Mahoney’s portraits of heavy metal, rock and punk fans and musicians, taken in the early morning hours at the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood, are made in her makeshift studio, metres from the stage.
As performers scream and rage each participant considers their own death, each holding in common a part within, set aside for this very music, this very noise. The participants all glance to the side lost in that universal moment, which is reflected in the groupings of four. Such personal acknowledgements of death are central to Mahoney’s work because it creates an awareness of our limits, and connects us to a greater whole and to each other.
Rocking Reflections is a homage to the subcultures that live in, and visit Collingwood, holding a majestic space amongst this ever-changing suburb.
Paula Mahoney’s home and studio have been in Collingwood for 19 years. She completed her PhD at Monash University in 2017, and uses portraiture and performative photography to examine the arbitrariness of death and personal loss. The resulting works are at times her memento mori, a manifestation of her own death, her own self-mourning, and an exploration of collective mourning.
Rocking Reflections was exhibited at the Richmond Town Hall from 28 February – 19 April, 2019
Image Credit: Paula Mahoney, Rocking Reflections, 2019, Exhibition view, Richmond Town Hall