The Parade is synonymous with Mardi Gras. When most people hear “Mardi Gras” they think of the parade, not realising there are hundreds of events associated with the festival, some held by New Mardi Gras, some supported, and some held by others to celebrate the festival in their own way. Regardless, the Parade itself is the cornerstone for many people, a flood of creative and supportive energy that bursts over a 4 kilometre track in the heart of Sydney. The media portrayal of the Parade often looks to me to be at odds with the actual spirit; there is a something of a sensationalising of the participants, and while there is no denying that this is a part of the festival, it is like the tip of the proverbial iceberg, of the thousands of people who march and dance the majority are overjoyed to participate and you can see it clearly in their faces, along with the exhaustion and determination. I try to capture this spirit of celebration and show the Mardi Gras that I see as an observer, not the outrageous and confronting (although I love it and applaud people flinging themselves at unreasonable boundaries) but the the people that have this one time to take joy in being themselves and supporting those they love. Firemen, Ambos, Police, Nurses march and do so with pride. People in these positions don’t take to the streets lightly, a fallen comrade, an injustice or the safety of the public can do it… Or Mardi Gras. This shows the depth of feeling and passion and it is a privilege to be there experience and capture it, I hope the images do it justice, there is nothing like it.
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