Bill Henson has managed to make the lead story on news services again. We haven’t been told details that would make it easier to determine if what he, or the principal, did was wrong though.
What we know is that the principal of the West Coburg Primary School allowed Bill Henson him to wander the school looking for child models for some piece he was working on.
That is all I believe is in the public record.
Some people believe that its likely he would be wandering the school with a camera taking photos of the students. I would think that is highly unlikely, I would doubt that Bill Henson would believe that such behaviour would be acceptable. Believing that the school principal would be happy with that would be it is too much of a stretch for me.
What I feel is far more likely is:
* Bill Henson approached the principal and asked if he could have a look around the school for a model for an upcoming project. Chances are good that during that discussion with the principal he gave significant details of the nature of the project.
* The principal should have asked for a donation to a project the school was having. This would be fair because of the time he would consume. Otherwise the time consumed would be offset by the publicity from having a student be a model.
* Bill then would have been escorted around the school. Why would he have been escorted? How else would he get contact information to ask the parents for permission to use the student in the project?
If the above is accurate it would be less of an invasion of privacy than the images used during the news tonight. Where in the background many students could be seen, did they ask the parents for those shots?
I still don’t think Bill Henson has done a single thing wrong, he’s an artist, if you find his work arousing please speak to a professional. Also you may want to avoid watching TV or reading and magazines, they contain more erotic pictures of children than Bill Henson’s work.