Hellfire is a visual document of the clientele of The Hellfire Club, Sydney. In 2011, The Hellfire Club enters its eighteenth consecutive year.  It is the nightclub that started as a home for freaks, weirdos and the straight voyeurs who like to watch. It has become synonymous with kink, fetish and BDSM not only to the patrons who have attended it since its auspicious beginnings, but to a wider society beyond its walls. It is now a recognised brand name.

The characters, now removed from the club are photographed in their homes and portrayed in the settings they know intimately, among things they hold dear. The resulting images are not altogether informal, neither in attitude or structure; the subjects are consciously presenting themselves to the lens, and through the lens to you, a collaboration to narrate a story in which otherness and boundaries are blurred. Philosophically the work portrays a visual world of kink and perversion that creates an “us and them” scenario. What we see as a spectator is conditioned by a myriad of factors, collective and personal, social and psychological, environmental and cultural. We want to know who we are and who we are not, especially when it points to the fatal flaw of the human subject. Who do we belong to with our behaviour? Within the series kellyann is seeking the site of our lives, who we are and how we fit in.

The portraits have a cumulative effect, expanding our notion of what is possible by offering windows beyond what is known and obvious, to worlds that might be interesting to experience and explore for ourselves, if only as spectators. In this sense the photographs become an acceptable substitute for direct experience. They ignite our hunger for vicarious experience and entertain our curiosities. Residing within the real but from an individual’s choice of fantasy, the resulting imagery challenges each of us; the photographer, the character within the image, and the spectator who judges both the look and the context to question our view of ourselves, of life, and of what we see around us.









Kelly-Ann Denton completed her BVA Honours (PhotoMedia) in 1999 and a Master of Visual Art at Sydney College of the Arts in 2009. Prior to her current involvement in photography education kellyann worked as an assistant photographer and later a digital artist. Over the past ten years she has taught digital photography for the Australian Centre for Photography, (removed and) Digital Visualisation and Master of Documentary Photography course at Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney. Working in both a commercial and fine art domain, kellyann’s practice seeks to bridge the gap between different experiences through her photographic skills and surface manipulations. She has been awarded in The Olive Cotton Award for Portraiture 2009, the Projections 08 ACMP (Australian Commercial & Media Photographers) award for best emerging talent; and Sydney Life, the City of Sydney Prize for photography in 2008 and 2010; and The National Photography Prize in 2010. To view more of kellyann’s work visit her website,