Ep 201: Photographing, promoting and exhibiting personal projects with special guest Ilona Nelson

This week, we chat to photographer Ilona Nelson. We talk about how a small personal project grew from photographing 10 artists to a lifelong project involving hundreds of artists exhibited in Australia and internationally. We also cover how Ilona crowdfunded her project, winning government grants, the importance of side hustles – and much more.

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Show Notes

Shooting very personal projects with special guest Ilona Nelson

“Being an artist for me is just like breathing” Ilona Nelson

This week I chatted with Melbourne based artist Ilona Nelson.

Nelson works predominantly with photography but also incorporates installation, film and performance.

She’s been working as an artist for over 20 years and her work has been featured in many prestigious publications and galleries and private collections around the world.

She produces deeply personal photographic essays and is also currently working on a life long project called This Wild Song.

This Wild Song
“This Wild Song is a life long project I created in 2012 to celebrate the wealth of talented artists practicing in Australia and address gender equality in the arts. It’s a series of conceptual photographic portraits of Australian women artists who have a unique voice. The theme of the portraits is for the artist to become a part of their work but also capture an honest portrait of the sitter.

“The portraits and accompanying interviews are featured on the TWS website and will be published as a book, the portraits are being exhibited. I’m also hosting forums for the public with panels of artists from the project.”

We chat about:

  • What is it likes to photograph deeply personal moments in life
  • The importance of honesty, depth and truth in photography
  • How a small personal project grew from photographing 10 artists to a lifelong project involving hundreds of artists and exhibited in Australia and internationally.
  • Why introverts hate small talk and how this influences the art they create
  • Crowd funding and getting exhibitions financed
  • Winning Government Grants for art projects
  • The importance of side hustles.


Website: www.thiswildsong.com.au / www.ilonanelson.com
Instagram: @thiswildsong / @myfavouriteshoesarenone
Products/workshops: www.the-art-room.com.au
podcast: https://thiswildsong.com.au/podcast/

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About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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