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Why take photographs? - The Open College of the Arts

To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

Why take photographs? thumb

Why take photographs?

For Australia based OCA student Selina Wallace the answer can be summarised very straightforwardly: ‘My interest in photography lies in making people look, then think, then look again.’
Assignment five of the OCA Landscape course calls for a self-directed project; to produce a body of work that explores a particular place, type of space or theme relating to landscape practice. Selina chose the thematic approach:
‘State of the Environment is a piece of work which was inspired by a 2011 document of the same name, published by the Department of the Environment. This document gives an overview of the current environmental situation in Australia. The headlines (and detail within) make some confronting statements regarding Australia’s present environmental situation. Photographs inspired by the headings have been paired with headlines extracted from the report, and aim to engage the viewer to think about the impact of their own actions and the actions of our whole community in the environment on which we all depend to live. Hopefully by looking a little deeper into the photograph first, and their personal situation second, the viewer will consider their own relationship with the environment.’
The full body of work can be seen on Selina’s website here, but we have posted a small selection below: (Click on the images to enlarge)
Having completed the course Selina could have left the work there, but it is one thing to make the assessors think and another to get a wider audience. So Selina decided to get her work in not one but three exhibitions: two separate single person shows and also a contribution to the South Australian Living Artists’ Salt of the Earth group show. And it was a result of this third exhibition that Selina found herself short-listed for an award: the Don Dunstan Foundation Award for artists whose work explores any of the Foundation’s themes including equity, the environment, homelessness, mental health and unemployment. The award has a prize of $3,500.
The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony on Friday 3 July. We wish Selina well. However, she herself is thinking about more than the prize money, saying: ‘I am very excited and honored to be a finalist and to have my work recognised. This will also mean that most likely my exhibition will be well visited which is great, as the main reason I am holding it is to share my ideas and creativity and to get people thinking about the environmental issues we face.’

Posted by author: Genevieve Sioka

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