Twelve Moons

(2017 - 2021)



Series/book; 'Twelve Moons' - is an award-winning photographic series celebrating the power, the unknown, the natural, the primal, the love, the life, and the analogue.

The long-form documentary art series focuses on 12 Australian home-births, across 12 seperate moon cycles (from it’s beginning in 2017 to it’s twelfth birth in December 2020), bringing light to a fading birthing culture within western civilisation, a nod to bygone rituals and a warm universal embrace from one woman to another. It’s tender, it’s softly gritty, it’s uncensored and beautiful in it’s raw capacity and emotional narrative of life and life’s cycle. This work honours the strength and depths of ‘Woman’ through an art driven documentary style, shot in a way true to the time when documented home-births originated… through the film camera (final series shot mostly if not exclusively on 35mm, medium and large format).

As an artist and mother, my connection to this work runs deep. The aim for this visual story is to land viewers in a place somewhere between reality and fantasy, in many ways allowing the photography to represent the journey of birth - which is that of bridging between two worlds. The work takes mood cues from nature, symbolism, simplicity and a conscious ‘light touch’ to final editing - having the approach of allowing the camera to act as ‘the eye’, and to not alter that view with too much modern technology. Not only do I hope this series reflects on this day and age, and have it’s tie to the natural birthing cultures of past, but to also act as a modern birth tool and resource (series to be published in book form) - to provide comfort and strength to birthing mothers and their families. Weaving the photography with both documentary and art works, overall I anticipate a general mood of nostalgia and hope prevailing, strengthening our human bonds to one another and with nature.

Winner of Australian Photography Awards ‘Stories Award’ 2020.
Full series due to release mid 2021, with a solo show (limited edition prints of final series) and Book launch (photographic art book of the series, published and printed with Anyonegirl Books, NZ) at Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne.
More imagery and information coming in lead up to release.

*What Australian Photography Awards said about the winning series; “Ilsa’s submission spans genres, aesthetics and time scales. Telling a modern tale of an ancient ritual while utilising contemporary storytellings techniques. One can at times sense Ilsa being reflected back in her photographs. Each one of Ilsa’s images could tell it’s own story of femininity and sisterhood as a stand-alone piece, yet once sequenced together the body of work grants the viewer the ability to start and end at any point of the series to uncover a different narrative. The vignette title - ‘Cycle’, is perfectly in tune with this narrative achievement. Our committee congratulates Ilsa on creating such an incredible series of images.” - APA, 2020 ‘Stories Award’ Judging Committee.