The Queers of Melbourne’s Inner North: A Photography Series by Maddie Stephenson
By Matilda Douglas-Henry
Maddie Stephenson’s pictures speak louder than most sentences do. At first glance, all a viewer may see is a moment captured in time. The subject may be contemplating, or smiling, or looking right at you. Yet an understanding of the context – that Maddie is part of a warm and inviting queer community that exists throughout Melbourne’s inner-northern suburbs – creates something deeper.
For those of you who are familiar with this idyllic pocket of the world, there is an awareness that each is to their own – that being yourself is as commonplace as health food stores or very good cafes. While much of Fitzroy and Northcote (the locations where these photographs were taken) risk being overrun by gentrification, Maddie’s photographs make it feel as if we’re years away from that happening. Her subjects are a nexus between the inherently contemporary and the nostalgic; eschewing pre-conceived expectations of what it means to be queer, and offering a unique window into their special world.
THE QUEERS OF MELBOURNE’S INNER NORTH
To exist in a community of open and creative individuals feels like a dream – it’s as if I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
And I get to fall in love with these people a little more each time I get a roll of film back.
HENRY WITH FLAG, Northcote.
Maddie is a photographer and the assistant manager of the Melbourne-based record label Wondercore Island. To get your daily fix of her beautiful photos, follow her on Instagram @maddlepop_.