Most people hurry past the homeless, casting their eyes away, or simply ignoring what is a familiar sight on our streets.  Sadly, they believe the problem is intractable.  This attitude stymies the necessary community support for addressing the problem and percolates through to State and Federal policy.
 
Photographer Phil England’s series ‘Eye Contact’, initiated by Heirisson, has sought to change this with the creation of 20 larger than life portraits of homeless Western Australians, each locking viewers with an arresting gaze.  Short written snapshots of their experiences accompany the powerful portraits, enabling confrontation of the issues they face in life on the street. There is a story behind every homeless person.  The purpose of the portraits is to help viewers recognise the humanity in homeless people along with a story of hope and salvation, pointing to the fact that with a concerted effort we can make a difference. 
 
Heirisson members deliver the portraits to the exhibition location, help set them up and take them away again.  The portraits have already been exhibited at a number of public places in Perth, including Brookfield Place, Central Park, Cloisters, Curtin Uni, Joondalup Library and at a wide range of schools including Guildford Grammar, Hale, Girrawheen SHS, St Georges, and John Wollaston.  In many cases, the schools have taken advantage of the exhibition to incorporate the students’ experiences in appropriate lesson work, and in supporting charities delivering services to homeless people.
 
Contact: Ken Mullin on ken.mullin@iinet.net.au