I’ve been working on a new project along with Ashleigh.
Now, before I say anything more about the actual project, I just want to say how wonderful it is to be in a situation where I am working alongside Ash. She is not only an extremely gifted photographer, but an incredible person to work with, and I feel very fortunate that we have been able to have this collaboration.
The project is based at a drop-in centre in Collingwood called The Wellington. According to their web page:
“The Wellington is a focal point for social interaction, support and services that redress disadvantage, cultural and social interaction in the community.
We aim to provide activities and services that welcome and embrace all people and cultures in the community.
We work with people of all ages to assist them to maximise their life opportunities and feel part of their community.”
In practice the organization offers local people free or heavily subsidized (just a gold coin donation) access to a range of services including chiropractic, massage, hair cuts, meals and various other activities. Collingwood does have its fair share of people who perhaps feel disengaged and marginalized, and it is for these people that The Wellington hopes to provide a welcoming, secure and inclusive environment.
Ashleigh originally approached them with an offer to make portraits of some of the clients, with the resulting photographs to be available to be used for whatever positive purpose the management decides, in exchange for us being able, with the permission of the subjects, to use the photographs for our folios and for photographic competitions.
The idea was immediately seized upon by The Wellington’s head honcho, Bobbi, and our project was born. So far we’ve had a couple of days meeting and photographing some of the folks who have volunteered to be subjects, and it has been extremely gratifying to get to know several incredible people, like Amanda.
We’ve begun to think this could develop into quite an important body of social documentary photography, and are thinking of ways to progress our ideas and display our work.
So it is all very exciting, and we look forward to moving ahead with a bit of momentum building. But for now, it’s just wonderful to be able to photograph some extraordinary people and to work alongside Ash.