Tajette O’Halloran is a Melbourne-based photographer who creates intimate atmospheric portraits. Her body of work portrays a complex understanding of the human condition in sensitive representations of subjects at all stages of life. Everyday activities and uneventful moments are chronicled in photographic series that form loose narratives, for example, O’Halloran’s ongoing In Australia series, which presents a raw and dystopian view of life in the Australian suburbs.
In Australia draws on O’Halloran’s unconventional upbringing in rural and suburban settings where a sense of idealism and freedom was intertwined with small-town boredom, social disadvantage and misbehaviour. The images are set predominately at dusk in bleak isolated landscapes where difficult relationships underlie the apparent idleness and apathy of the subjects. Saturated tones and striking light/dark contrasts add to the drama and melancholy in these compelling and unsettling voyeuristic scenes.
After completion of her film studies in Sydney in 2008, O’Halloran returned to her first love of still photography. She has exhibited her work extensively in Australia and overseas since 2013, including a solo exhibition, Deep in a Dark Reverie, at House of Bricks Gallery, Melbourne (2013). O’Halloran’s distinctive aesthetic carries over into her sought-after commissions, which include artwork for musicians and various portraiture work. She has been awarded and short-listed for a number of photography awards, including the Portrait of Humanity Award (winner, 2019), the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (finalist, 2016–2019), the William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize (honourable mention, 2016, finalist 2019), the Blow Up Prize (Portrait Category winner, 2014) and the Monster Children Annual Photography Award (winner, 2012). Her work has been featured in several Australian and international photography publications, both in print and online, such as the British Journal of Photography (UK), New York Times (USA), Fine Line Magazine (France), Modern & Contemporary Art (France), IGNANT (Germany) and C41 Magazine (Italy).
2019 William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize - finalist ‘Untitled’
2019 Portrait of Humanity Award - Winner ‘You Can Post This After I Die’
2019 Moran Photographic Prize - Finalist ‘Untitled’
2018 Moran Photographic Prize - Finalist ‘Untitled’
2017 Iris Award - Highly Commended ‘Non Place’
2016 Moran Photographic Prize - Finalist 'Idle Ours'
2016 William & Winifred Bowness Photography Prize - Honourable Mention 'Idle Ours'
2014 Blow Up - Winner Portrait Category 'Children'
2012 Monster Children - Winner Photo Annual 'Her Against the World'
2019 Maggie Diaz Photography Prize Brightspace Gallery
2019 Sun Celebrates: Her SUNSTUDIOS Melbourne
2019 Bowness Photography Prize Monash Gallery of Art
2019 Moran Photographic Prize Juniper Hall Paddington
2018 Moran Photographic Prize Juniper Hall Paddington
2017 IRIS Award Perth Centre of Photography
2016 CCP Salon Centre of Contemporary Photography
2016 Moran Photographic Prize Juniper Hall Paddington
2016 Bowness Photography Prize Monash Gallery of Art
2016 Closing Group Show Melbourne Arts Club
2015 SHOOT Melbourne Arts Club
2013 Deep in a Dark Reverie Solo Exhibition House of Bricks Gallery
2016 Artist Talk - Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) as part of the Bowness Photography Prize