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Student work: Selina Wallace - The Open College of the Arts
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Student work: Selina Wallace

OCA BA (Hons) Photography student Selina Wallace has a current exhibition Perfectly Imperfect. The show runs until 20 October as part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

Below Selina tells us about putting the exhibition together and about her experience of studying with the OCA.

“My work is part of the open program for the BIFB, which is a photography festival in Regional Victoria, about 6 hours drive from where I live. My work is hanging in the Ballarat Healthy Hub, and I decided to share the space with a friend of mine, Mike Lim, who has experience hanging exhibitions and also had some work he wanted to exhibit. I had 14 prints to exhibit, from my Body of Work Perfectly Imperfect. I decided to keep costs down to print the images and mount them on foam board rather than framing. We managed to get sponsorship in kind from a printer to offset some of the costs. The process of hanging the prints was quite time consuming – more so than I first imagined! We spent a long time getting the images are the right height and then arranging the distances between each print. My works are along a long hallway, and Mike’s are in a function room at the end of the hall. According to the cafe they had their busiest morning ever on the first day of the festival, so I think it has been a success so far from their perspective. I’ll be re-visiting the exhibition in a few weeks to check it out and hopefully meet some more people who have viewed the work.

In terms of my experience with the OCA, the reason I started studying with the OCA was because I lived in Edinburgh for 3 years, and saw an advert for the OCA when I was doing a darkroom course at Stills. I enrolled in ‘The Art of Photography 1’ and really enjoyed it, so kept on enrolling as I finished each course unit. I think that was in about 2008 or thereabouts. In the last 10 years I’ve moved back to Australia – first to Brisbane and then back to Adelaide a few years later. I’ve had two children and three jobs in that time but kept on studying with the OCA. It’s been a real constant in my life when lots of other things have been in a state of flux! And having the flexibility to work on projects at my own pace has made it all possible. I’m now on my final subject and plan to finish at the end of next year so I can graduate in 2021, and I plan on travelling to the UK for my graduation. I’ve been lucky to connect with a number of fellow students who I keep in touch regularly with online. I’m also slowly building up local arts and photography connections here in Adelaide, which I recognise is important as I head towards the end of my degree.

In its own unique way my flawed body is perfect – it is Perfectly Imperfect. Charlotte Brontë, writing in 1847 under the male pseudonym Currer Bell, wrote to the “carping few” dissenters in the preface to the second edition of Jane Eyre: “Conventionality is not morality” and “appearance should not be mistaken for truth”. Behaving in expected ways does not make me moral.

Cultural constructs can be escaped, and through my performance in Perfectly Imperfect I seek to do just that, with the aim of brief personal liberation from constraint.”

Find out more about Selina’s work here.

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Posted by author: Joanne
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