Exhibition dates: Sat 21 to Sat 28 May 2011
View the artworks

Returning from four months in East Timor, where he immersed himself in a Catholic community of transsexual prostitutes, Billy Maynard’s first solo photographic show depicts scenes of isolation, darkness and intimacy. Entitled Trans/Tender this gritty debut show from the 19 year old artist sheds light on some of the most marginalized people on the tiny island.

Amidst a world of mud, rain, heat and sex all the images in Trans/Tender were captured at night , on black and white film using only the light available. Trans/Tender represents Billy Maynard’s first exhibition exploring the art of social realism in a series of 15 photographs and two enlarged contact sheets. His photographs communicate both the stress and anxiety of this clandestine community and the hope and frienships he discovered there. Billy Maynard says the work grew out of his desire to continue photographing outsiders.

“Peppe changed it all for me. She personified on the edge, wrapped up in a sexual ambiguity that is so full on and great. She made the straightest men in uniform turn into salivating animals; it was beyond and above to watch.

The pictures in Trans / Tender are vignettes from lives lived in darkness, outside society, in the world’s newest nation. You see rooms prepared for sex, cars, beds and candles. They pay homage to shadows at night and a river running deep, flowing with the dark feeling that Peppe and I share.

It was there and only at night I would see the light so delicate and unfamiliar. I started to see their rooms lit like nativity scenes – like the manger, waiting for the lambs. The Spirito Santos was everywhere. I started to think about faith, and how the Church ostracises her mob. The picture of the burning cemetery is the saddest picture for me. I think about God a lot now.

Wanting to explore the other side, I find solace in places some people are running from. These images come from trust and respect.  Not the respect of manners and eye contact they taught me at school, but respect as an acceptance of the faults, the sweat, the shit, the corruption, the stench, the sex, and the panic. Through all of the mud and anxiety and internal struggles, they gave me all their tenderness, their friendship.

I was aware the clock of my boyhood had been wound down and stopped, and that nothing would be as it was again. I had seen things that I wanted to keep seeing, that would separate me from most of my friends. It’s been lonely back here, but getting alright.

I drive to my apartment before light, after an unkind night through deserted streets past hungry boys and dogs. Blue, lost and falling asleep at the wheel, this lovely classical music starts in my brain. It’s the only music I remember from Timor. So I have pictures instead”.


March, 2011