Jessie Boylan wins University of Adelaide’s 2015 photographic competition

Jessie Boylan’s Avon Hudson, Maralinga Whistleblower, Balaklava, South Australia, 2014

Jessie Boylan’s portrait ‘Avon Hudson, Maralinga Whistleblower, Balaklava, South Australia, 2014’

Photomedia artist and social justice activist, Jessie Boylan has been awarded this year’s winner of the 2015 Images of Justice photographic competition (professional category) run by the University’s Adelaide Law School.

Boylan’s winning portrait portrays nuclear veteran and whistleblower Avon Hudson, who spoke out about buried radioactive plutonium at Maralinga and has been a leading advocate calling for Government recognition of the ongoing health and environmental impacts arising from British led atomic tests in Australia during the 1950s and 60s.

Boylan’s success in the University of Adelaide’s photographic competition is a timely accolade, and coincides with her current exhibition Portrait of a Whistleblower on display at the Courthouse Gallery in regional Balaklava, South Australia.  Part of the 2015 Adelaide Fringe Festival, the exhibition chronicles Avon Hudson’s life, from early years growing up in regional South Australia, to service in the Royal Australian Air Force as a Leading Aircraftman, through the experience of British atomic bomb tests, to his “whistle blower” act of revealing Maralinga’s deadly legacy.

Jessie Boylan and Avon Hudson

Jessie Boylan and Avon Hudson at the Portrait of a Whistleblower exhibition, Courthouse Gallery, Balaklava, Feb 2015. (Photo by Tania Safi)

Using collaborative community arts processes over the past twelve months, Boylan, Hudson and members of the Nuclear Futures team have curated the Portrait of a Whistleblower exhibition from the treasure trove that is Avon’s own extensive collection of documents, news clippings, photographs, objects and artifacts, that make up his life’s work. These have been combined with contemporary photographs and video works by Jessie Boylan, and accompanied with short oral history anecdotes, to form a timely exhibition that sheds light on the legacy of atomic testing in South Australia.

The exhibition will tour nationally over the coming two years via the Nuclear Futures program and showcase ’10 Minutes to Midnight’.

Portrait of a Whistleblower is currently on at the Balaklava Courthouse Gallery, Edith Terrace, Balaklava, SA, until March 22. Gallery opening hours: Thursday, Friday & Sunday, 2-4 pm

Read more about the winners of the 2015 Images of Justice photographic competition

To view some of Jessie’s previous photomedia work visit: