This is a portrait of Matuse, a young Australian man,
taken in my studio. I gave him a bag full of clothing
and asked if he would select a ‘costume’ to put on.
In this portrait in simple Arab dress, I intentionally
depict Matuse as a metaphor for certain prejudices
and negative attitudes, conscious or unconscious,
that our society at times has been conditioned to
project. Here, I have purposely imposed such terms
as ‘radical’ and ‘fundamental’ onto my willing subject,
a young man who normally goes about in jeans and
a t-shirt. Matuse is of Middle Eastern descent, and
is a practising Muslim. He confronts the camera
with openness, calmness and stillness. For him,
the clothing is merely fabric, and not a signifier of
any political stance or pretext. He also remains an
honest young Aussie.