The Velvet Album
19th N ovember – 3th December, Murano & Gullotti Gallery, Perth.
In late November 2009 a red velveteen Victorian photo album passed into my possession. Within its ornate butterfly printed pages I was given a glimpse of one Victorian family. I found these images hit a chord within me and I could not turn away until I had explored them in more detail. In the photographs the intricacies of these people’s lives were only hinted at through staged backgrounds and elaborate props but even these could have been illusions. I had heard of the hired clothes and stiffening braces used to construct a fantasy of how these people wished to be remembered. I felt a compulsion to rework a selection of the images which particularly spoke to me; to elaborate upon them and breathe life into them once again.
This collection of paintings seeks to create a new album, a surreal dream-like tribute to lives which have been all but forgotten. In the reworked images bodies turn to stone or wood, ribbons weave through lovers and pets take on human characteristics. Utilizing large scale and enlivening colour I wish to pay homage to the important moments in life, moments which transcend centuries and are common bonds which bind the lives in the photographs to our own. I look at photos of my own childhood, marriage and moments in my own life and hope that in the future when they are all that is left of me someone will look on them with a loving eye and respect the life which was linked to them enough to treasure them as I do the images kept within the Velvet Album.