Picturing Compassion : Liberation Prison Project

Major thinkers and social commentators around the world stress the immediate imperative for more compassion and kindness in the world.

My religion is kindness
His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Live with compassion, work with compassion, die with compassion, meditate with compassion, enjoy with compassion, when problems come, experience them with compassion.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Director of Liberation Prison Project and the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition

PICTURING  COMPASSION Exhibition Curators – Juno Gemes and Dean Sewell – asked themselves:
"So what does compassion look like? How do we recognise it when we see it? How do we envision compassionate action?”

They realised the visual language of photography presents a powerful means to explore the subject of compassion in its many manifestations.

In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.
August Sander

Liberation Prison Project Curators, Juno Gemes & Dean Sewell put these questions to their friends and colleagues – our leading photographers. We asked the photographers to donate their most powerful images on the subject of compassion to this exhibition.

In record time 20 leading photographers from around the world donated 100 images for our curators’ selection.

Important elements in the work of these photographers is not only their concern – some photographers travel to the remotest parts of our world for their work, some look with searing eyes around them at home – but their empathy with their subject is always apparent. In turn essentially it is trust that is evident between each subject and each photographer in all these images. That is the gift our courageous friends, the subjects of our concerns, return to our lens.

The final roll call of renowned photographers who responded with generosity include brilliant young photographers Raphaela Rosella, Nici Cumpston and Andrew Quilty, joining with legendary veterans Tim Page, Paula Bronstein, Michael Amendolia, William Yang, Rio Helmi, Robert McFarlane, Jon Lewis, Anthony Browell, Marco Bok, Simon O’Dwyer, John Ogden, Margo Berdeshevsky, and curator / photographers Juno Gemes & Dean Sewell.

Picturing Compassion exhibition invites us to contemplate these reflections on compassion by internationally celebrated photographers – and to ask where the practice of compassion sits in our world and how it manifests in our own life.

Acknowledgments: The curators sincerely thank Ven. Thubten Chokyi, Director, Liberation Prison Project, for her guidance and support throughout this project. Our sincere thanks also to all contributing photographers. For production our thanks to Warren Macris from High Res Digitial, Lisa Sharkey, Bronwyn Birdsall and Philippa Drynan. Thanks to Vicki Taylor for web development. Thanks to Hon. Linda Burney for launching the Sydney Picturing Compassion Exhibition.

Photographer / Curators Juno Gemes and Dean Sewell

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