and says that photography saved his life.


Meredith O’Shea

·      photojournalist

Born into a working class family in Melbourne, Meredith’s father chose to move them to very outer suburban greenery and freedom. She preferred horse-riding to school, but became interested in film and photography. She was scooped up by THE AGE as soon as they saw her folio, and they have been her main employer for the last 2 decades. She creates most of her own story concepts for the newspaper and believes her working class background allows her to relate more easily to her subjects - she covers difficult issues and engages with her subjects at a profound level of intimacy, revealing hauntingly beautiful photographs of her subjects at their most vulnerable. And then there are the beautiful photos of her children, which she started taking during COVID

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