When I look at this photo I not only see my pregnant friend Kate in her kitchen but I remember the layers of life that were happening out of frame in this moment. I remember my two- year- old daughter laying face to face naked on the ground with Kate’s sick dog who was about to be put down. I remember as I took Kate’s portraits all my life was simultaneously being packed into a removalist truck as we made the enormous decision to leave Melbourne and head back north, near my hometown. Beginnings, endings, birth, death. The big old circle of life.

This image is part of ‘In Australia’ which is a conceptual documentary series based on my adolescent years in the northern rivers of New South Wales. It’s about kids, intimacy, generational trauma, suburbia, and the destructive threads that hold communities together.

I titled this image ‘LIFE’S A MESS’. My son had just lost his first tooth and looking into his bleeding tender mouth, it seemed to mirror the raw imperfection of our lives. Life was a mess when I took this photo and I have come to realise that it most likely always will be.

This was taken of my son in a caravan park in lakes Entrance, Victoria, our first stop after packing up our lives and leaving our home in Melbourne after 8 months of lockdown. Anonymous and transient, our identities suspended while in between worlds.

This image was taken in the winter of 2016 while we were housesitting in country Victoria. It was bitterly cold, and moments earlier we were close to being bogged in an extremely isolated pine forest with no internet reception while exploring through rough terrain down unknown roads. I still remember clicking the shutter on this photo, it turned out to be a little diamond in the rough on a failed film roll.

Tajette O’Halloran (b. 1980) is an Australian artist who’s work centres around her immediate family and the complexities of relationships in Australia’s suburban landscapes. She has exhibited her work extensively both nationally and internationally and has been awarded and short-listed for a number of photography awards, including the British Journal of Photography Portrait of Humanity Award (winner, 2019), the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (finalist, 2016–2019), and the William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize (honourable mention, 2016). Her work has been featured in several Australian and international photography publications, both in print and online, such as the British Journal of Photography (UK), New York Times (USA), Fine Line Magazine (France), Modern & Contemporary Art (France), IGNANT (Germany) and C41 Magazine (Italy). Tajette currently lives in the northern rivers of New South Wales, Australia and is a member of Oculi collective.

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