real life

Lisa Wilkinson is passionate about the "strength of women" and her new project proves it.

When Lisa Wilkinson was asked “what are you passionate about?” the words spilled out of her mouth before she’d even reflected on an answer.

“Well, women…” she replied.

In the latest episode of No Filter, Wilkinson told Mia Freedman that it was specifically the “strength of women” that inspires her more than anything.

Wilkinson said that having worked with breast cancer sufferers and survivors she was “blown away” by their “resilience and just their ability to just keep moving forward.”

While speaking to one particular woman, who had undergone a full mastectomy, Wilkinson had an epiphany:

“There are no words to describe that story.”

So, rather than tell her story – which Wilkinson has excelled at in her almost 40 year long career in media – she decided to show it.

Long fascinated with the photographic medium, Wilkinson decided to capture women she admired on film.

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“Great photographs tell a story – there’s so many things to look at. There are so many layers to it,” she told Freedman.

“I draw incredible inspiration from women that I see in public life in Australia, and I’ve never done portraits before, and I’m so, sometimes to my own detriment, I’m all about stepping outside your comfort zone.

“No matter what age you are. I always want to be an old dog learning new tricks.”

Wilkinson taking photographs for her exhibition "Women of Influence". Image supplied.

Wilkinson chose 10 women in public life who inspire her: Asher Keddie, Deborra-Lee Furness, Dame Marie Bashir, Peta Credlin, Turia Pitt, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Cate McGregor, Gretel Packer, Dr. Susan Carland and our very own Mia Freedman.

The project titled "Women of Influence" took three months, and involved some of the best stylists, make up artists and equipment the industry has to offer.

Lisa Wilkinson and Mia Freedman. Image supplied.

Freedman told Wilkinson that when arriving at the shoot "everybody felt pretty vulnerable".

None of the women, except for Asher Keddie, had made their living from being in front of a camera.

Wilkinson sat down with each of the women and spoke to them about their story, what drives them and what inspires them.

"Wow - how fabulous are Aussie women?" Wilkinson said. Image supplied.

What resulted was an outstanding series of images that, in Wilkinson's words, convey each person's "own beauty and courage and intelligence and grace and authenticity...you can see it in the eyes of all of them."

She hopes that each person who visits the exhibition leaves with a sense of "wow - how fabulous are Aussie women?"

The exhibition is currently showing in Sydney and will be touring. You can find details here.

You can listen to the full episode of 'No Filter' with Lisa Wilkinson here.

To find a book mentioned in this, or any other Mamamia podcast, go to apple.co/mamamia where you'll find all of our shows and books by our guests in one place.

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