Pictured above (L-R) Julia Andrews; Director of Community Engagement; Charles Sturt University, Dr Diane McDonald; Exhibition Creator, Natalie Forsyth-Stock; CEO; LiveBetter and artists, Karen Peacock and Melinda Montgomery
LiveBetter, in partnership with Charles Sturt University School of Rural Medicine, has launched the Through my Eyes photography exhibition in Orange; a groundbreaking and powerful research project showcasing key themes on identity, inclusion and disability.
Through my Eyes features the work of six female photographers with physical impairment, sharing their personal experiences and stories of being a woman with disability through the medium of photography. Over a period of three months, the group of women conceived and constructed visual responses to four feminist topics: the politics of appearance, sexuality, exclusion and inclusion and power imbalances.
“An exhibition like this is important because it shows that having a disability doesn’t have to be a bad thing and the lives that we live shouldn’t be seen as terrible,” explains Melinda Montgomery, one of the featured artists.
“I wasn’t aware that I had the ability to express myself in this way. I’m always someone who is behind the camera, taking photos of everybody else and their lives, so it’s very rare that I get to be in front of the lens. For me, this was a really brave step to be able to do it and have these amazing photos as an outcome.”
“I’m so proud to be involved in something like this and it showcases disability in such a positive light. Living with disability can be an amazing, incredible thing and to show that we have lives just like everybody else…all we want is to be ordinary.”
Official proceedings were hosted by CEO for the Day, Stacey Maugeri with a captivating Q&A led by LiveBetter CEO, Natalie Forsyth-Stock. Exhibition creator, Dr Diane McDonald, and two of the featured artists gave insight into the creative process, sharing their thoughts on female empowerment and how disability doesn’t have to limit one’s ability.
Photographer, Karen Peacock, summarised the importance of this project beautifully when she made the remark,
“When was the last time you saw a female with disability up on the walls of an art gallery? That’s why a project like this is so exciting!”
Through my Eyes will be hanging in the Orange Base Hospital from mid-July.