This long-term project was created with a foundation of self-determination, in which existing photographic representations of disability, age, gender, and sexuality were challenged, allowing each of the students to reflect on and express their unique identities. Searle and Turnbull (and their collaborators) offered a safe space where young women could openly, authentically question their diverse identities, and analyse photographic forms of representation. These formative discussions, and the preferences and personalities of the young women, informed the processes and outcomes for each of the 17 portraits on display. They are presented in collaboration with the participants, who share a strong belief in the necessity and powerfulness of self-representation by teenage women living with disability.
This work was made with the support of set and costume designer Kate Davis, and studio photographers Mano Sidhu and Holly Borschman. Support was provided by Tara Lynch and Sue Angelovski, Nikki Watson and Mindez Chua.
Tamara Searle and Gemma-Rose Turnbull with Amber, Charlotte, Claudia, Coco, Ebony, Ella, Grace, Hayley, Jacintah, Jasmine, Leila, Macca, Maddie P, Maddie S, Mia, Nelly, Olivia, Shae, Sophie, and Tash
Back to Back Theatre is supported by the Anthony Costa Foundation, Cassandra Gantner Foundation, Besen Family Foundation, Thyne Reid Foundation, Give Where You Live, The Victorian Government Department of Education and Training, the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), Percy Baxter Charitable Trust, John T Reid Charitable Trust and John and Winifred Baxter Trust.