Friday, November 28, 2014

Brave or beautiful?

I have a photographic project I am currently working on. It aims to raise awareness of our personal prejudices around body image and the potential impact this can have on well being.

'Brave or Beautiful?' will be an e-book, of approximately 40 pages in length. It will be available as a free download.

The project or series ‘Brave or beautiful?’ aims to create an opportunity for the viewer to explore their own prejudices about body shape and to reflect upon the impact of these prejudices.

This is done in a few steps. Firstly, by presenting naked bodies (and a few clothed ones), and asking the viewer the question- are the models brave for baring all, or are they in their nakedness, an object of beauty?

This creates  a space for the viewer to be explicit in their thoughts on what is an ‘acceptable body shape’. The viewer is then asked to reflect upon a deeper question, which is, who is to say what is brave, what is beautiful, or what is ugly?

The project then asks the viewer to reflect upon how they outwardly  communicate their body prejudices. Is it a look, a comment or by other means. What impact does this communication have on the person it is directed at or intended for? All of this reflection is done internally by the viewer and at their own pace.

The project then presents research which discusses the relationship between our sense of self (how we perceive ourselves) and our mental well-being. The question is then raised about the impact our body prejudices, and the way we communicate them, may have on the other person. In simpler and more direct terms, we ask the viewer to reflect upon the impact that their body prejudice has on others.

It is expected that in the process of exploration, other questions may internally arise such as: From where did I get my ideals of what a body ‘should look like’? How have I or my loved ones been effected or impacted by body prejudice?

Lastly and most importantly, by respectfully creating a space in which the viewer can explore their prejudices and the impact of theses prejudices on others, an opportunity for reflection and change is created. Once this process is successfully undertaken, the viewer has the potential to transfer the process and experience of critical reflection, to other aspects of their lives and thinking.
I am trying to raise $2,200 via Kickstarter to pay for the e-book. To date people have kindly pledged $1,700.. but still need to raise $500 more. Please forward this info to anyone you think that may be interested in this project!

More info is available via this link to my fundraiser:

The kickstarter site does have a nude photograph on it.
To give you a taster of the project, here are some clothed shots from it!
many thanks,

All photographs copyright matthew schiavello 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

A.K. and I at TarraWarra Museum of Art

Recently, A.K. took me to TarraWarra Museum of Art. I had never been there before and had a great time looking at some really interesting pieces and taking photos. This gallery is worth a day trip out Healesville way, to see it. Here are some photos from that day.

Some views from inside the gallery, looking out:

A.K. decided to have fun in an installation that was essentially Styrofoam balls being blown about by big fans.. just like snow..  He got those little balls everywhere.. and I mean everywhere!

A really interesting decal was placed over an external window, that made the view outside onto the country,  look like a beautiful dot painting.

Lastly, something I saw on the way back to the car.

all photographs copyright Matthew Schiavello 2014. Art copyright of the respective artists.