Fair Treatment Exhibition
On October 12 in Sydney Uniting, the organisation that runs the Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC), launched their ‘Fair Treatment’ campaign. This launch was at Sydney Town Hall, Sir Richard Branson spoke and around 2000 people attended. As part of this event Uniting put on an exhibition of my photography in the vestibule of the Town Hall. The vestibule is… big.
Four Weeks Earlier
“The design company LOUD want to have a meeting with you.” said Dominic, the guy who had helped secure the funding for my flights to Australia. I was there for a couple of weeks photographing the two drug consumption rooms, but when the guy who has helped to get you there asks if you’ll take a meeting… you say yes, anything else would just be rude.
At the meeting it became clear that the creative team liked my work, Wellison from LOUD told me they wanted to exhibit my work. Which was a surprise, then he said the original plan was to hold the event at Sydney Opera House. Which if it had happened I guarantee would have caused me to think “this is some bloody elaborate prank, to fly me 10,000 miles then play a prank like this is just cruel”. But this wasn’t a prank, this was happening. I was shown sketches, chatted about possible photos, nudged towards 100% black and white (fine by me), then a couple of days later taken to look at the space… the huge, gorgeous space.
We decided to use a mix of the Harm Reduction Heroes project and the Hands Project and Loud sent me a template layout to work from. Some photos where obvious ones to include, the news of Dan Bigg’s death had broken while I was travelling to Australia so he had to be included. I’d also taken some images I was very happy with while visiting the drug consumption rooms and attending events in Oz, for instance Dr Marianne Jauncy the medical director of the Sydney MSIC wearing a ‘mad hatter’ hat. I spent time adding more images in, swapping them back out, trying to get a balance between peer activists, non-peers, people representing particular countries and, of course, photos that had a narrative. This was my final selection: