In The eye of the Beholder

There has been a great deal of outrage in Australia over the removal by police of some photographs taken by Bill Henson, one of the most highly regarded photographers in Australia. The events are explained here in The Australian.  

Mr Henson is being vigorously defended by many people, including former models. I find it particularly worrisome that according to the article the photos were removed because of the complaint of one individual.

I am also particularly fascinated by the logic of the group Child Wise, which according to the second article seem to feel that the parents do not have a right to make a decision for their child, but the child also does not have a right to make a decision-apparently only Child Wise has a right to make a decision about taking your clothes off for a photographer if you are under a certain age and they are against it. I am sure they have the best of intentions, and they might be right, but it does seem a little over the top to suggest that no one directly involved has a right to make a decision about the matter. 

I really can see all points of view on this one, but Henson’s photographs seem to include the models rather than be about them Although I haven’t seen the pictures in question,  his other photos seem quite wonderful, and his CV is extremely extensive and extremely impressive. 

I am just posting this because it is certainly not an issue confined to one first rate photographer in Australia, but rather something people come up against time and again all over the world.-david sokolec


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