William Debois has won the Gail Sellers Local Artist Award for his piece SHELVING Part 1: Ancestry at the Martin Hanson Memorial Awards.
William Debois has won the Gail Sellers Local Artist Award for his piece SHELVING Part 1: Ancestry at the Martin Hanson Memorial Awards.

‘PROUD’: Mother inspires winning art piece

IN the past William Debois has created artwork he thought audiences would enjoy, but this year his two part photographic series is about himself.

SHELVING Part #1: Ancestry has won the Gail Sellers Local Artist Award at the 44th Rio Tinto Martin Hanson Memorial Awards.

The photographic work is part of a two-part series featuring a series of photos taken at his late mother’s house in France. Part #2: Filiation is a contrast with photos of his own home.

“(Part 1) was shot two or three days after my mother died - it was actually the house where I last lived before I left France,” he said.

The place itself hasn’t changed itself that much in the last 23 years.

“Because my mum died and my dad was going to be on his own I just felt like things were going to change.”

The photos are of inside the house’s cupboards which Mr Debois considers to be like a portrait.

“They’re meant to highlight what people of that generation are like,” he said.

“My dad is 87, my mum was 85 when she died and you see a lot of connection with their age and their background in the pictures.”

Mr Debois is a photographer by trade and runs the business Photopia Studio. .

His passion for photography stems back to when he was a child when he got his first camera, a Kodak 110, which he still has.

“It’s almost like a toy - it’s a perfect camera for a child,” he said.

The prize from the Martin Hanson awards came as a surprise to Mr Debois, but he believed it was his change in attitude that helped him.

“I’ve given up on entering awards thinking I’m going to win anything,” he said.

“In the past I’ve always thought about what is it that judges might like, now it’s not the case.

“Now I display stuff I am proud of.”



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