This article was originally published by i-D Australia.

the young australian photographers capturing modern love

Humans love love. We talk about it, write about it, sing about it, think about it, and endlessly look for it. After all, it’s easy to get lost in it. What does it mean? Why is it important? Can it really save the day? During a period in history when...

by Meg Duncan
14 June 2017, 2:15pm

This article was originally published by i-D Australia.

Pat Casten

Do you have a key question or concern within love that you're trying to explore or express?
I just want to express love exactly as it is — real moments, real people, real love. My photos are a visual ode to how incredible, beautiful, and diverse the people around me are.

Are there ideas you're trying to disrupt in your work?
As photographers, I believe we have a responsibility to be inclusive of all people. It makes me so sad that the media continues to portray such an inaccurate representation of the diversity in the world. We need to work to be the change.

Why is it important to explore love in art in 2017?
Love is universal — at least one thing we all have in common is that we are all deserving of love.

What does love mean to you?
Love is the inner feeling of being present, beautiful, and alive. Love shouldn't depend on someone or something else to feel this way. All things I love, and all things that love me, should not judge or try to change each other in any way.


Mia Davidson

How do you explore love in your work?
Love is inherent to the photos I take because of the relationships I have with the subjects and the connections they have with each other. I tend to take photos of the people I love, my friends, and family. The love in my work is the real stuff.

Do you have a key question or concern within love that you're trying to explore?
I want to show that the loving bonds between best friends are not to be reckoned with. It's one of the most amazing things to have such a large group of girlfriends I could classify as sisters. The strong sense of belonging and trust within this empowered group of young women is so inspiring to be a part of. I love that photography allows me to express my love for these amazing people.

Who do you love?
Family and friends, my cat, my dog, and Louis Theroux.

Why is it important to explore love in art in 2017?
These are testing times, and we need to prioritize love to cut through all the bullshit.


Freya Esders

Why do you explore love in your work?
It is one of the only truly valuable commodities we have in the human experience. It binds everything: relationships, our sense of selves, how we define being human.

Do you have a key question or concern within love that you're trying to explore?
I often look to grief and how we survive through loss, those crucial turning points and how tenderness towards one another can aid this process. I think often we need to answer these questions for ourselves and I love assessing what those internal landscapes look like. Also, how we define our worthiness by the love we receive.

Are there ideas you're trying to disrupt?
I've realized lately that a sense of isolation continues to arise in my work. Not necessarily with a sense of sadness, but one that looks to the fact that we're all here with our own complex set of challenges and we need to be kind and aware. I'd really like to keep looking at the nuances of the grief experience and normalize the dialogue that we have around it.

Why is it important to explore love in art in 2017?
It seems that people often forget the power they have to make others feel safe, supported, and a part of this crazy old journey that we're all out here to navigate.

Who or what do you love?
The memories of my mother that refuse to fade, her ability to be so empathetic through a life of severe mental health anguish. The people who have made their struggle their gifts. The people who need a hand on a shoulder and are feeling as though they don't deserve it (you do, I promise you). My Grandparents, who raised me and gave me a safety I grant with my survival. My friends who let me love them sick and laugh with me along the way. The cinema, for giving me and my loaded visual mind a purpose and for cradling me with story.


Jake Coombes

How do you explore love in your work?
I'm still coming to terms with love, which even for the seasoned can be a difficult concept to tackle. So far I understand it as a notion that underpins the human condition and connects us all, which I try pursue with my photography — seeing love in all the details around me. 

What makes photography an ideal medium for transferring ideas of closeness and connectedness?
The photograph exists as a slice of time, just as its subjects had to also exist in that fleeting moment. I think this is symbolic of what it takes to experience love. Both photography and love are tangible, intimate in their warmth, and piercing in their brutality.

Are there ideas you're trying to challenge or disrupt in your work?
I think I want to show that love isn't always flawless. It doesn't need to be sharp or focused or perfectly straight. You never know what's going to happen next, so why try and guess?

Why is it important to explore love in art in 2017?
Love isn't something you can place boundaries on. It doesn't abide by any laws — it transcends faith and outlasts time. Love is free and love is beautiful. It should be shared with everyone.


Alison Adriano

How do you explore love in your work?
Love in my work can manifest in many forms. I am super voyeuristic and from a young age I've been fascinated by the spaces that people love and feel most comfortable in. But also, love goes beyond human relationships.

Where do you find love in 2017?
I think seeing love is easy — if you look for it you will find it in your friends, in small gestures with strangers, in your mom sending you a text to check up on you.

Are there ideas you're trying to challenge or disrupt in your representations of love?
My whole motivation for doing this series was born out of frustrations around the oversaturation of cis, Anglo-Saxon romantic representations. I look at myself and my friends and yes, that is an aspect of Aussie love, but it isn't all that. I think our generation is getting more and more disillusioned by these representations. When I first started dating my Caucasian boyfriend, he had some family members say, "I didn't know Jared's girlfriend was Asian" when they met me. This defined me as "other" and reminded me that maybe our relationship wasn't seen as normal because I am a POC. That's the whole point of the series, to redefine and reiterate narratives around what is Australian love, because it's super diverse.

What does love mean to you?
As cliché as it sounds, to me love is what we all are at our cores underneath our egos. It means connection.



Text Meg Duncan