EXCLUSIVE

New photo collective promises fresh look at Australia

Eight leading photographers have formed a new Australian collective specialising in documentary photography.

The Lumina collective is made up of female photographers Donna Bailey, Chloe Bartram, Jessie Boylan, Aletheia Casey, Anna Maria Antoinette D'Addario, Lyndal Irons, Morganna Magee and Sarah Rhodes.

Daisyanna, 16, with her boyfriend Cam in her caravan in Ballarat. Their volatile relationship lasted a little over 12 months, and Daisy has not had a serious boyfriend since. <cite>Photo: Morganna Magee/Lumina</cite>
Daisyanna, 16, with her boyfriend Cam in her caravan in Ballarat. Their volatile relationship lasted a little over 12 months, and Daisy has not had a serious boyfriend since. Photo: Morganna Magee/Lumina

"This project was founded by eight women who are leading practitioners in the genre, and offer a unique voice in Australia," founding Lumina member Casey said.

"We feel women have been under-represented in the industry, particularly in Australia. Although this is changing, we wanted to found an all-female collective, at least to begin with," she said.

"Photography is a skewed industry, so it is great to see and work with a collective made up of leading women with their different artistic voices."

Irons, who won acclaim for her photographic series looking at the characters and businesses on Sydney's Parramatta road, said the collective would focus on long-form stories.

"You can argue gender doesn't matter but it does have an impact on the stories you can access and your take on it," Irons said.

"What we are really lacking in Australia are avenues for artists specialising in long-form stories to share and show their work, our collective hopes to support those stories."

The collective joins a small selection of photography networks in Australia, which includes Occuli, formed by current and former news photojournalists.

Casey distinguished Lumina from other collectives as an educational resource for the community as well as focusing on "the communities we live and love in".

"We always wanted to distinguish ourselves from other collectives by focusing on regional areas as much as the cities. Our members are in The Pilbarra, regional New South Wales and Victoria as well as Melbourne and Sydney. Our longer-term aim is to be spread throughout Australia."

For  D'Addario, Lumina is about filling a gap in support for artistic voices in Australia.

"I believe the [lack of support for artists] is a worldwide epidemic. And Australia could definitely be doing a much better job. It is a very frightening time for the arts, which is such an important and valid aspect of our humanity. I'd say it's time to stir things up."