Faces of Wilcannia is a portrait series documenting some of the residents of Wilcannia, a largely Aboriginal community in rural New South Wales, Australia.
It is a rough town where the average male life expectancy is 35, violence and abuse are a part of normal life and where opportunity does not knock. All this just a days drive from Sydney, one of the nicest cities in the world.
My goal in this project was to shoot simple, straightforward yet confronting images of the towns residents. What may make them beautiful images to some, makes them disturbing and "exploitive" to others. There are stories in the faces of these individuals.
It is people's reaction to the imagery that I am concerned with, it is reflective of our own personal and social bias. I am interested in what the viewer of my imagery thinks and why.
On a personal level I feel the situation that Aboriginal Australian communities are in is one of the biggest injustices of our time.
For the project I set up a simple backdrop and used natural light, inviting locals to come in and have their portrait taken. I provided everyone with a print from the shoot and was able to shoot about 100 different residents
A multimedia version of the project can be seen here.
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See more of David Maurice Smith's work at www.davidmauricesmith.com