Winner 2nd Prize, Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize 2022
September 15, 2022
I’m very honoured to announce that my work ‘Where Dreams Inhabit’ has won 2nd prize in the 2022 @beautifulbizarremagazine Art Prize Photography Award.
A huge thank you to @danijelakrhapurssey and the judges, sponsors @INPRNT @poetsartists, @staticmedium @linktr.ee and a huge congratulations to all of the finalists.
This work will be exhibited in the ‘Halcyon Days’ group show at @moderneden Gallery in San Francisco, California, from the 5th November to 3rd December, 2022.
Finalist, Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize 2022
August 16, 2022
It is with much pleasure that ‘Where Dreams Inhabit’ from the Orpheus series has been chosen as one of the 25 INPRNT Photography Award Finalists of the 2022 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. The People’s Choice Award voting opens on the 26th of August. A huge thank you to Photography Award sponsor @INPRNT and @beautifulbizarremagazine for the honour.
Finalist, Environmental Art & Design Prize 2022June 26, 2022
I am honoured and proud to announce that ‘The Next World’ is one of 212 finalists selected from across Australia to exhibit in the annual Environmental Art & Design Prize Exhibition.
The prize brings together a dynamic community of artists, designers, and audiences from across Australia who care deeply about our future on the planet.
Finalists were selected from over 640 artists and designers from across Australia, who submitted works across nine categories.
The exhibition runs across three Northern Beaches venues from Friday 5 August to Sunday 28 August. The exhibition entry is free.
Prize winners will be announced on Friday 5 August at 6pm at the Manly Art Gallery & Museum, NSW.
The People’s Choice Awards will be announced on 27 August.
Thank you to the judges @michael.d.mossman @janetlaurence @kit_willow
#BeachesArtDesignPrize @beachescouncil @magamnsw
IL FOTOGRAFO 336 I AM / IO SONO"
June 20, 2022
What an honour to be a part of IL FOTOGRAFO 336 “I AM / IO SONO”: through the gaze of the masters of photography and in search of beauty beyond stereotypes, between forms, cultures, genders, imperfection and authenticity.
Giuseppe Mastromatteo, artist and Chief Creative Officer for Ogilvy, Italy, offers us a reflection on beauty “in the age of likes”. A beauty that is often numb. But true beauty, the one beyond stereotypes, disintegrates, shakes the soul, as shown by images by Lilli Waters.
IL FOTOGRAPH 336 is available on newsstands in Italy or online via @il_fotografo_magazine
Thank you so much to @silvia_carapellese
Finalist, Du Rietz Art Awards 2022
June 12, 2022
Very excited to announce that my work 'Tulpenmanie' has been selected as a finalist in the Du Rietz Art Awards for 2022. The Exhibition will take place at the Gympie Regional Gallery in Qld from 14th July to 26th August, with the official Opening and Award presentations on Friday 15th July at 6pm.
ORPHEUS Exhibition Curatorial & Co Gallery, Sydney
May 20, 2022
Last days to see the ORPHEUS Exhibition at Curatorial & Co. Gallery in Sydney.
Opening Hours: Friday 9:30-5:30pm and Saturday 10-5pm.
Studio 1/ 175 Cleveland Street, Redfern NSW
Phone: +61 2 9318 1728
ORPHEUS in Sydney
May 6th, 2022
I am very excited to announce that the ‘Orpheus’ exhibition will be showing for two weeks at @curatorialandco gallery in Sydney this week, from the 9th until the 21st of May.
Go take a look if you’re in in town 👀
‘Where Dreams Inhabit’ 100 x 150cm Archival pigment print on fibre rag Edition of 8 + 2AP
Curatorial and Co. Gallery Studio 1, 175 Cleveland Street, Redfern, NSW
HOURS: Monday-Friday 9.30am-5.30pm. Saturday 10am-5pm.
Phone: +61 2 9318 1728
Finalist, Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize, 2022
March 30, 2022
I am incredibly honoured to have my work Tulpenmanie announced as a Finalist in the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize for 2022.
The Opening Night and Announcement of Winners is Friday 13th May from 6-8:30pm at Ravenswood in the Centenary Centre, Gate 3, 10 Henry Street, Gordon NSW.
Thank you so much to all of the judges for this honour and I cannot wait to see all of the incredible artworks by the incredible women finalists from around the Country.
Thank you so much to @rawartprize for giving women a platform to express their voices through art.
Finalist, Percival Photographic Portrait Prize, 2022
March 8, 2022
I'm very very thrilled to announce that my work 'Last Days' has been announced as a Finalist in the Percival Photographic Portrait Prize for 2022.
The finalists exhibition will be held at the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in QLD, from the 23rd of April to the 3rd of July.
Interview for The Style Curator on the ORPHEUS Exhibition
February 18th, 2022
Lilli Waters is a photography artist whose works are filled with intrigue and mystery.
Lilli’s latest project ORPHEUS, is an immersive experience which combines the female form and underwater still life imagery.We chat with this incredibly talented artist about the ideas and magic behind her works and discover that one of her pieces ended up in Christian Grey’s apartment. Yep, we’re talking 50 Shades of Grey.
With her dark colour palette paired with an exceptional eye and talent for capturing perfect light, the story behind the ORPHEUS collection is nothing short of extraordinary.
“ORPHEUS is made up of images of the female form which were photographed in nature battling the elements,” explains Lilli. “To capture the images of the female form, I planned a week-long trip to Wilsons Promontory National Park, southeast of Melbourne. My subject and I spent our days driving, scouting, waiting… then shooting, during the small windows of the right light.“We would work at dawn, rising at 4am to venture out when there was no one else around. Then again at dusk when all the tourists had finally gone home.
“I like to work intensely for many consecutive days, to fully immerse myself in the process. I find the combination of pushing my mind and body to the limit with no distractions and building momentum, takes the work to a different place. It helps me create a deeper, more focused place which wouldn’t happen if I shot a day here or there.
“ORPHEUS was the first time I was also working with the ocean tides. So it added a whole extra layer of challenges, as we had to ensure we didn’t get trapped when the tide came in. Camera gear and rising water don’t mix!
Trying to get the shot in between clouds and the many tourists while working with a nude model in very cold water, was intensely challenging! It brought with it many moments of disheartenment and frustration.
“Many images were abandoned throughout the process (there always are). But in the end, the strongest work really made itself apparent and shone through.”
Shot during an arduous year full of lockdowns, ORPHEUS emerged as a thing of beauty during an intensely difficult time.“After the first few lockdowns in Melbourne, there was a small window of time where we were relatively Covid-free and life returned to some kind of normal.
“The ideas behind ORPHEUS emerged from a feeling of excitement, optimism and gratitude to be able to make work, be creative and get out in nature again. Being able to visit these incredible landscapes was a beautiful and surreal experience,” says Lilli.
“I really wanted to combine photographing the female form and still life underwater flowers to form the one body of work. It’s a theme I’ve been experimenting with for years now, but have never combined both into a series.
“When planning this collection, I was unable to go to the shops to source new materials due to lockdowns. I dug the gold netted material out of my fabric box. It became the thread that tied both the female form and underwater still life images together.
Sometimes a single object or piece of fabric can inspire a body of work to be led in a certain direction."To create the underwater still life images, Lilli used an intriguing process.“The still life’s involved creating intricate underwater vignettes that came to life in my living room,” explains Lilli.
“I set up a large water tank in my house, adding different lights and using a disorderly, random system of bolts, wires, weights and fishing line. These helped hold the floral sculptures down and I then littered them with pieces of cellophane, beautiful fish and the same fabrics I used in the river.“The process couldn’t be more different to the female images! Although there is still the same search, looking for that feeling of magic in the work.”
While one of Lilli’s works has appeared on the big screen as part of 50 Shades movie franchise, it’s seeing people fill galleries and being able to exhibit her works in person that brings her the greatest joy.“It was truly wonderful to see ORPHEUS finally come to life. To see my works printed in large-scale, beautifully framed and hung on the walls of the gallery space,” smiles Lilli.
“After the show was postponed in 2021, I was incredibly relieved when opening night went ahead. It made me so happy to see so many faces and be able to hug people again after such a challenging time. I was proud that we had such a huge turnout. The gallery was a full house!
“My hope is that ORPHEUS is able to bring some joy and beauty into peoples lives after such an arduous and overwhelming few of years.Mostly I’d like for people to feel what they feel. There is beauty. There is also deep melancholy, wonder, joy and grief.
“We are living through an age where our lens on the world must constantly shift and refocus as new ideas, crises, social movements and the natural environment rapidly change. We require a level of poetic consciousness and presence to navigate this new world.”
The ORPHEUS exhibition runs 2 — 26 February 2022 at Metro Gallery in Armadale. We hope you enjoyed uncovering the dark waterscapes and ethereal visuals captured by the wonderfully talented Lilli Waters. To discover Lilli’s full body of works, visit her website or explore her Instagram.
ORPHEUS showing at Metro Gallery 2-26th February
February 4, 2022
So much magic in one room ⭐️✨
My heart is SO full ❤️❤️
Thank you SO much to all of the wonderful people who came to the opening of my solo exhibition ORPHEUS last night, it was so incredibly special, the turnout was absolutely overwhelming!
I have missed other human beings for so long & it filled me with so much joy to see a sea of so many faces, meet new people, see old friends & finally hug you!!!!
I honestly couldn’t have asked for more. Thank You, you made it so special 🙏🏼❤️🥰
A huge thanks to @metrogalleryau for hosting this extraordinary evening, to @icon.frames for doing such a spectacular flawless job with the framing of these works, to @thirdsfineartprinting for the always beautiful prints & to @jacobxc @camilleladdawan @sockbraddler @yeahnotbadm8 for helping iron out the last touches & for being there for me, it means a great deal to me 🙏🏼❤️
ORPHEUS is showing at Metro Gallery until the 26th of February
1214 High St, Armadale.
For more information on this exhibition or to request a copy of the catalogue, please contact
+61 3 9500 8511
My Solo Exhibition ORPHEUS opens TONIGHT!!
February 2, 2022
Please join me at @metrogalleryau tonight for opening drinks from 6-8pm 🥂 Metro Gallery 1214 High St Armadale 🥂
Orpheus features a series of 10 large-scale photographs and moving image artwork, which were elaborately constructed underwater using shells, fish and flowers, and the female form. The striking objects emerge from a dark waterscape, to create other-worldly ethereal visuals.
Offering a nuanced mix of hope and despair, promise and foreboding, this series of photographic vignettes was created during a lockdown reprieve in mid-2021, when Melbourne residents thought they were at last free from government restrictions. While invoking a sense of entrapment, this series invites the viewer to move beyond the darkness and towards the light.
Flowers emerging out of darkness, reminiscent of the Dutch masterpieces of the 17th century are a reminder of the transitory nature of everything. Floating alongside the blossoms are jewel-like creatures and shells, dramatically shrouded by golden nets and sheets of suffocating cellophane.
“We are living through an age where our lens on the world must constantly shift and refocus as new ideas, crises, social movements and the natural environment rapidly change.
A level of poetic consciousness is required to navigate this 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 who 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.”
A huge thank you to Libby & Brad at @icon.frames for their framing for this exhibition, this show would not have been possible without your generosity!
A huge thank you to Tim from @thirdsfineartprinting ❤️
Thank you @pompandsplendour for supplying the flowers 🌺
ORPHEUS is showing until the 26th of February.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
ORPHEUS Interview with Hunter and Folk
January 31, 2022
Thank you so much to Hande from Hunter & Folk for the interview & feature on my upcoming Solo Exhibition ORPHEUS.
Words by Hande Renshaw.
Award-winning photographer Lilli Waters’ latest exhibition, Orpheus, was created between the space of two of the earlier Melbourne lockdowns.
During this time, the city was relatively Covid-19 free and life seemed to go back to a certain type of normal, allowing an opportunity for the artist to get back to her photographic work, shooting in the natural environment.
‘It felt both liberating and strange to be able to leave the house, our 5km radius, and travel to outer Victoria to take photographs,' says Lilli, ‘trapped for so long in suburbia, nature had been deeply yearned for, and returning to landscapes and my creative playground was an overwhelmingly beautiful and surreal experience.’
Orpheus, which will be held at Metro Gallery in Melbourne, emerged from a shifting worldview on life and art-making.
‘There is a kind of vibrancy, optimism and excitement imbued in this work, which came from a heightened sense of gratitude and a renewed appreciation and delight in nature,’ says Lilli.
Orpheus features a series of 10 large-scale photographs and moving image artworks, which were elaborately constructed underwater using shells, fish and flowers, and the female form. The striking subjects emerge from a dark waterscape, to create an other-worldly ethereal visual.
‘The water still remains to be one of the most important parts of my life, it’s where I feel most happiest, free and childlike again. It’s the biggest healer in my life, like coming home to myself in a safe and intimate space. ‘
Among the key works in the exhibition, flowers emerge out of the darkness. These works are reminiscent of the Dutch masterpieces of the 17th century and a reminder of the transitory nature of everything. Floating alongside the blossoms are jewel-like creatures and shells, dramatically shrouded by golden nets and sheets of suffocating cellophane.
In this series, we also see the return of Lilli’s fascination with the female form, a constant in her photographic work.
‘I'm always looking to tap into a unique frequency with my work, that words can’t really ever capture for me. For me, the female form is a symbol of the human experience and the natural world; powerful, life-giving, vulnerable, desirable and deeply complex.’
Orpheus will run from Wednesday 2nd February to Saturday 26th February at the Metro Gallery.
1214 High Street, Armadale, Melbourne
ORPHEUS Opening Night Wednesday 2nd of February 6-8pm
Link to the full interview here ~ https://hunterandfolk.com/journal/orpheus-lilli-waters
ORPHEUS Solo Photography Exhibition: Metro Gallery, Melbourne
January 19 2022
You are invited to:
Solo Photography Exhibition
Wednesday 2nd February
6 - 8pm
1214 High Street
I am extremely excited to invite you to the opening of my new solo exhibition ORPHEUS.
Orpheus features a series of 10 large-scale photographs and moving image artworks, which were elaborately constructed underwater using shells, fish and flowers, and the female form. The striking subjects emerge from a dark waterscape, to create an other-worldly ethereal visual.
Offering a nuanced mix of hope and despair, promise and foreboding, this series of photographic vignettes was created during a lockdown reprieve in mid-2021, when Melbourne 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 the darkness. These works are reminiscent of the Dutch masterpieces of the 17th century and a reminder of the transitory nature of everything. Floating alongside the blossoms are jewel-like creatures and shells, dramatically shrouded by golden nets and sheets of suffocating cellophane.
“We are living through an age where our lens on the world must constantly shift and refocus as new ideas, crises, social movements and the natural environment rapidly changes.
A level of poetic consciousness is required to navigate this complex new world andat-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 who 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."
ORPHEUS is showing from the 2nd – 26th February
1214 High Street
Entry is free
Wednesday 2nd February
For a copy of the catalogue, more information on this exhibition or to enquire about these works, please contact:
T: 03 9500 8511
M: 0409 409 239
A: 1214 High Street, Armadale
‘ORPHEUS’ Upcoming Solo Exhibition, Metro Gallery
January 15, 2022
Finally this is happening. It’s been a long wait & I absolutely can’t wait to show you my new body of work!
Pre-sales are now open for my solo exhibition ORPHEUS opening in less than 3 weeks at Metro Gallery on Wednesday the 2nd of February from 6-8pm.
I really hope you can find an escape from your long days in iso, join me for a drink & see what I’ve been working on for the past 12 months.
To receive a copy of the catalogue featuring 10 new large-scale photographs and a moving image work, please contact Eugene at email@example.com
Visit www.metrogallery.com.au for more information.
If you can’t make the opening, the exhibition will be showing until the 26th of February.
1214 High St
75 x 50cm
Edition of 8 + 2AP
Archival pigment print on fibre rag
Darlings Group Exhibition at Curatorial & Co. Gallery
November 24 2021
I will be exhibiting a new work ‘Inner World’ at the Curatorial & Co. 'Darlings' Group Exhibition.
The show opens on the 9th of December and runs until the 19th of December.
33.3 x 50cm
Edition of 8 + 2AP
Archival pigment print on fibre rag paper
Curatorial & Co. Gallery Studio 1, 175 Cleveland Street Redfern. NSW 2016
Mon-Fri 9:30-5:30pm Sat 10-5pm
Winner, Du Rietz Art Award, 2021
August 5, 2021
I am extremely surprised & honoured to have won the 2021 @gympieregionalgallery Du Reitz Art Award with my image ‘Last Days’.
Thank you so much to Julie, Libby, the judges & everyone at @gympieregionalgallery for the honour.
I am very excited to be putting the $5000 prize money towards my next upcoming solo exhibition opening in February 2022 at Metro gallery.
For interest in this work, please contact @curatorialandco
Last Days, Winner. Words by 2021 Judge Madeline Brewer -
‘It hard not to feel insignificant or overwhelmed when viewing this artwork. Last Days is a dramatic photograph, with the artist using contrast to skillfully balance hard and soft, sublime and insignificant, stoic and dynamic, ancient and young.
With the figures surrounded by a monolithic rock formation, there is an overwhelming tension between the past and future. Through this photograph, the artist has expanded upon traditional notions of the ‘feminine’. The photographer’s gaze is critical, drawing upon elements of art history’s Romantic and Pre-Raphaelite depictions of the femme fatale. Rather than voyeuristic observations, the artist has depicted the two women in movement, imbuing them with a sense of agency and as the artist has stated: “strength, nonchalance and indomitability”.
We are currently living in a state of significant and unpredictable social and environmental change. The artist has put forward a challenge to be critical, connected and sympathetic to each other and the environment that surrounds us.’
UPDATE on my upcoming Solo Exhibition***
July 23, 2021
Due to lockdown, my solo show 'Orpheus' has now been postponed from this year to now open in February 2022.
Whilst this means I have to wait a bit longer to share these new works with you, I am hopeful that we will all have access to vaccines well and truly before this year ends.
I so look forward to seeing you all in a safe environment and being able to enjoy our art galleries again.
Please subscribe to Metro gallery or my mailing list for updates. Presales open this October 2021.
2nd - 26th February 2022
1214 High St, Armadale, VIC
Lurzer's Archive Best 200 Ad Photographers Worldwide for 2021/2022
July 23, 2021
So surprised & honoured to be chosen as one of the Vienna’s Luerzer’s Archive Best 200 Ad Photographers Worldwide for 2021/2022!
This image will be published in the 10th edition of the Luerzer’s Archive Special, coming out later this year.
Finalist, Naked & Nude Art Prize for 2021
July 16th, 2021
I am thrilled to have my work 'Extinct' selected as a finalist in the Naked & Nude Art Prize for 2021 at the Manning Regional Art Gallery.
The winner of the 2021 Art Prize will receive $30,000 and the artwork will be acquired as part of the Gallery’s collection. The judge for the 2021 award is Wendy Sharpe, one of Australia’s leading Contemporary artists.
The winner will be announced at the Gala Opening event on Saturday 28 August 6.30pm, and all finalists will receive one VIP ticket for the event.
The People’s Choice voting will take place from Saturday 28 August until October 10 2021, giving both visitors and locals the chance to vote for their favourite artwork. The People’s Choice Award of $2000 will be announced on 11 October 2021.
Finalist x 2 Du Rietz Art Awards, 2021
June 24, 2021
So incredibly honoured to have two of my images from 'Anthropocene: The Age of Humans' 2020 series, 'Angel' and 'Last Days', be announced as finalists in the Du Rietz Art Awards for 2021.
The opening event and award presentations will take place on Friday 30 July at 6pm at Gympie Regional Gallery, QLD.
Registrations are essential due to COVID-19 number restrictions. Please contact the Gallery on 07 54810733 to register or search on Eventfinda to book (available in the coming week).
The exhibition is on view from 29 July - 3 September 2021. Entry is free.
Gympie Regional Gallery39 Nash Street, Gympie Qld
Finalist, Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art, 2021
April 13th, 2021
Finalist, Ravenswood Australian Women's Art Prize 2021
April 13th, 2021
Super happy to learn today that 'Last Days' has been listed as a finalist in the 2021 Ravenswood Australian Women's Art Prize for 2021. Thank you so much @rawartprize Congratulations to all of the super talented finalists.
Flora Exhibition at Heritage Hill
March 11, 2021
I'm very honoured to be a part of the Flora Exhibition at Heritage Hill, opening on Saturday the 27th of March.
Please note: due to COVID and ensuring that we remain COVIDsafe, bookings will most likely be required for the opening. Further information can be found at https://www.greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au/flora.
Enjoy two exhibitions at this unique historic site.
Celebrating the creativity and talent of artists from across Australia, Benga House hosts an open-entry exhibition featuring over 150 works that explore the theme of flora.
A selection of artwork from the ‘Painting on the Hill’ art competition, held in the 1990s and early 2000s, will also be on display in Benga House as part of ‘Inspiration on the Hill’. Don’t forget to enjoy the flowers in the beautiful gardens.
View the opening hours of Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Gardens.
Image credit: Georgia Szmerling, National Park Wildflower, Manitoba Canada Bay Coast, detail, 2017, acrylic on paper, 50 x 70 cm, GS17-0006, represented by Arts Project Australia, Melbourne.
Cover of Real Living Magazine, Feb issue
January 28, 2021
What an honour to be featured on the cover of Real Living Magazine this month!
100 x 150cm
Archival pigment print on fibre rag
Edition of 8 + 2AP
A huge huge thank you to Soph at Curatorial & Co. Gallery, Lisa Burden and Real Living Magazine.
Art in the Plague Year Exhibition, UCR Arts, California Museum of Photography
January 12, 2021
I am so honoured to have images from my ‘Friends on Film’ 2020 iso series in the ‘Art in the Plague Year’ photography exhibition at the California Museum of Photography, with 274 works by 55 artists from 12 countries.
Thank you so much to Senior Curator Douglas McCulloh for seeing something in my work from this strange time.
November 20, 2020
Thank you so much to Belle Magazine for featuring 'Disenchantments of the World'.
Contemporary Art Collectors Interview & Feature
January 25th, 2021
Thank you so much to curator Vera Bertran from Contemporary Art Collectors for the interview and for featuring my work as part of the Emerging Artist Programme.
Shortlisted, Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art 2021
January 5, 2021
I am very pleased to announce that my work ‘Last Days’ 2020 is a finalist in the 2021 Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art. The work will be exhibited at Montsalvat’s Barn Gallery, 7 Hillcrest Avenue, Eltham, from Thursday 6 May to Thursday 1 July 2021.
QT Melbourne & 'Disenchantment of the World'
December 10, 2020
So happy to visit QT in Melbourne today to see my moving image ‘Disenchantment of the World’ piece on the wall of the foyer!
A huge thank you to QT Hotels, Nic Graham & Sophie from Curatorial & Co. gallery for making this happen, what a very special honour to have my very first public artwork installed.
You can now sit & watch these fish swim at the Melbourne QT hotel & forget all about travel restrictions!
For interest in this artwork, please contact Curatorial+Co. www.curatorialandco.com
‘Disenchantment of the World’ moving image
52 seconds (loop)
Edition of 3
Darlings Summer Group Exhibition, Curatorial & Co. gallery
December 10, 2020
So happy to have a new piece in the summer group exhibition 'Darlings' at Curatorial & Co. gallery, Redfern, NSW. 9-17 December 2020
Shortlisted x 3, Australian Photography Awards 2020
December 10, 2020
Thank you to the Australian Photography Awards for shortlisting 3 images from my ‘Friends on Film’ and ‘The Kiss of Death’ series in the Portrait Category for 2020.
Hunter & Folk features ‘Disenchantments of the World’ solo exhibition
November 22, 2020
Thank you so much to the lovely Hande from Hunter & Folk for featuring ‘Disenchantments of the World’ solo exhibition!
See the full feature here
Lilli Waters | Disenchantments of the World
Photography or Renaissance painting? The lines are blurred with Lilli Waters’ latest captivating and ethereal collection.
Words by Hande Renshaw
Award-winning photographer Lilli Waters’ latest exhibition Disenchantments of the World explores the decadence and disillusions of contemporary living, examining how humans treat the natural environment.
The moody series of still-life photographs and short films is intensely evocative; it’s like walking through a Rembrandt painting.
Each large-scale print features fish and crabs, with flowers and fruit suspended in the velvety dark water, juxtaposed by entwined sheets of bright blue g(littering) ribbons of plastic.
Each photograph depicts the fragility of the natural world and its uncertainties, directing attention to its impermanence and reflecting on how humans treat the environment in pursuit of prosperity.
This interplay of beauty and darkness is something Waters achieves masterfully in this series.
“Some of the works are almost surreally pristine and pure, though a closer look reveals subtle plastic elements that are ubiquitous in this throwaway world and point to an unease,” she says. “In other images, flowers are enveloped by dark and ominous black oil spills and a sense of decay.”
The exhibition is on at Curatorial + Co. gallery until the 28 November - bookings are essential.
Thank You So Much!
November 19, 2020
A huge massive THANK YOU to those who attended the opening launch, tuned into the live session & sent me such beautiful messages of support for the ‘Disenchantments of the World’ solo exhibition, your support means the absolute world to me!
This exhibition is now showing at @curatorialandco gallery, Redfern, NSW, until the 28th of November. Book your visit here
A series of 6 major new still life works and 5 moving images works are on show. View catalogue here
To book a visit to the exhibition, view the catalogue or for interest in these works, please contact Sophie Vander at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.curatorialandco.com
Gallery hours Mon-Sat 10am-5pm
Photos by Pablo Viega
This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
The Design Files - The Design Files - These Moody Contemporary Photographs Look Like Renaissance Paintings!
Thank you so much to The Design Files for the feature on the ‘Disenchantments of the World’ exhibition, currently showing at Curatorial & Co. gallery from the 18-28th of November.
Contact www.curatorialandco.com to arrange a visit, RSVP essential.
November 18, 2020
These Moody Contemporary Photographs Look Like Renaissance Paintings!
A new exhibition of underwater photographs from artist Lilli Waters depicts the hypnotic beauty of flowers in bloom.
A new solo exhibition from photographic artist Lilli Waters sees her large-scale photographic works explore the decadence and disillusions of the contemporary world.
Drawing inspiration from the Dutch painting masters of the 1600s, Lilli’s contemporary lens finds the same moody, hypnotic earthly beauty these artists exuded on canvas. Think the Rembrandts hanging in the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands!
Each frame sees flowers suspended in water cloaked in sheets of plastic and accompanied by fish, the delicate petals blossoming from the depths of velvety blackness. This scenery depicts the fragility of the natural world up against its might and uncertainty, and directs attention to its impermanence.
Part exploration of a Renaissance-luxe aesthetic and part cultural commentary on our consumerist compulsions, Lilli’s majestic works are both elegant and thought-provoking.
The exhibition is free but bookings are essential. See here for availability.
‘Disenchantments of the World’ An in-person exhibition of large-scale photographic works 18th – 28th of November Free Curatorial + Co. Gallery Studio 1, 175 Cleveland Street Redfern, NSW
Vogue Interview 'The Melbourne artist hiding darkness inside scenes of captivating beauty."
November 17, 2020
Thank you so much to Vogue Living and Curatorial & Co. for this beautiful feature on my upcoming 'Disenchantments of the World' solo exhibition today.
Link to the full article here
“I get high on the huge old realist oil paintings in museums – their painful beauty stirs me,” says Lilli Waters. “It’s like a kind of time travel experiencing these images, so I guess it makes sense that my work leans into this timeless aesthetic.”
Like so many of us this year, the Australian artist is reflecting on a simpler time, when travel freedoms meant she could visit cultural icons like the Riijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and ruminate on the beauty of these old-world impressions of nature. In fact, the museum formed such an impression on Waters, that it formed the basis of Disenchantments of the World, a series of still-life photographs and short films exhibiting this week.
“I drew inspiration from paintings by the old Dutch masters that I have loved for years and finally saw them in person [at] the Riijksmuseum,” explains the Armidale-born photographer, who cites “images of flowers symbolising beauty, nobility and prosperity and their impermanence” as a major influence in her latest work. She even directly references their composition: Tulpenmanie (top image) borrows from Abraham Mignon’s Still Life with Flowers in a Glass Vase, while Passiflora Edulis (above) mirrors Cornelis de Heem’s Festoon with Fruit and Flowers.
“Paintings, more than photographs, are some of my biggest inspirations,” admits the Melbourne-based artist, who recalls “flipping through many books of the works of Monet, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, and painters from the Pre-Raphaelite era like John William Waterhouse throughout my years at photography school.”
They’re left an obvious visual imprint on Waters, too. “The rich colours that emerge from the velvety blackness - the passionate reds, emerald greens, sapphire blues and a woman's marble-like skin,” she says of their appeal. “The harmony and discord, beauty and decay found in so many masterpieces are themes I keep returning to.
”Nature also plays a recurring role in Waters’ work, and she mentions the influence of her botanical painter mother who hung paintings of flowers in her childhood home, and a grandmother who liked to collect “found beloved objects”. The notion of collecting has stuck with Waters, who likes to display “strange and wonderful things I find in nature” in glass bell jars, and use them in her work.
In fact, you can trace the through-line of this idea in Disenchantments of the World, which at first appear to be beautifully arranged underwater scenes decorated with Rembrandt-esque blooms.
But upon closer inspection, you’ll notice Waters has added pieces of litter that literally choke some of the floral arrangements, and the murky blackness that imparts a sense of loneliness.
It’s a direct comment on consumerism, human darkness and the rampant quest for prosperity, explains Waters.
“Prosperity has typically been lauded as something to desire and celebrate, yet now more than ever, the unpleasant complexities of wealth and indulgence are apparent,” she adds. “We nonchalantly poison the environment in pursuit of prosperity.”
To underscore universality of this theme, Waters says the series also echoes “one of the earliest examples of consumerism and collective mania - the Dutch Tulip fever in the early 1600s.
The exotic colouration of the most highly prized tulip during tulpenmanie was caused by a virus that infected the flower, leading to a buying hysteria.”
While creating images of undeniable beauty and fragility, Waters was keen to comment on “the fleeting nature of earthly pleasures” and provoke a visceral response. “I like to believe that art can change people’s perspectives in a way talking or arguing can’t.”This play between beauty and darkness is something Waters achieves masterfully in this series.
“Some of the works are almost surreally pristine and pure, though a closer look reveals subtle plastic elements that are ubiquitous in this throwaway world and point to an unease,” she says. “In other images flowers are enveloped by dark and ominous black oil spills and a sense of decay.”
It’s a technique that lends her photographs their eerie, almost hyper-real nature. Her previous works often feature female forms submerged in bodies of water and sheathed in sheer fabric or still-lifes of marine life shot underwater with flowers.
“I do try to blur the line of what's ‘real’, to make images that feel otherworldly and surreal,” she says. “While my photographs are not made up of other mediums, you could call them photo-collages, where I blend photographs together, guided by feeling and using Photoshop like a painter's brush.
”Like so many artists living through Covid-19, the particular harshness of Waters Melbourne lockdown gifted her a lot of time to ruminate and experiment. “After four months of working on these images and many sets of test prints later, I felt the images finally captured the richness, clarity and all the shades of black I had in my head,” she says.
Setting up a large water tank in her living room, Waters used an “an intricate yet haphazard system of bolts, wire, weights and fishing line to hold the floral structures in place” to capture these underwater scenes, adding plastic, oil and pieces of fruit for effect.
The resulting imagery captures a moment in time, a comment on the “fragility and acute vulnerability of our natural world and the devastating impact of humans on our oceans”.
Describing the pandemic and excess consumption as a kind of fever, Waters hopes her work “can be both a reminder of the magical beauty of nature and also point to an awakening from this fever.”
Arguing that we all need to reconnect with nature, her natural social conscience is one she bears proudly. “I love this quote by Nina Simone: ‘You can’t help it. An artists’ duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times’.
”Disenchantments of the World will be exhibited at Curatorial & Co. gallery in Redfern, NSW, from November 18-28. Opening night is Wednesday, November 18, from 5-8pm.
Bookings essential, RSVP for hourly tours at curatorialandco.com or here
Disenchantments of the World, Solo Exhibition, Curatorial & Co. Gallery
I am beyond excited to unveil my new solo exhibition ‘DISENCHANTMENTS OF THE WORLD’ Solo Exhibition Opening Wednesday the 18th of November, 5 - 8pm at Curatorial and Co. Gallery, Redfern, NSW.
WEDNESDAY 18TH NOVEMBER
5 - 8PM
CURATORIAL AND CO. GALLERY
STUDIO 1, 175 CLEAVELAND STREET
‘Disenchantments of the World’ displays a series of underwater still life works depicting of Rembrandt-esque floral images that explore the complexities of wealth and indulgence, and how humans treat the environment in pursuit of prosperity. A series of 6 major new works and looped short films will be shown in a pop-up cinema space within the gallery - Sydney Arts Guide.
This new body of work is a contemporary exploration of human darkness, desire, and the fleeting nature of earthly pleasures.
At first glance sumptuous floral blooms decorated with sea creatures and glistening effervescence emerge from velvety darkness. This series of underwater still lifes draws inspiration from paintings by the old Dutch masters - images of flowers symbolising beauty, nobility and prosperity and their impermanence. ‘Tulpenmanie’ references Abraham Mignon’s ‘Still Life with Flowers in a Glass Vase’, and ‘Passiflora Edulis’ references Cornelis de Heem’s ‘Festoon with Fruit and Flowers’.
A closer gaze reveals a mash-up: luxe Rembrandt esque blooms are entwined with g(littering) plastic, and the darkness lends the images a lonely, eerie quality. Prosperity has typically been lauded as something to desire and celebrate, yet now more than ever, the unpleasant complexities of wealth and indulgence are apparent.
Globally, we nonchalantly poison the environment in pursuit of prosperity.
This series also references one of the earliest examples of consumerism and collective mania - the Dutch Tulip fever in the early 1600’s. The exotic coloration of the most highly prized tulip during tulpenmanie was caused by a virus that infected the flower, leading to a buying hysteria.
‘Disenchantments of the World’ is a contemporary exploration of human darkness, desire, and the fleeting nature of earthly pleasures.
Visit from 18-28 November to view this new series of large-scale photographic works, and a series of three short films.
Bookings essential. Hourly tours + RSVP only.
BOOK HERE TO VISIT
For presales or interest in these works, please contact email@example.com | www.curatorialandco.com
The exhibition runs until the 28th of November.
- This project is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.
Beautiful Bizarre Magazine feature and QandA issue 31 2020
October 9th, 2020
I’m very honoured to announce a 10 page feature and Q and A for issue 31 of @beautifulbizarremagazine coming out this December. I chat with co-founder @richardpurssey about my personal motivations, appreciation of what my artistic process and finished works mean to me as an artist, and what inspires me to keep making. A huge thank you to the wonderful @danijelakrhapurssey for seeing something in my work & for this beautiful feature. Issue 31 is now available for pre-order through the @beautifulbizarremagazine website. https://store.beautifulbizarre.net/product.../magazine/...
Shortlisted Top 20, Photo Oxford Festival 2020
October 5, 2020
I am very excited to announce that this image from ‘The Kiss of Death’ 2020 isolation series has been shortlisted in the top 20 at the Photo Oxford Festival. It will be included in the ‘Women and Photography: Ways of Seeing and Being Seen’ exhibition at OVADA gallery in Oxford, UK and for the online exhibition for the Photo Oxford festival, which will run from 16th October to 16th November.
Finalist, Fisher's Ghost Art Award 2020
September 30, 2020
So honoured to have 'Dark Matter' 2019 announced as a finalist in the Fisher's Ghost Art Award for 2020. Congratulations to all of the finalists! The exhibition will be held from Saturday 31 October - Friday 11 December 2020 at the Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown NSW.
One of the 1000 images selected for the 'ICPConcerned Global Images for Global Crisis' exhibition as part of the International Center of Photography in New York City
September 17, 2020
I am so utterly surprised and honoured to have one of my images from my 'Friends on Film' 2020 series chosen as one of the 1000 images for the 'ICPConcerned Global Images for Global Crisis' exhibition as part of the International Center of Photography in New York City.
On March 20, the International Center of Photography announced an open call for imagemakers around the world to post and tag imagery of their experiences as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded. Photojournalism and documentary pictures sit with staged and more metaphorical photographs. Amateur smartphone pictures are being uploaded alongside the work of professional imagemakers from around the world.
A whole range of emotions are present: anger, despair, loss, confusion, frustration, boredom, loneliness, strength, and resolve.
Then, on May 25, George Floyd, a Black man, was killed in Minneapolis by a white police officer and millions came out of isolation to gather in anger and defiance of centuries of systemic racism and white supremacy. Thousands of #ICPConcerned images of the demonstrations were uploaded and shared.
Now, ICP has initiated an evolving #ICPConcerned exhibition One thousand images are being chosen by a wide range of ICP staff—curators, administrators, and educators. No one can visit yet, but the process and the installation are being documented and shown online, taking the images back to the worldwide audience that made them. Eventually, the returning public will be able to come see a visual account of this tumultuous era.
Imagemakers represented in the show submitted work from the following locales: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
Friends on Film (2020)
‘Friends on Film is a portrait series documenting family and friends photographed on medium format film, after social distancing restrictions during Covid-19 were eased in the state of Victoria and people were permitted to visit friends in their homes whilst practicing social distancing.
This series was inspired by isolation and the need for human connection and sharing of our own individual experiences of this strange time.
For me, unable to work and having a newfound amount of time on my hands, I was unable to find purpose and joy in a bonding ritual by capturing these portraits.
I am attempting to embrace what was an enforced slowing down and use this approach in my practice. I do this by using film and allocating only two rolls of film per person, a maximum of 20 photographs per sitting. Every shot is carefully considered, far removed from working in the digital realm where an ability to shoot endless images removes the risk but also the magic.
The analog camera lens for me is a portal into a different way of seeing, a re-evaluation of how I feel about photography, which is ultimately just a way to connect with other humans.’
HERE WITH ME group exhibition, Curatorial & Co. gallery, Sydney
August 19, 2020
So honoured to be a part of the group exhibition and opening Sydney gallery launch of Curatorial & Co. 'HERE WITH ME'. HERE WITH ME is an expression of support in a time of uncertainty, celebrating the ways in which art can connect us, move us, inspire and protect us. As a virtual gallery that now extends into a physical space, HERE WITH ME comprises painting, drawing, photography and sculpture, and it can be experienced both online and up close. HERE WITH ME showcases over 40 new works by artists from all over the world and launches the new gallery in Redfern, Sydney. A huge congratulations to Sophie and the team, so proud of you, thank you for having me. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org Open 14-28th August. Studio 1, 175 Cleveland Street Redfern, NSW 2016 Australia 'The Fall' 60 x 85cm Archival pigment print on fibre rag Edition of 8 + 1AP For interest in this work, please contact email@example.com
Finalist, Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize
August 19, 2020
I'm so excited to announce that 'From Where We Came' has been chosen as one of the 25 Photography Award finalists of the 2020 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. A huge thank you to Danijela Krha Purssey and Beautiful Bizarre Magazine for your wonderful support and for including my work amongst such a high caliber of incredible artists, it is such an honour. Art prize sponsored by icanvas_art
Highly Commended, 2020 The Mono Awards
August 18, 2020
I'm thrilled to announce that 'Metamorphis' from the 'Others Dream' series has received a highly commended in The Mono Awards for 2020 in the People Category.
Finalist, Du Reitz Art Awards
June 26th, 2020
I’m very excited to announce that ‘From Where We Came’ from the series ‘Others Dream’ has been announced as a finalist in the 2020 Du Reitz Art Awards. Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions there will not be an opening event gathering this year. Instead, winners will be announced and published on the Gympie Regional Council website and social media after judging Wednesday 5 August. The exhibition is on view from 5 August – 5 September 2020. Entry is free.
ANTHROPOCENE: THE AGE OF HUMANS VIRTUAL SOLO EXHIBITION"
June 9, 2020
I am delighted to bring to you my latest body of work, ANTHROPOCENE: THE AGE OF HUMANS virtual solo show via Curatorial & Co.
VIEW VIRTUAL EXHIBITION
THE MAKING OF
To make this series, my muse and dear friend and I embarked on a five day road trip in January. We packed her 4WD to the brim with props & bags of fabric from op shops,and took off in search of utterly beautiful landscapes.
With bushfires raging all across the country, our options were extremely limited, so based on a whim I decided to head towards the Murray-Sunset National Park, about seven hours from Melbourne. After a few days in the small town of Sea Lake we decided to abandon our original route and turn towards the more lush Grampian Ranges in search of water.
These creative working trips, venturing into the Australian ‘wilderness’, are always a whirlwind of jumbled sensations; exhilaration, trepidation, pressure and exhaustion. Senses seem heightened, as things normally passed by, now have a weight of the possibility of becoming a hopefully powerful image. I question; does this vista draw me in with the promise of some elusive magic, or is it just the ordinary? Sometimes the lines are blurred.
These days often feel like the longest of our lives. Rising at 3.30am eagerly anticipating the early morning light, we sit anxiously in the dark ready for the small window of magic glow before the sun peaks over the horizon. Long hours of driving between destinations are peppered with the odd side meander if the clouds are feeling generous, while always keeping the approaching last light of the day in mind. So we make haste in pursuit of dusk, smuggling some leftover cheap wine in with my cameras as we trek into the unfamiliar bush like pack horses, in search of a scene which feels like ‘something’ intuitively, like butterflies in your stomach. As we walk, we are aware of the gamble, that this could easily (and often does) result in failure.
Working alone with natural light in the environment and a nude model can at times be overwhelming. The beauty of nature comes with its unpredictability, and so too, its tourists. It is also in, and because of these moments of frustration, battling high winds, sinking mud, incessant rain and all that goes wrong, that I feel a deep appreciation for that very moment, the power of nature, and the insignificance of humanity but also the joy of feeling alive and awake. This challenging work has meant that I have been witness to, and immersed in, such beautiful Australian landscapes, at times stark and eerie, lush and dense; these moments have been some of the most breathtaking and magical experiences of my life. Nature is my creative playground and where I feel most at home.
ABOUT THE WORK
For this series, I used lace for the first time in my work. I often source secondhand fabrics, but have been hesitant to use lace specifically, perhaps it was too old fashioned and laden with inherent meaning, but days before embarking on the five day road trip, I succumbed to my love for it.
For me, lace represents romanticism, the feminine, a single thread of delicate beauty combined with the strength of many intertwining threads, and in many ways, symbolises the way in which I aim to represent the female figure, an honest beauty combined with strength. Lace has often been symbolic of modesty and obedience, of rites of passage, of fragility and chastity, but also debauchery. I am drawn to the idea of playing with and challenging stereotypical notions of the feminine.
Hair is another fascination as a veil, a protective layer, magical and possibly dangerous, often symbolically depicted with an ability to communicate social meaning; associations of blonde hair with purity and dark hair with passion, historically hair has been a tool to measure sanity. Unkempt hair as a symbol of chaos and immorality, unbridled, unhinged sexuality. Hair for me also conjures up the dark and mysterious fairy tales we all grew up being shaped by, women who needed a prince to rescue them, but also ancient legends of powerful queens and mysterious women often forgotten by a history mostly written by men.
Depicting the female form in landscapes that are eerie and post-apocalyptic in their starkness - rough-hewn incarnations of the Garden of Eden - this series draws inspiration from biblical narratives of creation and the Fall of man (woman). The marble skin of these figures, luminous in dark, uninhabited landscapes conjure images from myths and fairy-tales that allude to a state of innocence and wonder.
Yet while the Fall was characterised by torment and shame, a loss of grace, 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, nonchalance and indomitability.
In the Anthropocene epoch, there is a profound disconnect with nature, yet these images situate humans within nature - cocooned, in sensuous repose and unfurling into a state of awareness with the possibility for communion with nature.
“Anthropocene: The Age of Humans” Virtual Solo Photography Exhibition
June 9th 2020
“Anthropocene: The Age of Humans” will open at 9am on the 9th of June via Curatorial & Co. For a copy of the catalogue or for interest in the works, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Finalist, Percival Photographic Portrait Prize
March 26, 2020
Very excited to announce that my work ‘From Where We Came’ has been selected as a finalist in the 2020 Percival Photographic Portrait Prize, held at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery in QLD from Friday 22 May until Sunday 19th July 2020.
Finalist, Biennal Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize
February 29, 2020
I’m very to announce that ‘Sanctuary’ from the series ‘Others Dream’ has been announced as a finalist in the 2020 Biennal Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize, and exhibited in the Adelaide Festival Centre, QBE galleries or the adjacent Festival Theatre Foyer. Winners will be announced on the 1st of April 2020. Exhibition dates 2nd April - 31st May.
Metro Gallery Summer Group Exhibition
December 11, 2019
I will be exhibiting ‘Prisoners of Comfort’ from the series ‘Body of Water’ 2019 at the Metro Gallery Summer Group Exhibition. Opening night 19th Dec 6:30-8:30pm.
Chapter One Group Exhibition
November 27, 2019
I am thrilled to be chosen as one of the eight female photographers for the Sam I Am’s mentorship program, Chapter One. Our work made throughout this program will be showing at a special exhibition held at Pix On Location in Alexandria, Sydney at 6pm on Thursday, December 12th 2019.
Featuring the visual stories of Chapter One mentorship participants, the photography on show is the culmination of three month’s worth of work that saw each successful applicant paired with a Sam I Am photographer. Helping them to cultivate our stories, the program included guiding the photographers through concept development and refinement, pre-production, shooting their vision, then working with their mentor to edit each story or series.
Ritual Practice Modern Times Xmas group exhibition
November 26, 2019
I am so delighted to be showing new works at ‘Ritual Practice’ Xmas Group Exhibition at Modern Times this December, including 30 artists.
Please join us for drinks on the 5th of December from 6-8pm at Modern Times, 311 Smith St Fitzroy.
The ‘Ritual Practice’ catalogue will be available on the 24th of November. Please contact Modern Times in store or by phone for any interest in works. All work will be online available for purchase from midday on Monday December 2nd.
Selected Artists -
Billie Justice Thomson
Irene Grishin Selzer
Max Lawrence White
Tags modern times, ritual practice, lilli waters, melbourne artists
- The Opéra Magazine for Classic & Contemporary Nude Photography Volume VIII
October 23, 2019
- Art Thy Neighbour Interview
September 22, 2019
Today I found out that birth father passed away 5 years ago. No one in my family had known until now.
Although I only met him once as an adult, I have his curly hair, his eyes and his passion.
He was an activist, a greenie, a fighter, a mover and a shaker and an amazing young man who did incredible things for his community and for the planet, before he got sick with paranoid schizophrenia.
He was a traumatised man who led a troubled life, living unmedicated and homeless for much of his life. He never wanted to be found, he wanted to be free.
Today, this very open and honest article was published about my life and my work.
I was interviewed by Tessa from Art Thy Neighbour, we chatted about my childhood, the traumas I faced as a young person, my relationships and as corny as it sounds, how photography has been a part of my healing journey and a searching for the unknown.
Thanks so much to Tess from Art Thy Neighbour for such beautiful writing.
RIP Mick Waters, thank you for all that you gave. I hope you are free now, in a beautiful peaceful place filled with all of the trees that your heart desires xxx
Interview by Tessa Ogle for Art Thy Neighbour
Two years ago, Lilli Waters returned to Wytaliba where her mother helped start a hippie commune in the 70’s. Here, in a mudbrick house built by her father, Lilli spent the first 18 months of her life. Years later, the same house was vacant and falling apart.
Lilli, a fine art photographer, described returning to the commune near Grafton in New South Wales as strange.
The experience was made more bizarre in that her every reaction was captured for an ABC documentary that followed artists to a place from their past. And after the documentary screened she told me people from the commune contacted her to say her work reminded them of the bush in Wytaliba.
While she’s unable able to recall her time in the commune as an infant, she said she has always been drawn to landscapes and believes living in the bush still influences her artwork today.
“The first 18 months of anyone’s life can really steer them in the direction they go,” she said. Lilli has a habit of answering questions broadly, generalising and shifting the focus off herself.
Lilli grew up in a creative family, with inspiration drawn from her fiery grandmother who worked as a photojournalist in the Vietnam War. Lilli’s photography has been featured in a growing list of exhibitions and magazines (even in Christian Grey’s apartment in 50 Shades Freed, a sequel to 50 Shades of Grey). With a violent father, distant mother and a string of abusive relationships, she uses her photography to, in part, reconnect with women.
She primarily photographs female forms in landscapes and water in a state she describes as primal. Not too pretty or sexy – but still womanly and feminine.
“I think that success to me is not going ‘oh that’s nice’, or ‘that’s pretty’ or ‘that’s beautiful’, more like ‘what the hell is this supposed to mean?’” Lilli said, laughing warmly. “Because I don’t know either.”
The style of her personal work – as opposed to her commercial work – is often formed unconsciously. When I asked her if there’s a purposeful uniformity to her images she said she doesn’t think much planning goes into it.
“I’m drawn to shooting in nature and that’s where I feel most comfortable.”
“Confronting”, “violent” and “dark” are all words people have used to describe Lilli’s work to her. Though, she explained, when she photographs she doesn’t have those words in mind.
“You’re not out there going, I’m going to make something dark, it’s just very organic.”
At two years old, her family made the move to Nimbin in New South Wales where Lilli's mother had originally planned to settle before finding it to be overcrowded. It was here her parents’ relationship broke down.
“There was a lot of violence at the commune, generally with men. A lot of the women left with their babies and my mum did that too,” she said, adding her father was schizophrenic and violent.
Lilli no longer has contact with her father and fell out of touch with her mother for 15 years. She thinks this is likely to have had a bearing on her work. So did her experience in abusive relationships with boyfriends who didn’t let her have female friends. Bullying she experienced from females both at school and university also complicated her relationship with women.
So why women in landscapes, or submerged in water?
Lilli thinks in some ways her photography has acted as a tool to remould her perception of women. A medium to appease a curiosity and tackle a fear.
“Maybe it was a good way of developing a relationship with these women I was shooting and starting to regain trust and get to know them again,” Lilli said. “It's taken me six years to go ‘oh, ok maybe that was why’.”
When pressed about her relationship with her mother, she brushed it off with a “we’re ok”, summing it up by “we talk”.
But Lilli’s eyes became bright with admiration as she described her grandmother, Elaine Moir, who played an important role in raising her.
“My grandmother was a photographer. My whole family is creative,” she told me.
Elaine Moir – who Lilli described as a fighter, humanitarian and a hippie – was a photojournalist in Saigon during the Vietnam War, and was often found cleaning creeks, stopping trees from being cut down and saving hundreds of Vietnamese orphans. In fact, her grandmother inspired Lilli with early ambitions to become a photojournalist.
Perhaps the most shocking story she shared was when, from Vietnam, Elaine contacted her son at school in Australia and advised him to call a senior Whitlam government minister to tell him to send a plane. After being turned away by a school secretary, Lilli’s uncle made the call on a pay phone. A plane was sent to rescue Elaine and the orphans in her care the next day. She was dubbed a “waif smuggler”, for her efforts saving the malnourished Vietnamese children.
Lilli believes her grandmother’s humanitarian values have been instilled in her. For instance, Lilli’s decisions surrounding her commercial work are informed by how sustainable a company is.
Though her grandmother has been gone for a while now, Lilli told me she feels the fear and hopelessness – mirrored by many – concerning the issue of climate change that still remains from her grandmother’s time.
“These problems have been around since the 1960’s and 70’s. Nothing’s changed – in fact it’s gotten worse.”
She tells me she feels like she’s only just scratching the surface of giving a voice to issues that keep her up at night through her personal work.
“Art is so important – but then also the world’s dying and we’re just making art,” she said.
When discussing her conceptual images, she alluded to her work having an accidental power, that of being less planned and more driven by her unconscious. She described she’s taking more deliberate footing for a future project.
Though her work hints at feminine and environmental issues, Lilli also wants to create art that is more explicit in its message. In fact, she’s is in the early stages of planning to amplify under-reported issues in the form of photo essays, in collaboration with journalists.
“I mean, it’s not like I’m going to change the world, or that these stories aren’t being covered already, but I feel like it’s kind of my duty to use my skills for good.”
She believes now, more than ever, it’s important to remember people like her grandmother who were fighting anyway – despite the challenges.
“I would just feel better if I was doing something.”
When I asked Lilli about her proudest moment in her career so far, she referenced her first exhibition: SHE RAW. The exhibition consisted of 41 images of 41 women captured over 18 months – the result of having six months to spare upon leaving an unsatisfying job as a retoucher. The show saw her raise over $5,000 for the White Ribbon Foundation, an organisation that works to prevent violence against women.
“I wish I could pull a crowd like that now, but I can’t,” Lilli said, laughing.
She described people dotted down the street waiting patiently to get in, and noteworthy artist Bill Henson as an attendee, an incredible feat for her first exhibition.
Exuding a humble wisdom that made me feel what I can only describe as comfortably in awe, Lilli tells me her personal work is both therapeutic and “searching”. But she’s not yet sure exactly what she’s looking for.
“I think it just comes with age – you get older and you work through your stuff and you realise the world’s not so dangerous,” she said. “There are no bullies anymore and there’s no scary man.”
When I asked if she’s found what she was searching for Lilli said: “I don’t think you ever find those kind of things. You might look back when you’re old, and look back at images you made 30 years ago and go ‘oh, it was there’.”
For now Lilli’s content with edging closer to a discovery, explaining that much of the beauty is in looking back.
“If you think you found it, you wouldn’t keep looking for it.”
Tags lilli waters, curatorial and co, artworks, artworks for sale, photography, limited edition print
Shortlisted, Australian Photography Awards 2019
September 18, 2019
Very excited to announce that my work ‘Dawning’ from ‘Others Dream’ has been shortlisted in the Australian Photography Awards for 2019. The top five finalists from each category will be announced on the week of September 23rd and winners will be announced at the first exhibition and awards night on October 12th 2019.
Finalist, Now Contemporary Art Award
September 9, 2019
I’m very excited to announce that my work ‘Dark Matter’ from ‘Body of Water’ is a finalist in the NOW Contemporary Art Award.
The official exhibition opening will be held on Saturday 5 October at the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, Nowra NSW.
Tags now contemporary art award, art award, lilli waters
Finalist, Iris Award
August 28, 2019
I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that my work ‘Metamorphis’ from ‘Others Dream’ as a Finalist in the Perth Centre for Photography Iris Award for 2019.
Thank you so much to the award judges GUP Magazine for selecting my work.
The 2019 Iris Award exhibition will open on the 18th of October at Perth Centre for Photography.
Tags Iris Award, Lilli Waters, Perth Centre for Photography
Finalist, Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize
August 27, 2019
I am beyond thrilled to announce that my work ‘Utero’ is a finalist in the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize for 2019.
‘Ritual’ exhibition will be held at the Haven Gallery in Northport, New York, featuring the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize winners, along with 50 of the world’s best contemporary artists.
Tags beautiful bizarre, lilli waters, art prize
Commended, The Mono Award 2019
August 26, 2019
Thank you to The Mono Award for Commending my image ‘Dawning’ from the ‘Others Dream’ series.
'SUN Celebrates: Her' Group Exhibition
August 18, 2019
SUN Celebrates returns for its second year to highlight the brightest photography talent in Melbourne.
In 2019 Sun celebrates women: the breadth, depth and strength of work created by practitioners across genres.
SUN Celebrates: Her is an eclectic showcase of women working in photography today, and another step toward equal recognition.
Launching September 5 and continuing until September 27 at Skylight Gallery, Melbourne.
Photo by Jamieson Moore
Winter Group Exhibition Metro Gallery
July 24, 2019
Winter Group Exhibition opens at Metro Gallery on the 15th of August, 6:30-8:30pm.
I will be showing two new works from my latest 2019 series ‘Body of Water’.
I hope to see you there!
Finalist, Incinerator Art Award 2019
July 5, 2019
I’m very excited to announce that my work ‘in Dreams’ from ‘Plastic Fish’ is a Finalist in the Incinerator Art Award for 2019.
The exhibition will be held at Incinerator Gallery from Oct to Dec 2019.
Tags Lilli Waters, art award, incinerator art award
In Conversation with Lilli Waters - Interview with Modern Times
June 26, 2019
Full article here
Female identity and our relationship with nature are two prominent themes of Melbourne photographer Lilli Waters’ latest body of work, ‘Others Dream’. The 11 images in this series are highly evocative and intriguing – all in their own unique way – so we relished the opportunity to hear all the details.
Lilli travelled to Western Australia to shoot this series – partly for the incredible location and partly because a Victorian winter doesn’t lend itself well to shooting a model in water. With a four-week turnaround time (her shortest deadline to date), she spent four days in WA shooting at dawn and dusk, on both a digital and analog camera – using expired black and white film from the 1960s – then driving, scouting and sleeping in between. Lilli admits she had no idea what to expect when she returned to Melbourne to edit and develop her images but the resulting body of work is incredibly powerful.
Read more from our chat with Lilli below and be sure to visit us to view the exhibition before June 30.
Can you tell us a little about what inspired this body of work?
The ‘Others Dream’ series was inspired by Hutt Lagoon, a salt lake located near Kalbarri in Western Australia, which has a pink hue due to the presence of a carotenoid-producing algae. The body of work was photographed using a combination of digital and medium format analog cameras, using expired black and white film. Working with two very different mediums of photography was largely an experiment, and I was unsure as to whether the desaturated black and white film would work cohesively alongside vibrant colours.
The pieces are very emotive, and female identity and nature are both strong themes. What are you hoping to convey through your images?
In ‘Others Dream’, the subject is placed in strange landscapes and positions, portraying a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere, almost like trying to escape from reality. I like to capture the subjects in transitional poses to create a sense of movement or suspense. Transparent fabrics and long hair (an assortment of wigs) obscure their faces and identities, adding a mystery and unease to the works, and acting as a kind of protective veil. This obscuring of the face can perhaps help the viewer to feel more connected to the subject, as the work acts more like a mirror than a portrait. The landscapes are often dark and hostile, but the subject looks almost at home in these environments, as if she was borne from them and nourished by them.
Some viewers see darkness and pain in my work, maybe a sense of being trapped, though for me there is a sense of freedom in being able to make photographs that represent all of these things. It is empowering to be able to convey a different side of the feminine than that which society has fed us for so long. A side that requires a rethinking of notions of vulnerability, female frailty and the more primal feminine relationship with nature.
My works try to honour a communion with nature and contain a sense of grieving for the unknown future of the earth, as the earth becomes more unbalanced. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had an endless curiosity in observing and interacting with nature; it brings me a sense of peace. Water is also a huge part of my work, I feel that it has a profoundly magical quality. So many of our daily rituals, our beliefs, our way of life, are connected to water. It is such a physical and spiritual power.
You’ve often spoken about your desire to be closer to nature. In what ways do you think your upbringing on a rural counter-culture community near Canberra has influenced you and your work?
I was raised on a commune in Wytaliba, 100 kilometres out of Canberra, but left at a very young age (around two) so I don’t have any specific memories from my time there. Some of the locals who lived there at the time have commented that my photographs look as though they were taken there, and I do believe the first few years of life really affect how we see the world and how we live our lives. I feel a strong sense of ‘home’ in this type of bush environment. Often I find myself yearning to be in the bush and close to flowing water, and so these landscapes have become a common thread in a lot of my work.
How long was the process of completing this body of work, from start to finish?
The series was photographed over four days at dawn and dusk, then driving, scouting and sleeping in between. I had a deadline of about four weeks to proof, print and send it to Italy. This was the shortest amount of time I have ever had to make a new body of work, and I was lucky that I arrived home from WA with enough works to present as a full series.
What was your favourite park of the process and why?
I really enjoyed working intensely over a four day period, and although it was physically and creatively challenging, it allowed me to focus solely on making the work with no distractions. I chose not to work with an assistant or scout for locations, so I planned a direct route from Perth to Kalbarri where I knew the pink lake was located (although I had no idea if it was going to be pink or not) and chose locations that were along the way. My favourite part of the process is the post production, this is where I find the creativity really emerges for me, and I can play with colours, layering techniques and fine editing. I find this stage brings real clarity to the work and it’s where the photographs come alive and evolve into themselves.
The pink lake (which appears as a vibrant red in your images) and the rugged landscape of Western Australia are a big part of the identity of this series. Why did you choose to shoot in WA?
Last winter, a curator asked me if I could create a new body of work for an exhibition in three months’ time in Florence, Italy, but it was too cold in Victoria to take a model and photograph in water. I’d heard that there was a pink lake located in Western Australia, so I pitched an idea that I travel with a model to the much warmer state of WA for five days and photograph across different landscapes. Luckily, the pitch was accepted and we were on our way within a few weeks. The West Australian landscape was completely foreign to me, I’ve never seen anything like it before.
It’s an incredibly strong body of work. How did you select the final 11 pieces?
Once I returned from WA, I offered the curator fifteen of the strongest works and we chose the final eleven for the exhibition together. Initially she was only after ten photographs so I was really happy that the one landscape was included in the series.
In what ways does your work challenge you or change the way you think?
At times, it feels as if the work I create is articulating themes that I am almost unaware of on a conscious level. Themes which tend to resurface in my work took me a long time to be able to articulate with words, and this is still a constant challenge. In the past I have struggled with the meaning behind my work, so in that sense it challenges me to look deeper and to acknowledge and confront some of the pain and trauma from my childhood. This has led me on a slow path of healing.
What would you like to explore through your work in the future?
I would like to continue to explore similar themes throughout my work, but on a much larger scale, exploring epic and challenging landscapes and experimenting with much larger pieces of fabric. My aim is to continue to explore a reimagining of the feminine form and challenge perceptions, including my own.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My hubby gets up before me and then my two tonkinese cats come straight into the bed and snuggle up with me before my hubby brings me a cup of tea. Bliss! I’ll usually then grab a coffee from next door and head into my studio around 9 or 10 if I’m not on a shoot. I’m lucky in that my job is a good balance of being out on location and quieter days behind the computer.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?
A film director or a seal (I’m crazy about swimming & playing underwater).
What are you listening to at the moment (music and/or podcast)?
MUSIC – Aldous Harding, Weyes Blood, Kurt Vile, Sharon Van Etten, Amen Dunes, Jade Imagine, Julia Jacklin and Jazz Party, and my hubby Jacob Cole’s soon-to-be-released new solo album, which is super exciting!
PODCAST – Under the Skin with Russell Brand, Fresh Air, WTF with Marc Maron, Making Sense with Sam Harris, The Guilty Feminist, Death, Sex & Money with Anna Sale.
You’re hosting a dinner party – what’s your signature dish?
Homemade healthy chocolate! Or, a yummy cake. I hardly ever bake, but when I do, I love it.
If you could purchase one thing for your home, and money was no object, what would it be?
Is a beautiful cottage filled with artworks and a home studio surrounded by an overgrown flower garden in the country allowed?
Where to next on your travel destination wish list?
I really want to go to Antarctica to shoot a new body of work. I’m hoping to apply for a grant to make that a reality.
If you could exhibit your work anywhere in the world, which gallery would you choose?
Moma in NYC, The Photographers Gallery in London and the Venice Biennale would be dreams come true.
Tags modern times, lilli waters, photography, exhibition
Metro Gallery Winter Group Exhibition
June 21, 2019
Last days to see the Winter Group Exhibition at Metro Gallery.
1214 High Street
Friday 21st 9:50-5:30pm
Sat 22nd 10:30-5pm
'Others Dream' Modern Times Solo Exhibition
June 21, 2019
20 - 30th June 2019
311 Smith Street
Tags modern times, Lilli Waters, photography exhibition, exhibition
June 21, 2019
My heart is so full. I am so incredibly overwhelmed with the amount of love that was in this room last night. What wonderful & beautiful friends & supporters I have around me.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you who came to my solo exhibition opening ‘Others Dream’ at Modern Times last night, it was such an incredibly warm experience for me having you all there. Thank you for the touching feedback and comments on the works, you made the night so incredibly special for me, so thank you. To those who purchased works, a giant hug & kiss from me, thank you so much for your support, it means the absolute world to me.
I can’t express in words my gratitude for this opportunity and to the extremely kind and generous people at Modern Times, you are truly beautiful humans who have profoundly touched my heart, thank you.
And thank you to the sponsors Sample Brew & Blackhearts & Sparrows who provided the quality drops.
‘Others Dream’ is on until next weekend, Sunday the 30th of June, so please pop in to check it out!
311 Smith Street
All 11 framed works are editions of 8 and are available in two sizes. Please contact Modern Times at email@example.com for a copy of the catalogue or to enquire about a specific artwork.
Photos by Elise Scott.
Tags Modern Times, Lilli Waters, Photography exhibition, Exhibition, Photography
'Reawaken' Solo Exhibition at Craig's Royal Hotel in collaboration with the Ballarat International Foto Biennale
June 17, 2019
Thank you thank you thank you to ALL of the wonderful people who came to my opening solo exhibition ‘Reawaken’ at Craig’s Royal Hotel in collaboration with the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. I was so incredibly honoured to meet so many wonderful new friends & chat about art & new exciting ideas!
A huge thank you to Biennale Directors Bridget & Fiona Sweet for opening the exhibition, to Aaron & Madelyn for helping to put this show together and for the fabulous pub crawl & to my wonderful mates who took the long drive down, you made the day very special. Thank you so much to Craig’s Royal Hotel for having my work on your walls & for the beautiful complimentary night stay in your beautiful hotel.
8 of the works have already sold, however, they are editions of 14 + 1AP, so please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for any print sale enquiries.
This exhibition will run until the 10th of August.
Tags craigs royal hotel, bifb, ballarat international foto biennale, lilli waters, exhibition, photography exhibition
Solo Exhibition ‘Others Dream’ opening at Modern Times
June 6, 2019
It has been a busy year exhibition wise for me, and it brings me great pleasure to invite you to the biggest one yet!
My solo exhibition Others Dream opens at the beautiful Modern Times, Thursday the 20th of June from 6 - 8pm.
11 unreleased large scale photographs meld the female figure with the landscape of unsettling, other worldly scenes. These works were created in 2018 across Western Australia on a mix of digital & analog cameras, and it is my greatest pleasure to finally share them with you all.
Please join us for drinks on opening night!
Thursday 20th June
Modern Times 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy 6 - 8pm
Catalogue release and Pre sales open 11th of June.
The exhibition will run until 30th of June.
For more information, to register for pre sales or to enquire about the purchase of an artwork,
please contact -
email: email@example.com phone: 03 9913 8598
Sanctuary from Others Dream 162 x 108cm Archival pigment print on fibre rag Edition of 8 + 1AP 2018
Artist Statement -
‘Others Dream’ questions our relationship with nature and ourselves and ideas about female identity through unsettling, otherworldly scenes.
Female figures inhabit primordial, foreboding landscapes in poses of stillness and fluid movement that require a re-thinking of notions of vulnerability and power. These women contradict stereotypes of feminine frailty; they appear to be birthed into nature, or perhaps birthed from nature; naked yet fearless and empowered.
These images speak to a significant part of my own identity as a woman. I was born on a rural counter-culture community in Wytaliba, about 100 kilometres out of Canberra, where everyone grew their own produce on the land and washed and swam in the river. Nature had a vivid presence in our daily life that is often absent in the city, where I now live. Often, I wake and find myself yearning to be in the bush and close to flowing water.
In these photographs I wanted to communicate a sense in that the figures belong and are even nourished by these potentially hostile surroundings. Moonscape rock formations are merged with the female form, seamlessly blurring the lines between the human body and the ancient landscape. At dawn and dusk, the edge of slumber and first light, these figures awaken out of the darkness and live in the hours when others dream.
Others Dream was highly commended in the 2019 Australasian Top Emerging Photography Awards.
For more information, visit
Exhibition sponsored by Sample Brew and Blackhearts Wine
I hope to see your beautiful faces there :)
Warmest, Lilli x x x
Tags modern times, photography, photography exhibition, women in landscapes, lilli waters, female gaze, pink lake, artist, photoart, australian art, contemporary art, melbourne art, photographer, landscape, women in the arts, female photographer, photoexhibition
Winter Group Exhibition at Metro Gallery, open from 18th of June
June 3, 2019
Winter Group Exhibition
1214 High St
Open from the 18th of June
Archival pigment print on fibre rag
90 x 135cm
Limited edition of 8 + 1AP
Ballarat International Foto Ballarat Solo Exhibition 'Reawaken' opens 1st June
May 16, 2019
YOU ARE INVITED!!!
I’m very excited to invite you to the opening of my ‘Reawaken’ exhibition, opening at Craig’s Royal Hotel in collaboration with the 2019 Ballarat International Foto Biennale.
Please join me for the opening on Saturday the 1st of June from 2:30-5:30pm, I’ll also be giving an Artist talk at 3:30pm.
Craig’s Royal Hotel
10 Lydiard Street
Please rsvp for catering by the 24th of May, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Exhibition runs until Sunday the 10th of August. Open 7 days 10am-5pm. Free entry.
Australia's Emerging Photographer Award - Highly Commended
May 12, 2019
I’m very happy to announce that my series ‘Others Dream’ 2018 has been highly commended in Australia’s Top Emerging Photographers Award in the Art Category!
I’m also very very excited to finally be exhibiting this series in Melbourne, Australia!
‘Others Dream’ opens at Modern Times on Thursday the 20th of June, pre sales begin on the 11th of June.
To preview the works or to register for pre sales, please contact email@example.com ❤️
** EXHIBITION DATES ANNOUNCED **
April 26, 2019
✨EXHIBITION DATES ANNOUNCED ✨
I’m very excited to be sharing two of my most recent series of photographic works from 2018 & 2019 in three upcoming exhibitions in June.
It has been such a wonderfully fulfilling as well as incredibly challenging process making these new works over the past 10 months, I have learnt so much about myself throughout.
I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the extraordinary help of many many people, I have a lot to be grateful for and a lot of beautiful humans to thank for making this all possible.
A huge huge shout out to the very inspiring & always elegant @anekamanners for believing in me, having full trust & funding the entire making of and printing for the ‘Others Dream’ exhibition, this series wouldn’t have been made if it wasn’t for you. I am forever grateful. To the beautiful & graceful @theanightingale for your hard work & dedication, I so enjoy making art with you, always.To the sweet & other-worldly @nfornelle thank you for working so so hard out there & for so much of your time, I am so lucky to have you with me throughout this journey. To beautiful mates @ursula_woods_ and @jethropickett for taking care of us and so generously offering a place to stay, getting up at 6am to take us out on the water and for cooking meals for us when we were too tired to move, thank you, I love you guys heaps. To @moderntimesau @ballaratfoto and @metro_gallery for supporting my work and being so kind to me, it is truly a dream come true to be working with you. To Tim & Ness at @thirdsfineartprinting for your priceless hard work and attention to detail, I wouldn’t be here without you guys, what a blessing you are. Finally, to my tireless and most supportive partner in crime @jacobxc for encouraging me to keep going, feeding me 3 x meals a day, attending to my deadlines at 11pm at night, and for picking up after the tears when I’m tired & feel like giving up. I love you like no other.
I am so incredibly happy & relieved & excited to finally be sharing it with all of YOU this June.
Save the following dates ~
* Solo Exhibition at @craigsroyalhotel in collaboration with @ballaratfoto Opening Saturday 1st June 2:30-5:30pm, Artist talk at 3:30pm. Open until the 18th of August.
* Winter Group Exhibition at @metro_gallery Opening Night Thursday 13th June 6:30-8:30pm. Open until the 22nd of June.
* Solo Exhibition ‘Others Dream’ at @moderntimesau Opening Thursday Night 20th of June 6-8pm. Open until the 30th of June.
I hope to see you there xxx
Close-up detail from ‘Underworld’ from the series ‘Body of Water’ 2019
Archival pigment print on fibre rag
90 x 135cm
Edition of 8 + 1 AP
Solo Exhibition 'Others Dream' opening at Modern Times
April 21, 2019
Please save the date!! After joining the wonderful family at Modern Times last year, I am so incredibly excited to announce my upcoming solo exhibition ‘Others Dream’, officially opening on Thursday the 20th of June at Modern Times in Fitzroy, 6-8pm.
This series was photographed in Western Australia for an exhibition which opened in Florence, Italy late last year, so it brings me much joy to bring it to Melbourne and have the wonderful opportunity to exhibit it again.
Pre-sales begin on the 11th of June. To preview the works or to register for pre-sales, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This exhibition will run until the 30th of June.
Close-up detail of ‘Sanctuary’ from ‘Others Dream’
Archival pigment print on fibre rag
162 x 108cm
Edition of 8 + 2 AP
Solo Exhibition opening at Craig's Royal Hotel in collaboration with the Ballarat international Foto Biennale
April 17, 2019
I am incredibly excited to be invited to have a Solo Exhibition at Craig’s Royal Hotel in collaboration with the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, exhibiting a collection of earlier works as well as some of my latest unreleased photographic works, opening 1st of June. More details announced soon.
February 24, 2019
My heart is so full! A huge huge thank you to everyone who came to my exhibition opening at Metro Gallery last night. Your support means the absolute world to me.
Extra special thanks to the wonderful people at Metro - Rebecca, Camille, Sophia & Juliuus, for their amazing hard work putting this show together, and congratulations to @kimkimkimxx for her incredible work.
This show will run until the 9th of March.
Tue - Fri 9:30 - 5:30pm
Saturday 10:30 - 5pm
1214 High St, Armadale VIC
For print sales, please contact email@example.com
Tags metro gallery, solo exhibition, solo show, photography exhibition, photography, photographic artist, lilli waters
METRO GALLERY SOLO EXHIBITION OPENING NIGHT
February 18, 2019
I am extremely excited to announce my first solo exhibition at Metro Gallery opening this week, Thursday 21st February. It has been a dream of mine to exhibit at this gallery for many years, and I am truly delighted to be showing a collection of artworks in this beautiful space.
My works will be shown alongside paintings by incredible artist Kim Hyunji.
It would be an honour if you would join me for a glass of sparkling on opening night next Thursday from 6:30 - 8:30pm at Metro Gallery, 1214 High Street, Armadale.
"There is something both strange and striking about images made by Melbourne based photographer, Lilli Waters. The figures, almost exclusively female, are placed in peculiar positions within equally strange landscapes. The figure from “Utero” (pictured below), emerges from a red liquid, washed ashore an almost mythical land. The figure is beginning to stir, hinted at masterfully by the ripples in the water. This, coupled with the dissonant color combination of pale white and an artificial red, imbues the photograph with a sense of trepidation. There is also certainly a parallel between the nascent subject matter and the act of creation on the part of the artist. The palette is even reminiscent of a photographer’s dark room. Waters' emphasis on nature comes from her mother and grandmother, as well as an upbringing on a counterculture commune in Wytaliba, NSW. “She (Elaine Moir, grandmother) was a serious lover of the environment, writing letters and starting campaigns to stop McDonalds from taking over her local community, teaching me the names of all the birds and animal species and the importance of planting trees and helping on creek clean up days.” Waters’ subjects certainly appear to have a symbiotic, if somewhat uneasy, relationship with their environment. They are born of the earth, appearing in the landscape like a blooming flower. It is often unclear, however, whether the subject is thriving in the landscape, or succumbing to it.
Waters photographs many of her figures in a transitional pose, instilling a sense of anticipation in the viewer; in “Utero” the figure slowly begins to stir and in “ANJA #25” (pictured below), a female form writhes beneath a thin veil amidst a dark abyss. Accentuating this suspense is also Waters decision to shoot at dawn and dusk, when the sun is on the precipice of either being snuffed out, or of bursting forth from the horizon line. This perhaps symbolises one of the overarching themes in Waters oeuvre, the constant push and pull between life and death, creation and decay."
Words by Julius Killerby.
The exhibition will run until the 9th of March.
I hope to see you for some bubbly!
Opening Night 6 - 8pm 1214 High Street, Armadale
Tags metro gallery, lilli waters, photography exhibition, photography, solo exhibition, gallery, melbourne gallery, photographic artist, artworks, artworks for sake, artworks for sale
VOGUE LIVING INTERVIEW - FEB / MARCH ISSUE
February 13, 2019
I’m over the moon to be interviewed for the brand new Feb / March issue of Vogue Living Magazine.
The new issue comes out tomorrow, just in time for Valentines Day (and my birthday!)
I’d love it if you checked it out.
Happy Valentines Day 💋❤️
Tags vogue living, vogue, vogue living magazine, artist profile, artist, exhibition, lilli waters
National Photographic Portrait Prize 2019
February 7, 2019
So very very proud to be a National Portrait Prize Finalist for 2019!
As the World Falls Down #2
Once a year I go up to Billinudgel in NSW to see my therapist. She believes that good therapy is based on a relationship - not like the one in psychology where you sit across someone on a chair but one where you go for walks and swims together and the relationship has space.
Recently, I stayed in a cabin on her property and photographed a series of works of her daughter Maya and her boyfriend at a place called Protestor’s Falls. You walk through rain forest with huge trees to a pool and a long stark fall of water.
I wanted to communicate something about youth, beginnings and freedom, that time between late adolescence and adulthood that is filled with possibility but some anxiety too.
‘As the World Falls Down’ is a David Bowie song from the film ‘The Labyrinth.’ There was something about Maya’s physical presence and the feeling of that day that recalled Bowie for me.
Tags nppp, national photographic portrait prize, national photography portrait prize, lilli waters, as the world falls down, portraiture, portrait, portrait award, australian photography awards
The Design Files - Things of Fire & Ash, Remembered
February 7, 2019
Thank you so much to The Design Files for featuring the ‘Things of Fire & Ash, Remembered’ exhibition, which opens tomorrow at the Victoria Police Museum as part of the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday Bushfires.
Tags lilli waters, curatorial and co, artworks, artworks for sale, photography, limited edition print
Remembering Black Saturday Through Portraits
February 6, 2019
A decade on, reflecting on the courage and resilience of Black Saturday fire survivors with photographer Lilli Waters.
While Tasmania currently burns, and Queensland suffers fatal floods, we are also coming up to the 10-year anniversary of Victoria’s devastating Black Saturday fires.
Photographer Lilli Waters explores the courage and resilience of those affected by the fires in an exhibition at the Victorian Police Museum. Things of Fire and Ash: Remembered traces the lives of six young people from the Kinglake area and reflects ‘individuals’ stories and journeys. ‘We asked our participants to write about what the 10-year anniversary means to them,’ explains curator Amber Evangelista.
Lilli was lucky not to be directly affected by Black Saturday, but the horrendous climate event resonated strongly with her. She explains, ‘it has been an extraordinary experience for me to be invited back to photograph portraits of these kids five years later, now as young adults, seeing them grown and matured, and rebuilding their lives after such a loss’. The exhibition also features four Victoria Police officers whose bravery and spirit provided extraordinary support and care to those in need.
Lilli highlights, ‘I feel extremely privileged to have been a small part of such an important event in our history as the 10-year anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires.’
Things Of Fire And Ash: Remembered by Lilli Waters
Opening Thursday, February 7th
Victoria Police Museum
637 Flinders Street
Tags black saturday, things of fire and ash remembered, victorian police museum, lilli waters, exhibition, melbourne exhibition
'Things of Fire & Ash, Remembered' Exhibition, Victorian Police Museum
January 31, 2019
I am extremely honoured to have been chosen to photograph the works for ‘Things of Fire and Ash, Remembered’ exhibition, opening at the Victorian Police Museum next week.
February 2019 is the 10th anniversary of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires, one of the worst natural disasters in the state’s history.
As part of the state-wide commemoration the Victoria Police Museum is holding an exhibition throughout 2019. 'Things of Fire and Ash, Remembered', opens 7th of February, and pays tribute to the personal journeys and reflections of community members and police officers involved in the fires of 2009.
OPENING SOON. For more information visit the website www.policemuseum.vic.gov.au
Tags lilli waters, things of fire and ash remembered, melbourne museum, kinglake, exhibition, photography exhibition, black saturday, victorian police museum, melbourne photographer, bushfires
Artwork in Belle Magazine
January 1, 2019
So stoked to have one of my artworks from my Iceland trip featured in this months Dec/Jan issue of Belle Magazine!
‘Lead us to Water #3’ 78 x 112cm Archival pigment print on fibre rag
Available to purchase at Curatorial & Co.
Tags belle magazine, magazine, house and home, lilli waters, landscape
FEATURE SHOOT 'OTHERS DREAM'
December 13, 2018
Feature Shoot ‘Others Dream’ 2018 by Miss Rosen
“At dusk and dawn, the edge of slumber and first light, these figures awaken out of the darkness and live in the hours when others dream,” Lilli Waters writes in the artist statement for her disquieting series, Others Dream, which features women amid an otherworldly landscape that is equal parts foreboding and curious.
Photographed across Western Australia, the images from Others Dream offer a mystical, mythical portrait of the primordial essence of life that begins in utero before being launched upon the earth. They offer themselves as wordless poems, silent revealing secrets to us, offering a moment of meditation where we can escape the artifice that civilization demands and return to something infinitely simpler albeit impossible to fully comprehend.
Here Waters shares her journey, revealing the path that brought her to the creation of this body of work, offering insight on the effortless synergy of life and art.
How did your mother and grandmother instill a passion for social activism and a love for nature in their work?
“My late grandmother Elaine Moir was a feminist and activist throughout her life. She was a photojournalist during the Vietnam War, and later became a part of a small team of people who saved hundreds orphans from the bombings in Saigon.
“She was a serious lover of the environment, writing letters and starting campaigns to stop McDonalds from taking over her local community, teaching me the names of all of the birds and animal species and the importance of planting trees and helping on creek clean up days.
“We would ride our bikes to the wetlands and I would watch her as she took water samples and attempted to protect the baby herons from the neighbors pet cats. She was my hero and biggest inspiration. My mother spent many years living off the grid in the bush as a younger woman and is a botanical artist, drawing her inspiration from nature.”
Can you describe life on a commune in New South Wales, and how this connection with nature has informed your sense of self?
“I was born on a rural counterculture community in Wytaliba, about 100 kilometers out of Canberra, where everyone grew their own produce on the land and washed and swam in the river. Nature had a vivid presence in our daily life that is often absent in the city, where I now live.
“Often, I wake and find myself yearning to be in the bush and close to flowing water. I was young when I lived on the commune, so I don’t have any memories from my life there. However, people from the community describe my photographs as looking as though they were taken there, so these early childhood experiences must have been very aesthetically formative for me.”
When did you begin to realize your path as an artist, and what was it about photography that revealed itself as the medium for your work?
“There was no specific point of realization that I was on the artist’s path. I’ve always needed a creative outlet. When I was a girl, I was obsessed with so many things: playing music, dancing, singing, sports, theatre and making films, although I could never paint like my mother.
“I remember this overwhelming feeling of anxiety when I used to see something beautiful in nature and no one around me seemed to be as excited as I was, so I guess photography for me is a way of capturing the fleeting beauty I see around me and being able to hold on to it and share it with others. That brings me much joy.”
Can you describe the relationship between nature and the feminine, and the way that informs the subjects of the series Others Dream?
“Others Dream questions our relationship with nature and ourselves, as well as ideas about female identity through unsettling, otherworldly scenes. The photographs encompass ideas about vulnerability and power, and aim to contradict stereotypes of feminine frailty. I hope viewers can have an emotive response and go on their own imaginative journey.”
What is your process for creating these shoots — do you have a specific vision based on casting and location scouting, or is it something that reveals itself in the moment?
“Others Dream was photographed across Western Australia. At the time it was winter and I was asked to make new work for an upcoming exhibition in Florence. Victoria being too cold, I put forward an idea to take a life model and spend four days shooting in WA.
“I planned a route from Perth to Kalbarri, stopping at dunes and National parks, heading towards the pink lakes I had become slightly obsessed over. I took a dear friend of mine, who’d I’d also worked with before, and we photographed at dusk and dawn every day, driving
Modern Times Group Exhibition ‘Talismans, Rafts, Mementos’
November 12th 2020
I am very privileged to have two new works in the upcoming group exhibition ‘Talismans, Rafts, Mementos’ at @moderntimesau featuring 150+ new works by 56 amazing artists, opening online on Thursday the 19th of October at 7am.
‘Space Consciousness’ 2020 40 x 60cm Archival pigment print on fibre rag Edition of 8 + 2AP
For interest in this work, get in touch with the lovely people at Modern Times | www.moderntimes.com.au
Showroom + Gallery Modern Times 311 Smith St Fitzroy Victoria 3065
(03) 9913 8598 | firstname.lastname@example.org