The inherent intimacy of bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism (BDSM) means that they are usually practiced behind closed doors. Because of their private nature, it is easy for misconceptions to arise and flourish. This body of work shines a light on BDSM subculture, exploring some of the people, dynamics and practices that are part of this often secret world.
The project commenced with an exploration of ‘pup play’, a relatively recent interpretation of the dominance and submission dynamic that underlies much of BDSM. This led seamlessly to an exploration of other practices, including boot-blacking, impact play and rope bondage, and the close relationship between BDSM and leather subcultures.
My aim has been to capture and represent the diversity of BDSM practitioners and the realities of their experiences, while avoiding the staged and dramatised representations of BDSM often found in mainstream entertainment media. My interactions with this community have left an overwhelming impression of the love, trust and compassion which underpin dominant/submissive relationships. These elements are often overlooked or dismissed by mainstream society.
A couple of days on 'Dalkeith' provides a fascinating insight into the joys and demands of contemporary farming and the critical role that this area of central Queensland played in Australia's agricultural development.
Life on the land is precarious. With insufficient rainfall to plant a winter crop of chick-peas, the pressure was on to get the summer crop of sorghum out of the field and on its way to overseas buyers. However, an unusually warm and humid winter meant waiting later than usual for the crop's moisture content to fall below the critical threshold.
'Farming is often a waiting game...waiting for rain, then waiting for it to stop and now waiting for the grain to be ready to harvest.'
Capella in central Queensland is the kind of town where hanging around the grain depot can get you a friendly invitation to an afternoon of cattle carting.
Alan's instructions could not have been clearer. 'Take the first bitumen turn on the left after the long straight bit. Go straight across the cross-roads and keep driving until you pass the steep hill. You'll know it when you see it. Then you'll see a collection of buildings on your right hand side. We'll be around there.'
As city folk we may not think about what needs to happen so that we can enjoy the high quality meat that we expect on our tables. Alan and his family have operated cattle and grain properties in the Peak Downs region for several decades. This afternoon Alan would be transporting some of his brother's cattle from one property to another, where they would spend time grazing prior to sale.
'Just open that gate Richard, would you? That lever right in front of you! Not that one! To the right! Yes the blue one! lift it!'