YOUR SMILES ON SHOW

Albany Extra - - FRONT PAGE - SARAH MAKSE

Al­bany fam­i­lies are be­ing beamed into the heart of Perth through Bray­den Thomp­son’s pan­demic-in­spired pho­tog­ra­phy. When WA bunkered down in April, Mr Thomp­son hit the streets to cap­ture com­mu­nity spirit in the face of the coro­n­avirus cri­sis. Armed with a long lens, he stopped by more than 100 Al­bany homes to take fam­ily por­traits which are now be­ing shown on the mas­sive dig­i­tal tower in Ya­gan Square.

The faces of Al­bany as cap­tured by young pho­tog­ra­pher Bray­den Thomp­son, 19, at the peak of the COVID-19 cri­sis are be­ing shown in lights in the heart of Perth for an en­tire year.

While WA bunkered down in April to flat­ten the virus curve, the Porch Project went vi­ral across the State, with pho­tog­ra­phers hit­ting the streets to cap­ture com­mu­nity spirit in the face of a global cri­sis.

Armed with a long lens, Mr Thomp­son vis­ited about 150 homes in Al­bany and Nar­ro­gin snap­ping por­traits of fam­i­lies in self-iso­la­tion from out­side their houses.

His work has since at­tracted the eye of Screen­west, WA’s peak screen de­vel­op­ment and fund­ing body, which asked Mr Thomp­son to dis­play his por­traits on the 45m high Ya­gan Square Dig­i­tal Tower in the cen­tre of Perth.

Af­ter giv­ing up sev­eral week­ends to drive from house to house, Mr Thomp­son said it felt “awe­some” to see his work on the big screen.

His photos can be seen on the tower mul­ti­ple times a day dur­ing a nine-minute slide show, which will be shown for the next 12 months.

“Photos don’t re­ally do it jus­tice,” he said.

“I was there with my mum and my two sis­ters and it was just so cool — it’s huge.”

Mr Thomp­son said Al­bany’s sup­port for the project had been over­whelm­ing.

He has since printed a Porch Project book and about 20 im­ages have been pur­chased by the WA Mu­seum for a spe­cial COVID-19 ex­hi­bi­tion when it re­opens in Novem­ber.

Pic­tures: Bray­den T Pho­tog­ra­phy

Rob Mat­son and El­lie Gre­gory in front of their por­trait on dis­play in Ya­gan Square.

Bray­den Thomp­son

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