Shayne Hood aka ‘Johnny Brixton’ - photographer, filmmaker and poet, has been variously involved in the Melbourne creative arts scene since 2011. As a youth worker and lecturer he has an ongoing dialogue with those living the Melbourne subculture lifestyle of addiction, abuse, mental illness, homelessness and poverty. Drawing from this narrative of hardship and hope, his desire is that his work inspires others with shared experiences to have the confidence to share their own experiences through art.
“My muse is my upbringing, it’s eye-opening to grow up around a dysfunctional family, drug addiction and what others call criminals and degenerates. I wear where I’m from with pride, wherever I walk. I live for the people I've lost and the dreams that they once had. It has left me with many mental scars, but I choose to put the pain into my work, instead of into something not so desirable.”
“It’s so important to have an outlet for your thoughts, to express yourself and sometimes leave your innermost thoughts in a safe way - and art is a great way to do that. To now share that with people is scary, but liberating.”
Hood’s photography explores and challenges the juxtaposition of tranquility and chaos - beauty in life struggle. His visual interpretations navigate the often-unseen grace of subculture and forgotten society.
Hood, was named as one of Australian Photography Magazine’s top-10 black and white photographers of 2016. His recent exhibition 'Comfort in Chaos' was featured in Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Australian Photography Magazine and Capture Magazine.
‘Putting mental health at its core, Shayne Hood's debut exhibition explores inner demons and mental scars. The Melbourne-based photographer came in our top 10 for Australian Photography Magazine's black and white category last year and his talent shows. Released under the moniker of Johnny Brixton, the exhibition features raw and emotive expressions of his personal struggles with depression, which he admits is “scary, but liberating’.
Australian Photography Magazine, 16th May 2017