Aaron Gray


Australian phoenix rising

Australian phoenix rising

Highly commended

2019
photograph printed on aluminium
60 x 60 cm

Artist statement

This is a photo of a yellow-tailed black cockatoo from Shoalhaven Heads, NSW. The bird was on an approach to land and was looking directly at me and my camera. The pose captured reminds me of a phoenix rising from the ashes. This especially speaks to me because I have long suffered from injuries and illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from my military service. Photography is helping me recover and continue on. This uniquely Australian bird in this pose represents me rising from the ashes and living again.

We all have our demons and obstacles to overcome and that gives us all the opportunity to be like this cockatoo and rise from our ashes to a new lease on life.