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   Jul 05

Portraiture project focuses on identity

Photographer Alia Coates, who is doing a tattoo project called The Wearers, Tasmania, with model Lucy McCarroll. Picture: GEOFF ROBSON
Nanjing Night Net

LAUNCESTON photographer Alia Coates is on a mission to photograph as many people as she can with tattoos and body modifications.

Coates is the woman behind The Wearers, Tasmania, an art portraiture project she has given herself until December to complete.

The mother of three’s ultimate goal is to display the portraits in a large exhibition and then release a book with all the works by the end of 2016.

“It sort of came about because I wanted to put a project together that looked at identity and something that defines individuals,” Coates said.

About 20 Tasmanians have been photographed so far, with another 11 booked in for a Launceston shoot next week.

Coates said it had been beautiful watching the project evolve through social media.

“I checked the [The Wearers, Tasmania] page stats the other day and there’s people looking at it in Greece and about eight people have looked at it across Europe,” she said.

Coates, who studied certificate IIII in photo imaging at RMIT before moving back to Launceston last year to work full-time and also run her own commercial company, Black Plate Photography, said there were no restrictions on the people she photographed for the project.

Although, she said photos had to imply nudity.

Coates has applied for an Arts Tasmania grant to help cover costs of a large exhibition.

Her goal is to print 22 images from the series and display them in a “really big space that is going to allow the viewer to engage with the portraiture”.

Works have had a triangle watermark put over them for the initial part of the project, but that will be removed for the exhibition.

Coates said the book, which she plans to release at the end of the project, will be the only commercial part of it.

“I don’t have artist fees. I don’t ask for money off anybody, it’s purely an arts project,” she said.

She said it was great to see more people getting tattoos and piercings nowadays and that the tattoos she had photographed were just as varied as the images themselves.

Coates is searching for studio space to use across the state to take some of her portraits.

She plans to shoot in the North-West at the end of July or mid-August and would love to hear from anyone who wants to be involved.

You can follow The Wearers, Tasmania project by liking the page on Facebook.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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