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The National Photographic Portrait Project

THE NATIONAL COMMUNITY PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PROJECT presents key demographic data in a way that pure statistics is unable to do. This project photographically transforms Australian Bureau of Statistics census data into visual portraits that represent the typical face of a specific regional, remote and metropolitan community. Underpinned by both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies this project combines demographic statistics with digital photography in powerful way. This project is significant because it is a unique collaboration between two distinct and un-related disciplines, statistics and photography. The outcomes of the project offer each discipline the opportunity to build upon, interpret and contribute to existing and new knowledge. This project is important because it has been constructed at a time when the cultural and national identify of the Australian nation is under the greatest level of public scrutiny since World War II. Today, when it is increasingly important for Australians to know who they are, this project provides another perspective the face behind the statistics.The project commenced in regional Australia 2002 with The Face of Albury and in 2003 The Face of Brisbane was completed. In keeping with the scale of a metropolitan site, four diverse suburbs were selected. The 8 composite male & female portraits, 400 individual portraits, didactic panels and a DVD are now on exhibition at the Museum of Brisbane until January 2004. In its first week over 32,000 people attended the exhibition. Negotiations are under-way with a number of other regional, remote and metropolitan communities to complete the project over the next 2 years. This is a highly significant community engagement project. It directly involves many hundreds of individual participants and as a consequence will engage with an even larger number of people as observers. But, more than this, it will also contribute a number of human faces to the cultural and identity debates currently raging, often divisively, throughout the nation. By 2006, thirty remote, regional and metropolitan locations will have been photographed, producing 60 individual male and female portraits and 2000 individual portraits. This body of work will be exhibited through an extensive national touring program.


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