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© 2017 Ariel Cameron.

Scattered around the hills and valleys of Nimbin, a town which became the hub of alternative culture during the Aquarius festival of 1973, are countless communities. I was drawn to create a photographic series in this area because of my own upbringing on an alternative commune. Upon returning to these communities I found great inspiration in the homes of those I grew up with.

Aquarians looks at those who have chosen to build their lives at the edges of society, attempting to rekindle a relationship to nature and home. The work centres around artists, poets, writers and others seeking alternative lifestyles in the communities of Northern NSW, documenting the rich spaces they have created more than 30 years after arriving to the area.

When making the photographs I stood beside my collaborator and captured their reflection in a window as they looked to the outside. The interior and exterior worlds intermingle and the figure is found in the middle, occupying multiple spaces. I wanted to emphasise their relationship to both nature and home. Capturing reflections meant the sitter was never fully aware of what the camera could see and in this moment the self-consciousness of being photographed fell away - here we see a glimpse of natural expression, a moment of quiet contemplation.

This series sits close to my heart and represents an important part of my personal story, as well as creating a portrait of the diverse people who were a driving force of counter-culture and alternative ways of living in Australia.