Space Between Strangers is a collection of tin type portraits of the Benalla community by Oculi photographer Rachel Mounsey. Created in a make-shift darkroom during a one-week residency at Benalla Art Gallery, the portraits reflect a single captured moment following an intimate one-hour conversation between sitter and the artist.

Commissioned to accompany ACTS I-VII, Oculi’s exhibition at Benalla Art Gallery exploring seven modes of being, Space Between Strangers explores these same seven modes with the local community: love and fear, trauma and healing, freedom and oppression, belonging and exclusion, spirit and science, uncertainty and control, life and death.

Inviting intimate conversation that explores deeply human states of being, Mounsey uses the wet plate collodion process to intentionally slow down time during portrait sessions with her sitters. Presented as a large-scale outdoor installation in the Benalla Botanical Gardens, with an accompanying zine on display at Benalla Art Gallery, ‘Spaces Between Strangers’ is an attempt to capture the essence of each subject and crystallise a shared moment of intimacy between strangers.

Acts I-VII is an official exhibition of PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography, a major biennial of new photography and ideas taking place from 29 April to 22 May in Melbourne and regional Victoria. Responding to the theme ‘Being Human’, PHOTO 2022 explores the role photography plays in understanding the contemporary human condition.

 
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18 May 2022
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