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Social Media 12/06/2019
2 Minutes
PSC's part-time Advanced Diploma student Melissa Stewart is inspired by the Australian landscape. Her images express her connection to nature, but also her anxiety about the constructed world. Now in her third year, she talks about her recently revisited landscape series, and being able to follow her passion for photography after raising a family.
Image by Melissa Stewart.

Tell us about your landscape series?


I have an affinity towards the landscape, nature and the wilderness. This is where I get my inspiration to create.


How did you come up with the concept?


The concept for my latest body of work has evolved over the years photographing the landscape for different personal projects and assignments set at Photography Studies College. These images were taken in 2017, and form part of a folio project at that time.



Image by Melissa Stewart. 

Where did you shoot these photographs?


They were shot in the Macedon Ranges, at sunrise in winter. I travelled there at least three times to get the right lighting, the anticipation for that moment was exhilarating, and I wanted the images to represent a cinematic quality.


What else inspired these images?

I have revisited these images inspired by my recent research, and my interest in drawing awareness towards our environment and the landscape we inhabit to protect. It also motivates my belief that it is essential to our quality and balance of life. Through my images I also aim to allay anxiety of the constructed world, and remind us of our deeper connection to nature.


Image by Melissa Stewart.

 What are you studying at PSC?


I’m finalising my third year of the part-time Advanced Diploma  at PSC. I have just finished a unit based on researching the Historical and Contemporary Photographic Culture, where I questioned ‘what has influenced the contemporary depiction of the Australian landscape'’?


Why did you decide to study photography?


I have always had a passion for photography, and when I finished school I went to study art and design with the plan to major in painting and photography. I had a darkroom set up in the cellar at home and I wanted to be a fashion photographer, life took me on a different path.

I decided after my children were nearly finished school, that I really wanted to go back to study what I loved, creating images, I wanted to learn more.



Image by Melissa Stewart.

Tell us about your work, which garnered accolades at the Australian Photography Awards?


I recently entered the Australian Photography Awards. I submitted two landscape images and one portrait image. Surprisingly my landscapes did not qualify, and my portrait made the top 100 in the Portrait category, with a highly commended award. It was also entered into the Student category and was awarded the top five and reached third place.


What do you hope to do with your photography?


With my photography I hope to travel a little more, learn more, sell my artwork and prints, and to be represented by a gallery.



Would you recommend PSC? 


PSC has been a wonderful, tough at times, inspirational experience and the best thing I have done lately. It can be challenging and can take you out of your comfort zone, however this is what drives me.

The teachers are so encouraging and supportive, I have some favourites, Neil Stanyer, Jill in the library, Peter Hatzipavlis and lovely Charlotte Vignau in the PrintShop at PSC, and I have made some remarkably talented friends. I love going into school and being around like-minded people, it’s inspiring.




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