Award-winning photographic artist Lilli Waters will unveil her latest solo exhibition, Orpheus, in Sydney for one week only from 9 to 21 May in the light-filled space at Curatorial+Co.’s warehouse gallery in Redfern.
Orpheus features a series of 10 large-scale photographs and moving image artworks, which were elaborately constructed underwater using shells, fish, flowers, and the female form. The striking subjects emerge from a dark waterscape, to create an other-worldly ethereal and striking visual.
Offering a nuanced mix of hope and despair, promise and foreboding, this series of photographic vignettes were created during a lockdown reprieve in mid-2021, when Melbournian residents thought they were at last free from government restrictions. While evoking a sense of entrapment, this series also invites the viewer to move beyond the darkness and towards the light.
Among the key works in the exhibition: Flowers emerge out of darkness. This work is reminiscent of the Dutch masterpieces of the 17th century and a reminder of the transitory nature of life. Floating alongside the blossoms are jewel-like creatures and shells, dramatically shrouded by golden nets and sheets of suffocating cellophane.
“A level of poetic consciousness is required to navigate this complex new world and at-times hopeless landscape. Orpheus was a poet, a prophet, and a musician in Greek mythology who at the end of his life worshipped no god but the sun. For these images, I wanted Orpheus to be a woman that is glistening oracle-like, asleep on a dark sandscape. The viewer is invited to embrace their own mortality and energy for change simultaneously. To dare to be one’s own illumination—like a transient point of light in a night sky,” adds the artist.
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