Hetty Johnston

/Tag:Hetty Johnston

Graham Ovenden (2): Persecuting The Models

Persecute: harass, hound, pursue, pester, badger, distress, victimize, bully. It's an odd thing how those who claim to be acting in the best interests of child models end up being the very people who cause the harm. In this blog I have detailed a number of examples. When Hetty Johnston pursued the photographer Bill Henson she paid no attention to the harm it would cause the model. When former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described a photo as disgusting, the young model Olympia Nelson came out to defend her image. Then there are the highly articulate thoughts of Jessie Mann, daughter [...]

The Nude: Tradition, Elitism And Its Opponents

My visit to Paris and London left me with an understanding of the weight of tradition. Both Paris and London take their art very seriously. Unfortunately Australia still struggles with the arts. The reason is at once simple and complex. The high arts were linked with the aristocracy. Only the rich could afford to buy paintings, attend the opera or attend a play. Only the rich could afford an education; to go to university to study Latin and the classics; to take the Grand Tour through Europe. What did the poor know of these things? Deep in the heart of [...]

The Naked Child In Art: Emmanuel (Many) Michel Benner

There are two Emmanuel Michel Benners: the first (1836-96) and the second, his nephew, nicknamed Many (1873-1965). St John the Baptist is the work of the latter. Despite the religious theme the artist would still have created this from a live model - something that Hetty Johnston and Bravehearts would now ban. Apologies for the reproduction - the photographer was unable to avoid the shine of ambient light.    

Nora: An Act Of Rebellion

This is worth adding as a follow on from my series critiquing Abigail Bray - so consider it an addendum. The moral conservatives can only imagine harm and shame when it comes to images of naked children. They cannot shake the idea that nudity equals sex. That's why a naked picture always sexualises the subject, because to them nudity is sexual. But as I've pointed out several times, very often the children who pose naked deny any sexual intent or content, even later as adults. Nora is an interesting example because her mother was charged with producing child pornography for [...]

Abigail Bray (2): Intentional Misrepresentation

In my previous post I quoted from an article in which Abigail Bray accuses Bill Henson of 'an ugly sexual political intent'. Might I suggest that the only person with an 'ugly sexual political' intent is Abigail. I cannot believe she is ignorant. I can therefore only assume that she intended to demonise Henson, to situate him within a patriarchy that exploits the images of women for some deviant purpose. Has she met Henson and discussed his art practice? Or is she guessing from afar, using Henson as a scapegoat for a larger ideological purpose? I still cannot believe that [...]

The Report Of The Senate Inquiry Into The Classification System

I wrote about this in reference to the Braveheart's submission arrogant and ignorant. Well, the inquiry has submitted its report along with some recommendations. It was all a bit of a waste of time because of another inquiry sponsored by the Law Reform Commission. Indeed, the two Labor Senators dissented because they thought the inquiry was redundant. It really was a vanity project sponsored by the moral conservatives: a forum for the usual suspects to vent their frustration at being thwarted over the Bill Henson affair. I mean, it was really a dirt job, a chance to vilify Henson. 12.24         [...]

The Childhood Culture Wars: Kids Free 2B Kids – Addendum

My first post on this got to be a bit long, which slowed the template down... Reading through the Kids Free 2B Kids website I noticed that their main concern seems to be the types of products on sale to kids and the sexualised images in advertising. Yet they frame their concerns in terms of developmental psychology, claiming that kids are exposed to developmentally inappropriate material. In many ways I ought to support their agenda. I agree that commercialisation is a serious problem and I also support the idea that children ought to be able to reach their highest potential. [...]

Arrogant And Ignorant: The Bravehearts Submission To The Senate Inquiry Into The Classification System

This is deeply troubling. A case of the hysterics taking over the asylum. As a result of the Henson controversy a number of conservative groups pressured politicians to open an inquiry in which they might attack Henson (and art in general) retroactively. They found a useful idiot in the form of Senator Guy Barnett. Of course Barnett is a conservative Christian and he did not need too much prompting to initiate a Senate inquiry into the Australian film and literature classification scheme, which he chairs. It is a witch hunt. Despite covering issues of direct concern to artists, a number [...]

Two Idiots: Hetty Johnston And Susie O’Brien

I don't usually read the Herald Sun. It is tabloid junk that focuses and sport and panders to public prejudice. But today I glanced through an issue and found these idiotic comments. The first comes from Hetty Johnston who was was the person who lodged the complaint against Bill Henson. Bill is in the news again because he has a new exhibition on at Tolarno. No one seems to care, except the Herald Sun, which seems to have a policy to harass him. Today's beat up allegedly involves class groups going to see the exhibition. When you read closer it [...]