Twelve Moons – is a photographic project celebrating the power, the unknown, the natural, the primal, the love, the life, and the analogue.
The long-form documentary art series focuses on 12 Australian home-births, across 12 seperate moon cycles (from its beginning in 2017 to its twelfth birth in December 2020), bringing light to a fading birthing culture within western civilisation, a nod to bygone rituals and a warm universal embrace from one woman to another. It’s tender, its softly gritty, its uncensored and beautiful in its raw capacity and emotional narrative of life and life’s cycle. This work honours the strength and depths of Woman through an art driven documentary style, shot in a way true to the time when documented home-births originated¦ through the film camera (final series shot mostly if not exclusively on 35mm, medium and large format).
The aim for this visual story is to land viewers in a place somewhere between reality and fantasy, in many ways allowing the photography to represent the journey of birth – which is that of bridging between two worlds. The work takes mood cues from nature, symbolism, simplicity and a conscious light touch to final editing – allowing the camera to act as the eye, and to not alter that view with too much modern technology. Not only do I hope this series reflects on this day and age, and tie to the natural birthing cultures of past, but to also act as a modern birth resource (series to be published in book form) – to provide comfort and strength to birthing mothers and their families. Weaving the photography with both documentary and art works, overall I anticipate a general mood of nostalgia and hope prevailing, strengthening our human bonds to one another and with nature.
Ilsa’s submission spans genres, aesthetics and time scales. Telling a modern tale of an ancient ritual while utilising contemporary storytelling techniques. One can at times sense Ilsa being reflected back in her photographs. Each one of Ilsa’s images could tell it’s own story of femininity and sisterhood as a stand-alone piece, yet once sequenced together the body of work grants the viewer the ability to start and end at any point of the series to uncover a different narrative. The title – ‘Cycle’, is perfectly in tune with this narrative achievement. Our committee congratulates Ilsa on creating such an incredible series of images.