Belinda Mason’s interactive multi layered sensory installation is a mix of glass, photography, film and audio The project was developed in collaboration with the participants who are women with disabilities who have experienced violence or women who have acquired their disability as a direct result of violence. All of these women have the opportunity to reveal the long term impact, and circumstances, of the violence that they have experience and how this has affected their lives. The exhibition provides a focal point for discussion, education and awareness raising – providing the impetus for social change. Funded by the Australia Council for the Arts, the project engaged three other artists Margherita Coppolino, Denise Beckwith and Dieter Knierim and is curated by Kon Gouriotis. The Australian component of the exhibition was showcased in Australia at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in August 2015. The Vice Chair of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with disability, Diane Kingston, has invited us to represent the universality of the violence against women and expand the exhibition to include women from other countries, with the support of an international disability organisation (CBM) with the intent to exhibit the works the United Nations in Geneva.
The exhibition of 3D holographic lenticular portraits and video installation titled Unfinished Business by Belinda Mason and Knierim Brothers Productions exposes the impact of disability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. Premièred at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, 2013, the exhibition was opened by the Director General of the United Nations in Geneva, and the Australian Ambassador to the United Nations to coincide with the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, with the Human Rights Council, 24th Session. The work was then shown at the World Health Headquarters in Geneva before becoming part of the Australian governments contribution to the 2014 United National World Conference on Indigenous Persons in New York. This work is now touring Australia. This project is supported by The Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, First People Disability Network, Outback Academy, Fred Hollows Foundation, Outback Academy Red Dust Heelers, KPMG, Veolia, Simpsons Solicitors and Primary Communication
The Serving Country exhibition, by Belinda Mason and Dieter Knierim, acknowledges and recognises the valuable contribution by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women have made to Australian Defence Service. The portraits, created during the Redfern Coloured Diggers March in April 2014, were first displayed as a part of 2014 VIVID Festival Wartime Legends light show at Sydney University. During 2014 NAIDOC, Western Sydney University exhibited 20 of the portraits which were printed on 60cm x 40cm brushed steel panels. In conjunction with the 2015 ANZAC Celebrations Penrith Regional Gallery featured the works as part of their exhibition’Home/Front. During 2015 NAIDOC week, with the assistance of the Department of Veterans Affairs, the portraits were exhibited at the Headquarters of the Department of Defence in Canberra. To coincide with 2014 Remembrance Day, the portraits were exhibited at Currumbin RLS Club. The works returned to Western Sydney University in late 2015 till early 2016 as part their exhibition ‘Remembering H.A.C’ In April 2016 the work was displayed as part of the Sydney HEAD ON Photography Festival, and was launched in conjunction with the Coloured Diggers March at the Redfern Community Centre. This work now has over 100 participants from across Australia and is available for display.
Outing Disability Outing Disability showcases photographic portraits with individuals’ stories of coming out, transitioning, dating, and finding acceptance in a world that often makes invisible, the sexuality of people with disability. This exhibition is supported by Family Planning NSW, who continue to use this work as an education tool to create community engagement. Developed in collaboration with internationally acclaimed photographer, Belinda Mason, Outing Disability is an intimate portrait series which takes the viewer on a journey into the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people with disability. Outing Disability premiered at the Sydney Mardi Gras in February 2014 and went on to be exhibited at the Newcastle Regional Library in New South Wales in May 2015. The exhibition was shown at The Substation as part of the celebrations of International Day of People Disability in December 2015 with support of the Hobsons Bay Council. In January 2016 the exhibition is a part of the Melbourne Midsumma Festival and will be exhibited at the Footscray Library with the support of the Maribyrnong City Council. The work is available for future exhibitions.
Black on White
Images from her Yolgnu on Balanda (Black on White) series won her the 2008 Human Rights Award for Photography. The original exhibition was shown at the Perth Centre of Photography in 2009, Albury Library & Museum in 2010 and Galeria Zero in Barcelona, Spain in 2011. This series expanded and documented the remarkable and insightful voices of 200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their opinions of white culture.The completed project was exhibited at the State Library of NSW in 2013, as part of the hEAD ON Photography Festival, before being donated to the Australian Institute for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies in Canberra in 2014.
In 2013, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre commissioned this work, as part of a broad Women In Sport initiative which examines the complex issues relating to women and sport through an arts and cultural lens. The work was also shown at the University of Western Sydney in conjunction with the celebrations for the 2015 International Women’s Day. These women are diverse and extraordinary because of their lives outside of sport. They are all strong and fragile, which is the thread that links womanhood. Their fears and insecurities are the foundations that have empowered their passions, and, in turn, give rise for them to experience larger and richer lives.The women as a group represent the diversity of experiences of sport across cultural boundaries and societal expectations, each of these women has broken unwritten rules to play their sport and follow a passion that has broadened their lives outside of sport. This exhibition has expanded and is still growing incorporating over 16 women. Please contact me if you would like to participate in this project. Two images from this series are held at the Australian Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. They have been a part of an exhibition at the Los Angeles Centre for Digital Art (LACDA) The Toyota Community Spirit Award, Conversations on the Cusp of Change, The Art of Photography Show CA.
Becoming Woman is an exhibition by Belinda Mason that follows the journey of Paula Kaye, who has chosen to challenge stereotypes and popular misconceptions of the transsexual woman. The work was created in conjunction with an SBS documentary in 2004 and was exhibited at the Casula Powerhouse, Sydney.
Only A Man
Belinda Mason’s 2006 series Only a Man examines the role of men as society’s disposable commodity. This exhibition is a forum for men who rarely feel able to freely express their vulnerability and emotional needs, and who feel dis-empowered by societal expectations. Launched at the Seymour Centre in Sydney in 2006 it visitedGrafton Regional Gallery,NSW and received an Honorary Mention in the 2002 Josephine Urlich Photography Award.
For 14 years Belinda Mason’s first exhibition Intimate Encounters, which explores sexuality and disability, toured to every metropolitan and key regional city throughout Australia – 32 venues from 2001 to 2007 and to nine international cities from 2002 to 2014 . It is held in 6 institutions around the world including The Museum of Sex in New York and ShapeArts in London. This exhibition was supported by Accessible Arts Australia and Visions of Australia.
Beyond the Burn
The photographic essay Beyond the Burn, did just that. Skin is our largest organ. It protects us from the outside and gives us identity through complexion and form. We breathe through it. We feel through it. We sense through it. We experience comfort and love through it. The immediate attention of the trauma associated with burns is addressed in the media with the intensity of the acute event itself. What is easily forgotten is that burns alter an individual’s life forever and the journey of a burn survivor is a life long one. The image of burn survivor Ramesh was awarded the 2008 IRIS Award and also the 2008 Kodak Salon Award.
Belinda Mason has collaborated with Dieter Knierim and Denise Beckwith to create the multi-media exhibition Last Rights, which asks the question of those who holds the power to give or take a life. This is a work in progress and potential participants are welcome to submit an expression of interest.
Eye 2 Eye
The images are all 3D holographic‚ lenticular portraits of Australian Documentary Photographers. The work is a testament to those photographers who have had an impact on Australian Documentary Photography. Participants to date include, Stephen Dupont, Tamara Dean, Tim Page, Merv Bishop, Claire Martin, William Yang, Robert McFarlane, Tony Mott , David Dare and Nigel Brennan. I enjoy the process of discovering a person and translating not their physicality, but their inner self into an image. It is not their story or images that inspires me, but the way in which they tell it, how much they are prepared to expose their own frailty in revealing the person behind the images that we all know. The work is yet to be completed and I welcome the opportunity to work with a curator to create a body of work that presents a cross section of Australian photographic talent. It presents the opportunity to showcase photographers themselves, whose faces we don’t always recognise, although their images are etched forever in our memories.
Belinda Mason has collaborated with Dieter Knierim and Denise Beckwith to create the multi media series Fertile Ground, which explores the rights of the child. This is a work in progress and potential participants are welcome to submit an expression of interest.
Sense of Self
The participants from this collection of images entitle “Sense of Self” have experienced life-changing events that have moulded and strengthen their internal identity. These diverse stories confront us through their honestly and intimacy. I am often asked how I find these people, sometimes I think they just find me. We happen upon one another in often most unexpected ways. Shade of Grey Gender is not black or white, but many shades of grey. Belinda Mason and Dieter Knierim through this exhibition explore the diversity of experience of both gender and sexuality.