Parisa Applegarth | Gibb River (2014)

Chromogenic photographs (sizes vary)

Gibb River in The Kimberley, in north-western Western Australia is often promoted as a tourist destination, including adverts for scenic tours of the National Park and 4WD adventures. Gibb River is also home to indigenous communities, whose faces are rarely seen on any advertising paraphernalia.

Parisa travelled to Gibb River in 2014, where she was welcomed into two communities to meet the locals. After being told by a white woman at a local store that outsiders were not welcomed into the local indigenous communities, Parisa met a local indigenous elder, who immediately invited Parisa to come with her and visit her mob. With a desire to learn about indigenous culture and practices, Parisa spent time meeting members of her community and in a short time, got to know them. Parisa was also welcomed to a second community where she made a series of portraits.

Parisa's portraits from Gibb River are frank and honest in their depiction of her subjects. People smile at the camera and there is no desire on the part of the photographer to 'get' anything out of the ordinary or 'amazing' for viewers of the photographs. These portraits were made with respect for the people she had just met, which is evident in the space between photographer and subject.