Mullet Magic’s nomination in National Photographic Portrait Prize gives plenty

Campbell WilliamsonNarrogin Observer
Mullet Magic by Leith Alexander.
Camera IconMullet Magic by Leith Alexander.

While Mullet Magic did not claim this year’s National Photographic Portrait Prize, the Narrogin photographer behind the work says there is plenty to take from the experience.

Leith Alexander was nominated for the portrait prize at Canberra’s National Portrait Gallery in April.

Focusing on three young shearers — Keiah Thompson, Mitchell Stone and Bradley Pauley — her photo was part of a larger collection of work featured at the Narrogin Exhibition Space.

From the nomination, Alexander’s work found its way all over Australia and was even turned into an Instagram meme by the host of The Bachelor Australia, Osher Gunsberg.

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“It’s been incredible, it has generated so much publicity for the project. Since being in the National Portrait Prize, being a finalist, it’s had so much media attention, this photo,” Alexander said.

“It’s been in the Sunday Telegraph, it’s been on the ABC website a few times, my friend in Europe said it popped up on her newsfeed.

“(Osher Gunsberg) shared it on his Instagram page and he made a meme out of it, he made a meme of COVID out of the picture.

Leith Alexander author of SHEAR photography exhibition with two shearers.
Camera IconLeith Alexander author of SHEAR photography exhibition with two shearers.

“It’s pretty funny, this photo led to me chatting with this celebrity from my childhood.”

The recognition has been a boost for the up-and-coming artist, who has more projects in the pipeline.

“It’s made me feel really proud of myself and also made me feel really proud of the shearing industry there in WA,” Alexander said.

“I’d really like to thank Keiah, Mitch and Brad for being part of the project and for taking all the media attention in their stride.”

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