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PHOTOS: The National Treasures of Australia

PHOTOS: The National Treasures of Australia

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A collection of intimate portraits of LGBTI people over the age of 65 comprised Richard Hedger's exhibit that was a part of Sydney's Mardi Gras festival.

Following Richard Hedger's award-winning 2014 Mardi Gras exhibition, "Toy With Me," his new work, "National Treasures," is an insightful nod to the older members of a community predominantly represented by images of the young, fit, hedonistic, and decadent.

Portrayal of LGBTI folks tends to nurture stereotypes and generally highlights only a small representation of the population. "National Treasures" challenges this. It celebrates a generation who have witnessed, endured, and in their individual ways contributed to significant social and cultural change. In various degrees each has helped pave the way for a society that is more aware and accepting. Each of the sitters has a story to tell. They have played a role in effecting attitudes and definitions of what it means to be a LGBTI person.

"We are born gay and we die gay," says Hedger. "This project gave me the opportunity to intimately portray a group of wonderful people who have lived rich and interesting lives and who also happen to be 'gay.' My intention is that the work challenges preconceptions and breaks down stereotypical representations of the LGBTI community"

For more of Richard Hedger's work, go to RichardHedger.com.
You can connect with Richard Hedger on Facebook here.

National-treasures-09_0 Dorothy McRae-McMahon, former minister of the Pitt Street Church in Sydney and the Uniting Church in Perth, who was awarded the Australian Government Peace Medal and the Human Rights Medal for her activism.

National-treasures-12_0 Geoff, a former high school history teacher.

National-treasures-11_0 Gail Hewison, owner with her sisters of the much-loved Feminist Bookshop in Leichhardt, Sydney.

National-treasures-16_0 Jack Charles, indigenous elder, actor, and activist.

National-treasures-14_0 Peter and Bon, from the 1970s ABC documentary Chequerboard, the first male couple to kiss on TV.

National-treasures-01_0 Spiro

National-treasures-07_0 Liz

National-treasures-02_0 Ulo

National-treasures-03_0 Vincent

National-treasures-04_0 Ian

National-treasures-05_0 Ronaldo

National-treasures-06_0 Col

National-treasures-08_0 Sylvia, originally from Liverpool, England, who "upped sticks" and moved to Australia, finally settling in Sydney.

National-treasures-10_0 Robyn

National-treasures-13_0 Ted Swab, a former nurse, cocktail bar owner, and Sydney Mardi Gras regular.

National-treasures-15_0 Ian, a ceramacist, who lives with his house rabbit, Beau, in Glebe.

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