Bendigo autistic community showcase photography skills in Dudley House exhibition

Eleven-year-old Djarron is never happier than when he is fishing on the Murray River.

The waterway’s sun-soaked banks of eucalyptus trees and the families who fish there for cod were the inspiration for the young man to get out his camera. 

School student Djarron’s photograph of the Murray is among dozens of works from autistic people to hang inside Dudley House for the next fortnight.

The Existential Photographic Art exhibition is an initiative organisers from the Bendigo Autistic Advocacy and Support Service say will celebrate the unique perspective of people with an autism spectrum disorder.

Djarron’s first attempt at photography was as a five-year-old and he continued to pursue the hobby because it made him happy.

His grandmother, Heather Priest, still remembered being blown away by the young man’s shots of dingos running wild on Fraser Island. 

 “When I took them in and got them developed, I thought, ‘Gee, they’re beautiful’,” she said.

The Bendigo woman would have double the reason to be proud at the exhibition’s opening, with her granddaughter, Mia, also exhibiting a photograph.

Mia’s shot was captured on front of grandmother’s home, showing the patch of garden the pair looked after together. 

Asked what he would next capture the attention of his camera’s lens, Djarron said wanted to photograph more animals and more fishing spots. 

“He just relaxes on the river,” Ms Priest said.

All the artworks are for sale and proceeds will go towards the publication of a coffee table book featuring the exhibited pieces.