It was a Thursday night after work, and I decided to head to Black Dot, a local gallery in East Brunswick. The Melbourne chill hadn’t exhausted those attending the Lilli Waters exhibition, they milled around the entrance spilling out onto Lygon Street awaiting the chance to view her photographic collection. Inside, 41 portraits of women, captured in a single significant moment in their lives covered the gallery walls.
With an opening speech by a White Ribbon Foundation ambassador, speaking about the efforts to reduce and prevent violence against women, the energy and purpose of Lilli’s photographic journey filled the room. “As with women who ‘run with wolves’, these women roar,” Lilli writes. As I made my way through the crowd, I stood in front of a collection of arresting images. I’m not sure if it was a combination of the atmosphere, the photographs or the concept behind Water’s work – but I fell away into another world. Completely captivated by one of her images, I decided I simply had to purchase it. It was a portrait of wild freedom, a feeling I believe all women should experience, if not everyday, then at least once in their lives. As I gazed at the portrait, I began to remember a moment in my own life where I felt that exact way and I never wanted to lose that feeling. I purchased the photograph as a reminder of how I had felt.
Below is a collection of my favourite images from the exhibition, along with my very own Lilli Waters print.
‘Lilli Waters wishes to dedicate this project to preventing violence against women. Proceeds from the collection will help a truly worthwhile cause, with 50% of profits from the published book featuring the photographs to well-known charity White Ribbon, an organisation that works towards the prevention of violence against women in Australia. Early prints from this project were chosen to be part of a group exhibition at ‘off the Kerb gallery & studios’ in December of 2011, and also won the People’s Choice Award for The Focus Project 2011. Opening night saw 250 people through the door, raising over $1000 for White Ribbon.’
For more information visit www.sheraw.org