1991 — student winner
Voninski has concentrated on quirky, off-beat documentary photographic essays from around the world for the past 20 years. Since basing herself in Sydney in 1998, her book length documentary projects have focused on dream-like black and white street photography in Australia and a series of photographic stories depicting the spirit of the people of Polynesia and their diverse culture. Her award winning photographs have been exhibited widely throughout Australia and overseas since 1991. Voninski is one of the founding members of Oculi.
Her photographic essays have won several international awards including: the inaugural Alexia Foundation Photography for World Peace Award, William Randolph Hearst Photojournalism 1991, International Pictures of the Year Awards, 2003, 2001, 1996, 1993, Best of Photojournalism, 2005, and an artist residency at Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2005-06.
She has been shortlisted and commended for several recent Australian
awards: Leica/CCP Documentary Photography Award in 2007, 2005, 2003 and 2001, Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Foundation Photography Award, 2008, Head On Alternative portraits, 2009 & 2008, William & Winfred Bowness Photography Prize, 2007, Olive Cotton Award for Photographic Portraiture, 2007, and Nikon-Walkley Photographic Awards 2009, 2008.
When I was in high school, I studied history in depth. There was a lack of information about women at any particular point in time. I was constantly asking my teachers, “What were the women doing?”
Since the equal rights movement, women’s roles have been constantly changing. There are more opportunities and career choices for females. I am presently working on a series of photo stories that depict women and current roles in society.
I have enclosed two of these stories in my portfolio. Hope Baird, a Cross Plains, Tennessee farmhand, just wants to be one of the boys. She works, drinks, and sweats, but the men still think of her as an after work sexual opportunity. Anita works long hours at a Bar-B-Q in Thompkinsville, Kentucky to support her children. Samantha wants to be just like her mother, but Anita wants her daughter to have more opportunities.
I want to make a strong social statement about women’s roles in current society. This is a project I will continue for the next several years and expand to various parts of the United States and elsewhere. Someday, I hope young history students won’t need to ask, “What were the women doing in the 1990’s?”