Yesterday was the day I was able to happily share my finalist image for the National Photographic Portrait prize 2017. And in case you are not following me on Instagram I thought I would share it here with you all.
I am hugely excited to have this image as one of the 49 finalist images in this years event and to be heading over to join the other finalists at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra for the launch this Friday evening. (The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 1st April).
The photograph titled ‘A Moment’ features young Yolngu boy Peter Brown and is truly a brief organic moment in time. It is the moment I asked Peter to look down my lens and he owned it with such strength and intensity. It is the moment just after and just before he was jumping, diving and swimming with his friends off the rocky shoreline of the Arafura sea at Nyinyikay homeland in East Arnhem land.
My week in Arnhem land back in September of last year was a series of so many wonderful moments that will stay with me for my lifetime.
It is an area of Australia that is as remote as it is fascinating and beautiful. A land that has been inhabited for close to 50,000 years by the first Australians, and more specifically in east Arnhem land by the Yolngu people who welcomed us so warmly and generously.
It is a land of contrasts, red dirt roads, earth and cliffs as well as dense bushland bursting with stringybarks and bush tucker, juxtaposed against white sandy palm fringed beaches and clear blue sea, home to many a croc and plentiful barramundi!
I will be back with more on my time in this unique corner of the world, unique not only in its geographical location and for its incredible landscape but especially for its people.
To meet the Yolngu people is to meet a people still so connected to their land, to their environment and to each other that it is hard not to stop, take a breath and wonder why it has taken so long for modern Australia to be interested in understanding and respecting it’s incredible ancient history and culture.
As an end note …… and a big bit of self promo here is the Ross Bilton Article from The Australian Weekend Magazine March 11, featuring 6 of the finalist images including ‘A Moment’. Thank you Ross!