about sharon aldrick

My Practice

I am a professional photographer with over 18 years experience as a corporate/ advertising photographer, a professional exhibiting artist and a community artist.
I concentrate on the human condition and peoples Cultural environment. Through photography and community art I portray the social contrast and story behind every day life in many communities through out Australia.

I work together in collaboration with an organisation and the local community or sub culture of a community to help develop an understanding of their identity, values, and connection to their environment, unique attributes and diversity. I do this by working together, to share ideas and values, to foster cohesion and to build a sense of place. This helps break stereotypes and educates the wider community. I work with all facets of a community including majority groups, special needs or fractured communities, large or small organsiations, schools, all ages and nationalities. This builds confidence and skills.

Who and what makes a community generally depends upon those who live there and it's environment, and most importantly its history. However, all those who live, work and come from a community are usually fiercely proud of their struggling but tight-knit communities. They are communities made up of many extraordinary individuals who are unreservedly and boldly explicit in their manner of self-expression, confidence and resilience. Communities need to be noticed and need to tell their stories.


The Method

Through working together on a project and holding workshops we develop resources for distribution into the community, we hold exhibitions in various venues and have an exhibition opening, which gives the participant a great sense of pride and the viewer discovers a unique part of life. The participant gains skills and uses art as a powerful tool to get a message across.

Each project has its own life depending on the client brief, participants and outcomes. Everyone has a VOICE. This is an important part of the process, which allows the participants a strong feeling of ownership. As a community artist it's important to have no preconceived ideas, but let the people have a voice and guide me with their story.

I use photography as a medium, Photos have a strong link to culture. They hold memories, stir emotions, record history and tell a very personal story. Community art is not just about the outcome but the process. It's about connecting and empowering people to be proud of who they are. Giving insight to a particular tribe for the viewer to have an understanding of their culture, their pain, their joy!

Art is a powerful means of connecting communities together.


My Journey

I feel privileged to be part of this process. Giving minority groups a voice and a chance to express this through art is a powerful means of communication. I have worked with many communities from remote indigenous communities in central Australia to small outback towns, to inner-city multicultural communities – connecting with them and bringing their stories to mainstream Australia.

As a social documentary photographer, I am often placed in environments very different from my own. I'm transported from the comfort of my own surroundings into a totally new world, where I have to find my feet. I have always been embraced by wonderful people, excited about being given a chance to share aspects of their world.

Sometimes it's through the ordinary, that we find the extraordinary.