Kath embraces life

By EMMA CORNFORD

KATH Duncan is helping to construct an alien head with her 'son slash nephew type boy' as The Daily Examiner speaks with her about the Intimate Encounters exhibition at the Grafton Regional Gallery.

Her answers are littered with the odd 'wow ? that looks great!' and 'ohoh, we have a tumble'; but the enthusiasm for construction is matched by her passion for the controversial exhibition, which she opened at the gallery.

Ms Duncan was one of the subjects in Intimate Encounters ? Disability and Sexuality, a photographic essay exhibition by photographer Belinda Mason-Lovering.

A self-described 'physical freak dynamo' born with just half her left arm and half her right leg, the Lismore resident was one of the only regional participants in the exhibition.

The photo of Ms Duncan, entitled Embracing Life, was taken at Balmoral in Sydney in late 1999 and is a stunning portrait of the freelance journalist, standing naked against a striking, curved, sandstone formation.

"It felt really good having the photo taken because being a bit of a naughty girl, the idea of being nude on Sydney Harbour really appealed to me," she said.

"I clambered up there onto it and was standing there, glorious, when we were dumped on by this wave. We then worked out that was how the rock had got its shape so we came back at low tide.

"No-one saw it being taken which was actually somewhat of a disappointment for me."

Ms Duncan said the exhibition had provoked mixed responses among audiences in other towns.

"I think an exhibition such as this provokes anyone's bodily discomforts of themselves," she said.

"Ablebods have come up to me almost in tears and said it really made them confront their own body issues and that they had huge respect for disabled people to say 'to hell with all that' and take part in this.

"I think it really makes people think about much more than just people with disabilities ? it makes them think about themselves."



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