Waters said “This series draws inspiration from biblical narratives of creation and the fall of man (woman). While the fall was characterised by torment and shame, the presence of the women in these untamed landscapes has a dream-like ambiguity. Rather than being helpless, or in need of protection, the women offer a more expansive expression of the feminine beauty combined with strength”.
Embarking on a five-day road trip in January with her Muse, Waters fought the elements whilst following the beautiful landscapes. With limited options due to raging fires, Waters set towards the lush Grampian Ranges waiting in the uninhabited landscapes catching moments of light in her creative playground.
Further communicating the communion with nature, Waters used for the first time the delicate and feminine lace, this along with the models veil like hair allowed the challenge of the stereotypical notions of the female to be explored.
Waters’ work has featured in magazines/newspapers such as The Age, The Design Files, Elle, Vogue Living and Real Living, as well as on the silver screen in Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Waters was featured in 2018 ABC documentary series Art Bites: Mirror.
Anthropocene, The Age of Humans exhibition will run from June 9th online and by appointment via Curatorial & Co.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Lilli Waters (born 1983, Armidale, NSW) is a fine arts photographer whose work explores the human condition through dramatic images of the female form in haunting, windswept landscapes. A Lilli Waters image has a painterly quality, evoking the Pre-Raphaelites with macabre, foreboding elements, a jewel-like palette and a sensitive use of light. Waters makes use of translucent fabrics and long hair to obscure the identities of her subjects, suggesting that the image might be just as much a mirror for the viewer, as it is a portrait.
These images initially appear to represent a romantic idea of beauty and an equivalence between the fertility of the female body and the landscape. Yet in the era of ‘Me Too’ and ecological crisis, Waters’ work offers a critical feminine gaze. Her portraits allude to the conundrum of simply being in a woman’s skin: of how to express physical agency and ease in a society that constantly objectifies women and irrevocably wreaks damage on the environment. These are images that convey complex emotions: the interplay of darkness and luminosity, strength and vulnerability, and the possibility for new understandings based on an awareness of our dependence on the earth.
An ecological concern also finds expression in Waters’ underwater still life series which reference Northern Renaissance paintings in lighting and composition. Coral Lands (2018) features live marine creatures amongst rocks and flowers to evoke other-worldly landscapes with a palpable feeling of space and slowed time. Waters’ representations of luxuriant, yet fragile beauty are a reminder of the imminent loss of whole species and ecosystems as a result of climate change.
Lilli’s work has been widely exhibited both in solo and group shows in Tuscany, Frankfurt, Tokyo, London, Sydney, and Melbourne. Her work has appeared in Vogue (Aus), Belle Magazine (Aus), Art Aesthetica (UK), The Opera Magazine (Germany) and has featured in the films Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed (USA). In 2019, ‘Utero’ was a finalist in the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, ‘As the World Falls Down’ a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, ‘In Dreams’ finalist in the Incinerator Art Award, ‘Metamorphis’ finalist in the Perth Centre of Photography Iris Award, ‘Dark Matter’ finalist in the NOW Contemporary Art Award, ‘Dawning’ commended in the Mono Awards and photographic series ‘Others Dream’ highly commended in Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers Award.