Equal the Contest began as a Master of Photography project that aimed to use image-making to challenge gender roles and stereotypes. As my research progressed, it became a feature documentary film and photobook about my journey learning to play AFL in the Mt Alexander Falcons Women’s Sports Club and our fight to be accepted into the Central Victorian league.
Early on in the project I knew I wouldn’t be able to feature all the players in the film, so I wanted to do something to celebrate everyone. I began capturing portraits during training, using the field lights as my main light source and I also interviewed about 20 of the players. The stills and interviews became part of a photobook (yet to be published), so when Naomi Cass at Castlemaine Art Museum (CAM) approached me to create a projection for CAM’s Terrace Projection series, I knew this was a great opportunity to bring those portraits out and combine them with the moving images I’d been making with cameras attached to my body.
Close up, genderless stills of our bodies are overlaid with moments of impact from the game, subverting assumptions around who has a right to belong on the football field and what our bodies are capable of. In a celebration of the diversity of players the Falcons have attracted, portraits of each of the 2022 players appear, growing in number as the film progresses as a celebration of the incredible growth of our club.
Images above: Stills from projection by Mitch Nivalis
Images above: Julie Millowick
Below is a 57 second excerpt of the projection work. Total duration of the full work is 9 minutes 40 seconds. This work is available to tour, please contact email@example.com for more information.