Prominent Darwin photographer, Paul Arnold, arrested for multiple domestic violence-related charges, has been released on bail and strapped with an electronic monitoring device.
Arnold, who operates a successful photo gallery in Darwin CBD, is charged with damage to property, aggravated assault, depravation of liberty, unlawful stalking and engage in conduct that contravenes a Domestic Violence Order (DVO). The photographer, who resigned from his role as a Lyons Ward councillor citing mental health issues in May 2023, is accused of committing a nine-month-long campaign of abuse, assaults and stalking, NT News reports.
‘My mental health and wellbeing has suffered significantly over the past 12 months to the point I can longer perform the duties as a councillor as expected by the ratepayers of Darwin,’ Arnold wrote on his business Facebook page after stepping down as councillor. ‘My focus needs to my own mental health, my family and friends my business and staff. It will take time to repair and rebuild my mental state but I have an amazing network around me and I am grateful for that.’
About a month prior to his resignation, Arnold was served a 12-month domestic violence order, according to NT News, refraining him from intimidating, harassing, of verbally abusing his former partner.
The photographer was then arrested at his gallery on June 13, and remained behind bars for six days before being granted bail.
Arnold built his photography career over two decades, beginning in 2004 by selling cheap prints at markets. He now operates a sleek gallery and shoots exclusively with a $90K Phase One IQ4 medium format camera.
Arnold opened his first gallery in 2008 and upgraded to a Phase One camera system, after four years of working the market circuit.
‘Time for the gallery to move in 2015 and take these changes to a new space,’ he writes on his website bio. ‘I created this outback shed gallery and started to sell the general outback style of landscape photography. This was great for a few years but I needed more of a business challenge. My style changed again as had my cameras.
‘Focusing on the landscapes led to further changes not only in camera upgrades to the 80-megapixels then the 100-megapixel and currently the 150-megapixel [Phase One] system. But what I wanted to photograph changed also. I started to focus more on objects and detail especially close-up detail. The standard landscape was not challenging any more and with social media, it was hard to stand apart and be different.’
The photographer had another media appearance in January this year, when he spoke with the Daily Mail about how he built a ‘panic room’ in his Gallery to combat a dramatic rise in crime and anti-social behaviour. Arnold attributed the rise in crime as contributing to his ‘worst Christmas’ in 15 years.
‘People are voting with their feet and not coming into the city,’ he said. ‘The cost to small business is getting out of control.’
Arnold will return to Darwin Local Court on July 31.