Portrait of a stairwell

These portraits were taken on the landing of a stairwell at one of the Belconnen Mall’s parking areas. The Belconnen Mall is the largest shopping centre in Belconnen, a district on the north-west of Canberra, Australia’s national capital. The portraits were shot at this site on one day. The people were walking past and agreed to have their photographs taken on the spot. Highlighting their status as passers-by, the subjects are anonymous. In this series, the backdrop takes the studio out on location, isolating the people from their immediate surroundings and allowing us to look at them almost as a specimen – an amalgam of body, clothes and belongings. The photographs extend well beyond the backdrop, making the momentary presence of these people into a layered portrait of this otherwise inconsequential spot in the mall.

This series of portraits was part of SCENES FROM THE MALL, an exhibition of photographic portraits taken in 1989 and 1990 at the Belconnen Mall. The exhibition was staged at the Belconnen Arts Centre, very close to where the pictures were made, between 1.dec.2023 and 11.feb.2024.