The controversial Australian photographer Bill Henson is making news again down under. Earlier in the year he had his Roslyn Oxley9 exhibition in Sydney raided by police with several nude photos being seized (and later returned). Henson was labelled everything from a pornographer to a paedophile and even prompted the Australian prime minister to call the photos revolting.
Henson now has the school teacher Sue Knight in trouble after she allowed the photographer to search for models at the St Kilda Park Primary School when she was the principal of the Melbourne school.
Here’s some more from the Canberra Times.. “Parents of children at the primary school where photographer Bill Henson scouted the playground for models have supported the artist and the principal’s decision to allow him into the school. St Kilda Park Primary School council president David Myer said the school backed former principal Sue Knight who escorted Mr Henson around the school last year.”
I must confess that if I had an 11 year old daughter at school, I wouldn’t like a middle aged man scouting the school for possible nude photos. The matter is still being investigated but it seems that the media is making the incident sound much scarier than it actually was.
Bill Henson remained silent during his controversial Sydney exhibition earlier in the year, but has spoken to the Age’s David Marr about the latest media frenzy/witch hunt. Here’s some Bill Henson quotes from the interview..
“Sometimes it’s a friend, or the kids of a friend, or a friend of a friend. Sometimes it can be a friend of a relative. Sometimes you are walking down the street or you are in a restaurant and you see someone. There is this face. All you can do is give them a card and say: ‘Look, just Google me, and I’d be very interested in photographing your daughter or son.’ “
“I went in there (the Melbourne school) just wandered around while everyone was having their lunch. I saw this boy, and I saw a girl too actually, and I thought they would be great and the principal said, ‘Fine, I will give the parents a ring and let you know.’ So the ball is always in their court. The girl’s parents went, ‘Oh no, we don’t think it’s for us’ and the boy’s parents said, ‘Yes, sure.’ So … that is how I started working with him.”