Paula Heelan is a photojournalist with a focus on rural Australia. Based on a remote cattle station in the central Queensland highlands, she documents much of what her daily life entails and the special events that bring remote Australian communities together. Photography allowed Paula to view the bush differently. The flat, parched, barren landscape she first saw when she moved there 20 years ago was replaced with a kaleidoscope of colour, magnificent light and texture. Travelling long dirt roads beneath sapphire skies, visiting small towns and vast stations and meeting incredible people, she soon learned to appreciate the beauty in the changing and powerful landscape. Paula’s intention is to present a vignette of life and work in the outback and of the people, animals and places she has come to know. It’s a whole other world in the bush and very few urban dwellers have an understanding about how much work and knowledge is required to succeed in agriculture. The people are down to earth and for most, their love of living on the land is so deep, there is no other lifestyle choice. For many, a large part of the attraction is the isolation. Paula has learned to constantly look for a different approach when making an image – a new way to see and present life on the land. She tries to keep images simple and real – that simplicity can make a picture more powerful.
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