Showcasing rural Australia’s challenges

Richard Mosse looks over Raphaela Rosella's work in Moree recently.
Richard Mosse looks over Raphaela Rosella's work in Moree recently.

World-acclaimed photo documentary artists Richard Mosse and Raphaela Rosella have teamed up to challenge stereotypes and sensationalised representations of disadvantage in regional NSW. 

In a bold move, the director of a small community not-for-profit arts organisation, Beyond Empathy, made a simple phone call to New York to introduce herself to Mosse, an award-winning international conceptual documentary photographer.

She extended him a simple invitation to travel to Moree to meet with and work with Raphaela Rosella who won first prize in the Portrait Single Category World Press Photo Competition for her portrait of Laurinda, a young girl she had been working with for nine years locally.

Intrigued by the work of the small company, with deep roots in the Aboriginal community of Moree, Mosse agreed to travel halfway across the world.

Originating from very different life experiences and opportunities, the artists have found common ground and a lingua franca in the complex and cyclical nature of social disadvantage.

The relationship between Mosse and Rosella instantly thrived in this neutral space created through their story telling tools and negotiated in a way in which neither presumes authority or dominance and both are learning from each other.

“There is a great dignity in ​her work, an intense level of respect, intimacy and passion which can be rare to see,” Mosse said.

Supported by gallerist Dominik Mersch in Sydney, the pair will collaborate on a series of images and stories from Moree that will be eventually exhibited in front of audiences who have little or no understanding of the complexity of disadvantage and the challenges of growing up on the margins of a rural community.