Saturday, October 1, 2016

Scream Queens: Warts and All. Fuck an apology, make us visible.

Being someone with Neurofibromatosis type 1, it is difficult to miss the hype around the latest Scream Queens episode: “Warts and All.” Of course, being a fan of Murphy and Falchuk’s other work, Scream Queens has been on my “to watch” list for a while, though I have not had time to watch the series yet. So when the feedback for the latest episode hit, and because myself and my three kids have NF1 I had to see what the fuss was about. Knowing that by watching this episode it would pretty much end up being the deciding factor on whether or not I watch the rest of the series (and now I can say I likely will). So, I watched the episode and while I wasn’t surprised, upset, or even insulted by how NF type 1 was portrayed I was a little bit disappointed and likely not for the reason you’re thinking. Having said that, I do not think we need an apology, and I’ll explain why.

 Disability, and human abnormality has an extremely long and complex history of negative representation, misrepresentation and simply outright wrong information for centuries before television even became a thing. So it is hardly surprising that these same tropes made their way, and still exist in the television world. In fact, we can usually see disability represented in one of two ways in popular culture, the person with the disability is either literally the Monster cast as the antagonist or villain OR disability is used as inspiration porn for the able bodied. Scream Queens; actually does neither. Tyler is not held as an inspiration nor is he evil. He is however, referred to as a Monster on numerous occasions as the victim of bullying. The insults that are experienced by Tyler’s character are for many of us – a reality, as are the feelings expressed by Tyler’s character of worthlessness. Too see this mistreatment as a voyeur, hits close to home for those who have experienced it. But what is the characters experience is not necessarily the writers/producers opinion and I feel people are failing to separate these two things.

 Furthermore if we want to get into the inaccuracies of television it certainly does not start here. Every single medical drama has terrible and frustrating inaccuracies, as does historical based TV shows, and pretty much everything we ever watch. To ask Murphy and Falchuk to apologise for their inaccuracies and portrayal of NF is ridiculous, we might as well be asking for an apology for every inaccurate thing shown in popular culture. Nearly every single show we watch that has feelers based in real life situations displays some kind of inaccuracy, or unfavourable character with an illness or disability that could be deemed insulting, misleading, and upsetting to the community it might offend (which would be far too numerous to mention here, I mean House alone does it pretty much every single episode).

 Probably the most frustrating thing for me after watching this episode was watching the discussion that ensued afterwards. Ignoring of course the idiot trolls throwing around random insults. But the people who are genuinely surprised to find that this is a real condition, that the show did not make it up for entertainment. So, what I would love to see from the producers and actors is to use Tyler as a discussion point for awareness. Make a statement about Neurofibromatosis type 1. Outline that it is REAL and not a fictional condition and that many (1 in 3000 in fact) people are affected by this condition, and that if they want to learn more direct them to the Children’s Tumour Foundation, the organisation who support the thousands of families like mine who are affected by NF type 1. I don’t need or want an apology, I DO want people to help find a cure and for that to happen people need to know we exist. So, rather than ask for an apology, I ask that we are made visible. #makeNFvisible

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Evening! 


So, it has been a year since I posted here. Which, is pretty pathetic of me! I really should make more of an effort to keep creative endeavours up to date. But, I suspect most people who are keen to see my work follow me over in Facebook land, and Instagram. Anyway, here I am posting… Honestly, I’m procrastinating I’ve somehow ended up super behind on uni work for the first time since my first degree, and although I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to get on top of things it’s the frustrating and tragic thing for my brain that it has hit holiday mode early and all it wants to do is create. I’m blaming Terrance Zdunich for this, as my last month (more if I’m truthful...) has pretty much been listening to and watching Repo the Genetic Opera, and The Devil’s Carnival. Unsurprisingly to people familiar with my work (and his) - the vast body of Terrance’s work resonances with me on a creative level, and inspires me greatly. It is filled with dark morbid grotesque otherness that is deliciously divine, and happily feeds my brain worms and consumes my time. As if he wasn't already ridiculously talented enough, Terrance's also has an incredible voice, so if I haven't already forced it on you, go listen and watch.  Anyway, right now I find myself stuck in this world of want and need, I’m not sure that is even the best way to describe it… I want to be at uni, I enjoy research and study, and the topic (breastfeeding), which I’m currently researching is well within my research interests. However… the self-satisfaction that comes from creating beautiful things is currently overriding the research-needy part of my brain. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I’ve been studying non-stop since February and now my brain wants to create all these really awesome ideas that have been brewing in my head all semester. Bubbling away, driving me to insanity till a point I can bring them life. Thankfully, these days, I have such amazingly, awesome, creative people in my life who – as soon as I’m ready –  are keen to model, do make up, etc. and share similar visions and interests as me to want to passionately dive into a variety of freaky, fun, and dark worlds some inspired by our shared favourite artists. Others are even creating me props at the moment (Zydrate vials anyone?). There was once a time when it was difficult to find people who shared my creative interests thankfully – that time has changed, and now I keep meeting more and more people who are keen to create with me, and THIS keeps me happy. So… While I wait, rather impatiently for the next month or so to fly out of my life. With three assessments due next week, my son’s birthday in about 10 days, a fortnight of exam study, comiccon (yay), and exams. The holidays are upon us, and I have a commitment FREE month or so before semester two starts and consumes my life till November. Till then, here are some of things we’ve done in the last year that I didn’t share here yet. I also forgot to mention I had my first exhibition – which was super exciting for me, and even more exciting was that people liked it, people bought my prints, and seemed to enjoy the creative vision that was Frankenstein Atomic Frontier. Hoping to have another exhibition next year! So, to end, these were some of the images that were exhibited as part of my exhibition, and below these are shots from the most recent shoot I shot.
Thanks to Jess, Dan, and Liam for modelling, and Amelia Collier and Natasha Wans for the make up. work, without their magic this literally wouldn't have been done. x

Iris Mortis 

Spare Parts

Stitched Into Silence 

Creation. 



This was the most recent shoot we did, models Matthew Keating, and Siobhan Heenan, and make-up done my Amelia Collier, thanks guys! :D






Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The World Sideshow Festival


It's been a while, I started uni, and it stole my time. Not that I' m not enjoying it... Anyway, more important things. I did some stuff. Some Sideshow stuff. It has been so long since I've been to see Sideshow. It is by far one of my favourite forms of entertainment, and it has had a massive impact on my life. I still remember, very clearly the very first sideshow performance I ever saw. I was 14, and it was approx 2001. Mum and I were with one of my high school friends and we decided to check out some of the night life and found ourselves at a little club in Flinders Lane called Ninth Ward. (Yes I know, underage and all that... Mum was with me, it was fine. :P) Anyway, the very first person I saw as I walked through the door was a handsome young man wearing a suit, had a cane and devil horns for hair. I had no idea at this point I was looking at The Space Cowboy, or what he would proceed to do. 
 
We watched the comedy acts, Greg Fleet and Lawrence Mooney. Then The Happy Sideshow took the stage, four freaky and awesome looking people - one of which was the dude I had noticed earlier. The first thing they did was have Shep Huntly nail The Space Cowboy and Captain Frodo's tongues to a coffee table which they then lift off the ground using only their tongues. My friend covered her face in disgust, I watched in awe. I had to know more. Freakshow/Sideshow because pretty time consuming after that, I started doing circus workshops in my local town. Went and saw The Happy Sideshow perform (on several occasions) at Luna Park, wrote my Bachelor of Arts capstone thesis on the history of sideshow and its contemporary reinvention. Obsessed is probably what most people call it, and yea, obsessed I am. But in many ways for me it was life saving - it changed the way I think about pain. For someone who has a chronic pain condition (was diagnosed at 13). Being shown and then subsequently learning that pain doesn't have to control my life was a pretty amazing turning point.

If I wasn't so damn awkward and shy, in another life I might have tried performing. Alas, at some point or another I found that I was actually pretty good with a camera. I always documented the shows I went to, at some point I figured that I should invest in decent gear. It has been a while, since I last time saw a Sideshow gig (some 5+ years ago when I was pregnant with my second babe). Well, that was until this weekend. The World Sideshow Festival came to Ballarat, there was no way in hell I was going to miss that. Owlman and I found babysitters and off we went. I saw acts I'd never seen before, which were incredible (The Syndicate). and acts I'd seen before but had been longing for years to see again. I took some pretty cool images, and its always nice to be able to look over my work and be able to notice that my work is getting better, I've never been as happy with the work I'm producing as I have over the last 12 months. And although it has been pretty sporadic I'm really hoping to be able to make more of an effort to keep the work coming. Anyway, here is examples of the weekends work. More can be found on my facebook page.

Stack
xoxo
 
Aerial Manx

The Dirty Brothers

Samora Squid - The Syndicate


Bam Bam - The Syndicate


Captain Ruin - The Syndicate


Elle Diablo - The Syndicate


The Lizardman - The League of Sideshow Superstars


The Space Cowboy - The League of Sideshow Superstars


 

Friday, September 19, 2014



Never really photographed the moon before, so here is a first. The clouds were amazing last week so went outside and took these. :) Need to take my camera out more - and invest in new glass. Hoping to get a new lens next year. In the meantime the trusty ol 50mm fixed will have to do the trick!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Post-Apoc!

So, it recently came to my attention that even though i've done quite a few post-apoc shoots over the last 12 months, i've only blogged about one of them. With quite a few more coming in the future I thought you all might like to see what we've been up to in that department. Once this is finished I hope to take my favourite images and exhibit it so keep an eye out for that! :) Anyway, here is a couple of images from our very first shoot. It was a spur of the moment kind of thing which pretty much kickstarted the entire project. 





Then we added another person, and used an old bluestone and brick ruin near my house - which is likely to be demolished soon with the introduction of a new housing estate to the area. We also used my backyard. One of the things I love about shooting post-apoc is that you can literally use whatever junk you have to create scenes, weapons, clothes etc to suit the genre and style of imagery you want to create. : )


And, our last shoot was our biggest, and our biggest amount of people - was the one where we took that Breastfeeding photo we blogged about previously. So here is a selection of other images from that shoot :)





Saturday, June 28, 2014

Old work

So recently i've been working on a couple of paid family shoots. It isn't my usual thing, but it has been fun to do something a bit different - and slightly out of my comfort zone too. I'll share a couple of the images at a later date once I have permission from the families involved. However, I wanted to talk a little bit about old work. Every now and then I go through the files on my computer and look at images I took years ago - not only does it let me see just how far my work has come, every now and then I come across something that I loved then and don't so much now, loved then and still love now and on the rare occasion i'll come across something that I dismissed previously and see something a little bit magical. Anyway, here are some such old images of mine, which I like quite a lot. The photos of The Space Cowboy (Chayne Hultgren) were taken in about 2006. The cow was taken in around 2004 I think :)
Hope you enjoy
Stack




Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New layout and some weekend snap shots

Ok, so changed the layout - not sure if i'm entirely happy with it, but i'm not so great at these template layout dealies etc. Anyway, this will suffice for the moment until I can figure out something better, or get someone to do it for me. On the weekend we  bundled the kids in the car and went off to Werribee Zoo. It was fantastic, here are some shots I took while we were there. :)