Disenchantments of the World, Solo Exhibition, Curatorial & Co. Gallery
28th October 2020
*Solo Exhibition Announcement*
I am beyond excited to unveil my new solo exhibition ‘DISENCHANTMENTS OF THE WORLD’ Solo Exhibition Opening 18th November at Curatorial and Co. Gallery in Sydney.
‘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.
For more information or to RSVP to opening night, please contact @curatorialandco l e: firstname.lastname@example.org l visit www.curatorialandco.com
To receive a presale catalogue of the works and an invitation to opening drinks, please subscribe to my mailing list - https://lilliwaters.com/Subscribe
To those who can’t attend the exhibition in person, a 3D exhibition will be available online.
Show runs until the 28th of November.
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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
'Remote Control' Jade Imagine Film Clip
June 22, 2019
And here it is!!
I am super stoked to announce the new film clip ‘Remote Control’ released & out now for your listening pleasure!
Thank you to my friends Jade Imagine Band for having me onboard as Director / Producer for this wonderful project.
Director / Producer: Lilli Waters
Director of Photography: Amy Dellar
Producer: Jade McInally
1st AC: Lucy Pijenburg
Editors: Lilli Waters & Louise Mullins
Colourist: Jacob Harris @colourdesk
Runners: Thommy Taranto, Xavier James and Natalie Nowotarski
Featuring: Jade McInally ,Tim Harvey & James Harvey
Thank you to Anna Cordell and Gary Oxley
Tags jade imagine, film clip, lilli waters, remote control
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org ❤️
** 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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 and sleeping in between.
“I’d picked up some props from an op shop, a bag of expired black and white film I’d found on eBay and just hoped that the lake was in fact pink. There was a broad vision for the work, but the reality is, you’re improvising and working with small windows of the right light.”
Can you speak about the female gaze and the ways in which it informs your portrayals of the protagonist?
“I think it is important to provide a perspective of the female form through a female gaze. Photography is so prominent in our daily lives, I want to use this medium to gently examine the depiction of the female form as we live through the challenging Me Too era, while women everywhere grapple with the conundrum of how to represent the beauty in oneself, without being constantly sexualized.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about climate change as the literal analogy of the disrespect/abuse of the feminine aspect of existence (like the earth is saying Me Too). When I saw your photos, I was struck by the powerful ambiguity — there’s both a sense of assault and a refusal to succumb. Could you speak about the way that you deal with the duality that is present in your work?
“These images for me speak to a significant part of my own identity as a woman. My images are often seen as ambiguous. I am searching for a rawness and expression that I can’t really put into words, so it makes sense that people might view them in different ways.
“Some see darkness and pain, and with this series, maybe a sense of being trapped, though for me there is a sense of freedom in creating works that can be all of these things, and also empowering and a more full expression of the feminine than that which society has fed us.
“In the 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 female body and landscape. I wanted this imagery to move viewers to consider how we respond to the female body and to the natural environment.
“In the Romantic era, nature was frequently feminized in literature. Woman and the earth have been characterized as fertile and bountiful, and as providing nourishment — enabling life itself. It is interesting to revisit these ideas in the wake of the Me Too movement and impending environmental disaster. What role might women have in re-visioning not only how we understand gender but our ideas about nature?”
Link to full article here
Tags feature shoot, lilli waters, others dream, modern times, artist, artist interview, artist feature, artist profile, art feature, photographer, photographic artist, photographer feature, photographer interview
METRO GALLERY SUMMER COLLECTION
November 20, 2018
I’m super excited to be showing work at the Metro Gallery ‘Summer Collection’ Group Exhibition, which opens next Thursday the 29th at 6:30pm!
Featured Artists: Tom Adair Adnate Joshua Cocking Donovan Christie Dianne Gall Tom Gerrard Kim Hyunji Anthony Lister Brock Q Piper Matthew Quick James Reka Loribelle Spirovski Jim Thalassoudis Lilli Waters
Please join us for drinks at Metro Gallery, 6:30-8:30pm, 1214 High St Armadale.
Hope to see you there 🙂
Tags lilli waters, curatorial and co, artworks, artworks for sale, photography, limited edition print
FINALIST: NATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2019
November 14, 2018
I am unbelievably honoured to be selected as a Finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize for 2019.
40 Finalists from 3113 entries were announced for the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2019.
The selected portraits will be on display at the Portrait Gallery in Canberra from 23 February – 7 April 2019.
The winner of the NPPP 2019 will be announced at the launch of the exhibition on 22 February.
After the exhibition, the NPPP 2019 will be touring around Australia. If you’d like to see the exhibition at a venue near you, please ask your local gallery.
Tags finalist, art prize, photography awards, photography prize, national photographic portrait prize, lilli waters, exhibition, portrait award, portrait, portrait gallery
TDF: THE LUXURY OF LANDSCAPE : FLORENCE, ITALY
October 18, 2018
The Design Files ’The Luxury of Landscape’ By Sally Tabart
Curated by artist and designer Aneka Manners, The Luxury Of Landscape brings together an eclectic lineup of Australian creatives in a celebration of art, fashion and the human condition. Set against the magnificent backdrop of the Palazzo Pandolfini, a 16th century private Italian palace Florence, which is usually closed to the public. The multi-disciplinary exhibition is ‘centred around the beauty and transience of landscape’, explains Lilli Waters, Melbourne-based photographer and exhibitor.
Lilli’s photos of fantastical scenes featuring female forms engaged with the landscape are simultaneously delicate and powerful, evoking images of paintings by the European masters. Her works are modern in medium, yet seem right at home in the historical location. ‘The juxtaposition of the contemporary with the ancient has proved a beautiful combination,’ Lilli explained.
Alongside Lilli’s arresting photography sits the works of florist, artist, author and Doctor of philosophy, Dr Lisa Cooper (aka Doctor Cooper). Bringing a collection of conceptual botanical installations to The Luxury Of Landscape, Doctor Cooper’s ephemeral work will decay throughout the two week show.
Artist, designer and managing director at NAB (yes!) Aneka Manners is the raison d’être for this Florentine affair. Curating the entire event and commissioning works especially for the occasion, The Luxury Of Landscape is Aneka’s fully realised vision.
As well as creating the concept for the exhibition, Aneka brings her limited-edition fashion range from her eponymous brand launched last year, as well as a fine jewellery collaboration with Kailis Pearls. In addition to the artwork on exhibition for the two-week duration, Aneka has also invited creatives to design specific, one-off events, including a sound and light experience by producer and vocalist CLAUDIO, an intimate long-table lunch by Michelin star chefs coupled with rare wines, and a tasting night showcasing the diversity of Tuscan gin.
The Luxury Of Landscape Curated by Aneka Manners October 4th–18th Palazzo Pandolfini Florence, Italy
FINALIST: AUSTRALIAN PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
October 16, 2018
I'm very excited to come in at no. 18 out of 20 finalists for the Portrait category in the Australian Photography Awards for 2018, with my image 'From Where We Came' 2018.
A huge congratulations to the winner, Lisa Saad for her portrait 'Cooper' from her series 'Project 11'.
You can view all of the finalists here -
Tags finalist, art prize, photographic art prizw, photographic art prize, art prize finalist, australian photography awards, photography awards, lilli watrs, lilli waters, portrait, landscape, from where we cam
THE LUXURY OF LANDSCAPE EXHIBITION, FLORENCE, ITALY
September 3, 2018
I am extremely excited to be exhibiting new works at 'The Luxury of Landscape' multi-disciplinary group exhibition at the Pilazzo Pandolfini in Florence, Italy this October.
A private palazzo in the heart of Florence will host an exclusive exhibition of especially commissioned works by Australian artists, including Doctor Cooper, Claudio and Aneka Manners, across fashion, fine jewellery, light, sound, sculpture and the visual arts, curated together with rare Florentine wine and food experiences.
The only palace in Florence designed by Raphael, 15th century Palazzo Pandolfini is a historically significant palace hidden in the centre of Florence and incorporating luxurious reception rooms overlooking a stunning secret garden. Owned by the same family over 500 years later, the Palazzo has retained ts original form together with a garden that cultivated several botanical rarities and been awarded prizes by the Società Botanica dell’orticultura [Botanical Society of Horticulture].
The exhibition opens on the 4th of October and runs until the 18th.
If you happen to be in Florence, come and say ciao x
Tags lilli waters, international exhibition, italy exhibition, florence exhibition, the luxury of landscape, pilazzo pandolfini, visual artists, florence, others dream, photographer, photographic artist
'Hyper' Group Exhibition // 222 Roslyn gallery
July 18, 2018
I'm excited to be a part of 'Hyper', a multidisciplinary group exhibition at 222 Roslyn gallery curated by Kane Alexander, which looks at vibrant colour, states of bliss, hyper-realness and hyper-feeling.
With acclaimed artists:
Tom Adair Derek Swalwell Lilli Waters Lance Delary-Simpson Chris Pennings Elliot Routledge Deams
Please join us on Wednesday the the 5th of September for the opening night at 222 Rosslyn gallery from 6 - 9pm.
Hope to see you there!
222 Rosslyn St, West Melbourne.
The exhibition will officially open to the public from the 6th - 19th September, 12pm until 5pm, Friday to Saturday.
Tags melbourne exhibition, hyper, 222 roslyn gallery, gallery, melbourne photographer, melbourne gallery, group exhibition, photographers
CORAL LANDS AT SAINT CLOCHE
June 29, 2018
I would like to thank to everyone who came to see the Coral Lands exhibition at Saint Cloche in Sydney!!
A huge thank you to Saint Cloche, Vasette Florals, Hifin Aquarium and friends and family who all contributed to helping create this series.
For print sales from the series, visit Saint Cloche
Tags lilli waters, curatorial and co, artworks, artworks for sale, photography, limited edition print
HUNTER & FOLK - LILLI WATERS
June 25, 2018
Art Talk // Hunter & Folk
Lilli Waters is passionate about making a change in the way we see marine life and coral, whilst also encouraging more people to help make a difference in the impact humans have on the ocean. The Award-winning Australian photographic artist has unveiled her latest exhibition entitled Coral Lands, which is on at Saint Cloche Gallery in Sydney, following on from her previous successful exhibition of works, Plastic Fish. Water’s latest body of work showcases coral, marine animals and other plants to create familiar yet surreal landscapes. Bright colours and sunset backgrounds contrasting with the lively coral and fish create a mystical, ethereal feel. The exhibition is on until the 1st of July, so be sure to pop in.
Tags artist profile, lilli waters, hunter and folk, interview, artist interview, coral lands, exhibition, sydney exhibition, sydney gallery, saint cloche
VOGUE LIVING - Lilli Waters
June 21, 2018
VOGUE LIVING // Meet the female artist who will make you think twice about your impact on the ocean
by Francesca Wallis
Lilli Waters’ ethereal photographs bridge the gap between what we see and what we do. As her name suggests, artist Lilli Waters has an affinity with the ocean. Creating a series of otherworldly, surreal photographs for her body of work, titled Coral Lands, Waters has managed to artfully combine the fragility of the ocean with the colour and vibrancy of its inhabitants. Asking her audience to reassess their impact on coral, Waters’s work goes beyond the traditional and transcends into something wonderfully sublime and futuristic — all the while using natural, tactile pieces to craft her sets. We spoke with Waters ahead of the opening of Coral Lands at Saint Cloche in Sydney, to discuss all things practice, art and yes, Fifty Shades.
On her exhibition at Saint Cloche? Coral Lands is an underwater photography series, a collection of nine works that were all photographed using large water tanks. They feature coral alongside florals, bright colours and night sky backdrops, creating familiar yet dream like vignettes. My intention with this body of work was to try to create otherworldly landscapes visualising strange underwater fantasy worlds. It involved months of planning and was basically one big experiment.
On her practice and inspiration My practice is in fine art photography, and my work has largely focused on portraits – mostly of women – and more recently still life. Mother nature, art and music have always been my main muses for creating. I was a musician for fourteen years, but I don't play anymore.
On how she hopes her audience see her work I hope that the works resonate with people in a way that they can immerse themselves for a moment in these intriguing underwater worlds. It is also my hope that this series draws the viewer into the strange beauty and acute fragility of coral and that it highlights the devastating impact of climate change on our oceans and the precious life within it.
On the most unexpected places her work has been shown Two of my photographs are featured in Christian Grey’s apartment in Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed: one in his bedroom and another in his dining room. It was pretty surreal seeing my work in such huge films. The limited edition prints almost sold out after their release, and the author of the books ordered a huge print for her mansion in LA, which is still something I pinch myself over!
On the artists she's inspired by I’m actually inspired more by painters rather than other photographers. Three contemporary female artists whose work I love and really resonate with are Heidi Yardley, Elizabeth Barnett, and my absolute favourite artist at the moment, Del Kathryn Barton. There’s something dark and sexy about Yardley’s work — the way she depicts fractured female forms which are mesmerising, melancholy, familiar and strange all at the same time. Barnett’s colourful still lifes are comforting and so full of nostalgic joy; they make you want to live in her paintings, like a coming home to a familiar armchair and a pot of tea. Barton’s work is unashamedly feminine. Her figurative imagery is so vibrant and colourful. She has this extraordinary ability to create dream-like kaleidoscopic worlds in a really raw and honest way.
Coral Lands is open until July 1, 2018 at Saint Cloche in Sydney.
See full article here
Tags coral lands, vogue artist, vogue living, vogue, vogue magazine, artist, artist profile, artist interview, interview, photographer, photographic artist
The Design Files - Lilli Waters
June 21, 2018
TDF - Lilli Waters' underwater Coral Lands
by Sally Tabart
An exhibition of ethereal works from Melbourne-based photographer Lilli Waters exploring underwater lands.
Underwater landscapes and their inhabiting creatures have long been a source of mysticism and wonderment. Disney’s The Little Mermaid invited us to explore the treasures of a mermaid’s world, David Attenborough’s Blue Planet is one of the most widely-loved documentary series of all time, and the idea of the mythical underwater city, Atlantis, has fascinated human’s since Plato’s Socratic dialogues.
Lilli Waters’ latest exhibition, Coral Lands, explores the strange beauty in deep ocean realms and the fragility of marine life. Coral, live rock and flowers combined with bright colours and night sky backgrounds have been used to create Lilli’s own underwater wonderlands. Elements of lunar influence are also felt through the presence of stars and moons in Lilli’s works, in part symbolising the cyclic, debilitating mood disorder she experiences as a sufferer of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder.
Combining these elements with bright colours and night sky backdrops, Lilli has created extraordinary, otherworldly landscapes. The themes in Coral Lands are an extension of her 2017 exhibition, Plastic Fish, and continues to draw attention to the devastating impact humans have on ocean life.
Coral Lands Lilli Waters June 20th-July 1st
Saint Cloche 37 Macdonald Street Paddington, New South Wales
Tags tdf, the design files, lilli waters, photographic artist, photographer, coral lands, interview, artist interview, design
Coral Lands opens tomorrow!
June 19, 2018
My underwater photography solo exhibition Coral Lands opens at Saint Cloche tomorrow!!
If you’re in Sydney, I would love to see your faces on opening night from 6-8pm.
Come join me for a drink 🍷
Saint Cloche, 37 McDonald St, Paddington, NSW Exhibition runs from 20th June - 1st July
For the full Catalogue, email email@example.com
Download PDF - CoralLands_SaintCloche_Cat_v2a.pdf
Coral has long been a source of fascination and mystery for early philosophers and scientists. Theophrastus, Aristotle’s pupil included them in both his book on stones, and in his Enquiries on Plants describing them as “large stony plants that reveal bright flowers when under water.” .
Pliny the elder described coral as being “neither animals nor plants, but are possessed of a third nature.”
Printing by Thirds Fine Art Printing Coral kindly supplied by James at Hifin Aquarium Florals supplied by Vasette
Photo by Hilary Walker
Tags coral lands, exhibition, sydney gallery, sydney exhibition, lilli waters, photographic artwork, artwork, saint cloche, limited edition prints
Coral Lands - Upcoming Solo Exhibition
May 18, 2018
I am very very excited to announce my upcoming solo exhibition CORAL LANDS at Saint Cloche in Sydney this Winter. This series has been a work in progress for the past six months and I can't wait to show it to you. If you're in Sydney on the 20th of June, I would love to see your faces at the opening night for a drink!
Exhibiting at Saint Cloche, Sydney
Opening night 20th June 6-8pm 37 MacDonald St, Paddington NSW Australia 20th June - 1st July 2018
Below: 'Lucid Orchid Dream' from Coral Lands
Tags coral lands, still life, underwater photography, lilli waters, exhibition, sydney exhibition, saint cloche, photographic series, photographer, photographic artist, limited edition prints, prints for sale
ABC Art Bites: 'Mirror'
April 17, 2018
ABC ART BITES ‘MIRROR’ documentary series - 2018
‘Six Australian artists embark on a nostalgic journey back to a place of their past to confront memories that will inspire a self-portrait work.’ - ABC ARTS
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. I travelled back to this place for the first time since leaving as a baby, to piece together the fleeting moments of my parents relationship and to find the mud brick home that they built together when I was a baby.
I created two self portraits in this beautiful and haunting place. One in the river where my mother swam when she was pregnant with me and one other in the mud brick house my parents built.
Stepping foot in my old house, which had now been reclaimed by nature, was a sad and beautiful thing. These self portraits for me was a collation of all of my feelings about returning to this place.”
You can view the full episode on iview -
A huge huge thank you to Producer Kate Paul, Director Brodie Poole, Cameraman Dave May & the ABC for this extraordinarily incredible and once in a lifetime experience, one I will treasure in my memory & heart for always.
Tags abc, abc iview, art bites, abc art bites, mirrir, mirror, abc documentary, artist, lilli waters, photographer, photographic artist, australian artist
'Mirror' ABC Art Bites documentary
April 12, 2018
I am very excited to announce that the 'Mirror' ABC Art Bites episode which was based on my childhood story is now available to watch on ABC iview.
I am extremely humbled to be a part of this incredible once in a lifetime opportunity, and to be invited to create a self portrait in my childhood home for this episode was an incredibly special experience.
You can view the full episode here
Tags abc tv, abc arts, arts, iview, abc, mirror, abc documentary, lilli waters, photographic artist, artist, photographer, self portrait, art bites, abc iview
Lens Culture Portrait Award 2017
March 11, 2018
'Dress & War #6' has been voted one of the top rated entries for the Lens Culture Portrait Awards for 2017.
Tags lilli waters, photographer, lens culture, portrait, portrait award
Fifty Shades Freed
February 21, 2018
Fifty Shades Freed, sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades Darker, has just been released in Cinemas worldwide, with the ‘Anja #22’ print featured in the dining room of Christian Grey’s apartment.
Take a full tour of Grey's apartment here
Tags fifty shades freed, fifty shades darker, fifty shades of grey, lilli waters, photographic artwork, limited edition print, christian grey, christian greys apartment, artwork, universal pictures, anja 22, greys apartment
Art Aesthetica Art Prize Finalist 2018
February 1, 2018
‘In Dreams’ from tje Plastic Fish series has been selected as a finalist in the Art Aesthetica Art Prize for 2018.
‘In Dreams’ will be screened in the Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 17 May - 30 September, York Art Gallery, UK, and featured in the Art Aesthetica Prize Anthology.
The book showcases the work of 100 of the most exciting artists from around the world and is a dynamic guide to International Contemporary Art.
Tags art aesthetica, melbourne photographer, photographer, photographic artist, finalist, art prize, plastic fish, australian artist
Irisi Magazine - LILLI WATERS
December 21, 2017
An interview with Melbourne-based photographic artist and filmmaker Lilli Waters by Mairead Warren
One dark wintry day in Sydney, whilst aimlessly browsing on my instagram feed, I discovered Lilli’s work. Her provocative and inspiring image series ‘Plastic Fish’ instantly cut through to me, even amidst the flurry of images on my visually overloaded device.
Juxtaposing the world of selfies and filtered life porn, the images were arresting. They made me consider the tough and complicated discourse surrounding contemporary representations of beauty.
As a millennial I am greatly exposed to the rise of digital media and the control it allows us in styling and creating a personal image, which involves packaging the stories of our life into neat little parcels edited perfectly to please. It has become a fierce engine of self love, that can venture into toxic self loathing, and ultimately leads so many people to the conclusion – what or who am I doing this for?
The depths and shallows in Lilli’s work can stimulate this discussion, or they can bedazzle you with illusion and allure. Lilli says of the works ‘At first glance these images may appear to be reminiscent of still-life paintings – colourful and vibrant – but hidden (and sometimes not so hidden) are manmade materials like plastic. Plastic has found its way into every corner of our planet, it's even in our water. The plastic in these works itself has a beauty, but inherent in its presence is a darker, more destructive side.’
The work also makes comment on the state of our environment, Lilli shared with me that ‘The themes are somewhat subtle but I feel like most people sensed that the works were making a comment on the state of our current environment when they looked a bit closer.’
On the core message of the work and what the artist wanted it to reflect about society in 2017, Lilli shared ‘We live in a time where things aren’t made to last, and consumerism is the driving force behind our society. Objects we buy need to break regularly and be replaced for the system to keep functioning.’
Further to exploring the interesting and contemporary topics in the work, they are technical masterpieces and I decided to delve into understanding the process and inspiration behind the series. I asked Lilli the questions below:
How did you choose the subject matter for your photographic series Plastic Fish? I'm a big lover of water and am fascinated with the beauty and complexity of plants, so it seemed like the next step for me was to attempt making a body of work exploring and combining these elements.
Where did the inspiration for your imagery come from? This series came from a thought of “could I photograph flowers underwater?" This idea then merged with my fascination with the beauty and fragility of underwater creatures. There were many visits to markets and aquariums to find inspiration.
How did you use light and dark to tell a story in the series? I have always used a lot of darkness in my images, though this series embraces a more vivid colour, which often sits amongst dark shadows. The colours are sometimes almost fluorescent and not quite natural, vibrant and fantastical yet somehow not at ease.
Was your commercial work an influence on how you approached Plastic Fish? Yes. Usually I utilise natural light and focus on female subjects for my work, but I have found a new fascination with working in the studio using controlled lighting & being able to slow down the photo making process. Plastic Fish was photographed in this way and required quite an elaborate setup.
Plastic Fish is now out in the public domain. Has this altered the way you think or feel about the work? When these works emerged, they were not at all what I had pictured in my mind throughout the preparation. Now that they are hanging in people's homes and on gallery walls, I'm glad that I took the plunge and delved into such colourful & vibrant works. Experimenting for me is almost always going to lead to mixed feelings about the work.
Is the series complete? Yes, it was exhibited in a two week solo show at Junior Space Gallery in September. There were four works printed quite large, the largest I have printed for a show.
What are the main things that you’ve learnt about your craft through the process of Plastic Fish? Shooting underwater involves a lot of challenges and several trips to Bunnings. I learnt that it is in fact possible to eventually get the shot with fish that swim really fast!
Plastic Fish is currently on show at The Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery in exhibition STILL: National Still Life Award 2017.
Tags irisi magazine, magazine, online magazine, lilli waters, interview, artist interview, photographer, photographic artist
Contemporary Art Awards Finalist 2018
December 18, 2017
I am very excited to be announced as a Finalist in the 2018 Contemporary Art Award, with two images from the underwater Plastic Fish series, ‘In Dreams’ and ‘Our Love is Plastic’.
The online exhibition will run from 11 Jan until 11 June 2018.
Tags contemporary art awards, finalist, art award, australian art award, australian photographer, melbourne exhibition, melbourne photographer, lilli waters, online exhibition
Hunter & Folk - Lilli Waters
November 10, 2017
Art Talk // Lilli Waters
by Hande Renshaw
Melbourne-based award winning photographic artist and filmmaker Lilli Waters' photographs can easily be mistaken for paintings. Lilli's love for the Renaissance era and her muse Bill Henson, is evident in her photography, which captures layers of colour, shadow and beautiful depth. We sat down with Lilli to find out about her photographic journey and why nature's elusive beauty is such a major inspiration in her work.
Hi Lilli, tell us about when your love for photography was first sparked? Funnily enough, when I walked out of a really bad job in 2011 and couldn't find any work for six months, I took advantage of the spare hours I had on my hands and photographed my first series, Intrinsic Storms. I tied my old medium format film camera to a piece of timber, placed it over the top of a mezzanine in an old factory I was living in at the time, threaded some wire through some tubing to make an extended cable release, lay down on the concrete floor and layered the film scans with images I'd taken of stormy skies together in Photoshop. It was first time I had really allowed myself to play creatively with photo-making since studying photography nine years earlier.
Do you have a muse? Music has always been my main muse for creating. I was a musician for fourteen years, but I don't play anymore. I honestly can't picture my world without it, and am always listening to a specific artist throughout the process of creating a body of work. This helps to guide me and can really influence the mood of the work.
I've also greatly admired the work of photographer Bill Henson. The mysterious and powerful themes he portrays around youth and nature have always drawn me in, and his use of blacks, dark colours and shadowing remind me of some romantic but unsettling paintings from the Renaissance, which I so love.
Your photos are so wonderfully moody and evocative, how do you achieve this unique quality? Oh thank you, that's very kind of you to say! My aim is to recreate a fantastical scene inside the little frame of my camera. I often wait until the last flicker of dying light and then work quickly, as it doesn't seem to want to play for too long, leaving me a window of ten minutes or so until it's too dark for my camera to focus. It's often a lot of impatiently waiting for a mad rush. I’m definitely less of a technician and more someone who is driven by a spontaneous stream of light or a gust of wind, which tells me a storm is coming.
Tell us about your creative process - do you work intuitively or is it planned? The creative process for me comes in stages; ideas that are mulled over a glass of wine, listening to a favourite album, finding a time and a place, and the rest seems to sort itself out. My work is sometimes planned but I also love to allow things to happen naturally. I feel like you can plan as much as you like, but in the end, the images will most likely never come out the way you had imagined in your head. Manipulation of the original image is a huge part of my process. Sometimes I pick elements from a series of images, layering them to create the final work, and, much like I imagine a painter might feel, at times it's hard to know when it's finished.
What are you most passionate about? Nature. I was born on a commune in Wytaliba in NSW - there was no electricity, everyone grew their own produce on the land and the river was where people washed and swam. I now live in the city, but still constantly yearn to be out in the bush and close to the water. I can’t seem to get enough of nature’s elusive beauty and I feel most at home in her arms.
What are you loving at the moment? My pottery classes, the book The Body Keeps the Score - my current bible, making homemade kombucha, spring flowers on every corner in my neighbourhood and delving into old R.E.M albums.
What’s in store for you for the rest of this year? I'm very excited to be filmed for an episode of Art Bites on the ABC in November. I am also in the early stages of preparing for my next solo exhibition happening next year at Saint Cloche Gallery in Sydney. The plan at this stage is to create a body of work that follows on from my most recent Plastic Fish underwater series.
Tags magazine, blog, art blog, design blog, design, hunter and folk, photographer, interview, lilli waters, photographic artist, melbourne photographer
The Opera Magazine Vol VI
November 9, 2017
After being featured in Volume III of this extraordinarily beautiful magazine, I am so amazingly humbled to have works from the series 'As the World Falls Down' featured in the newly released Vol. VI publication of 'The Opera Magazine for Classic & Contemporary Nude Photography' for 2017, printed in Germany & featuring so many incredibly talented photographers from all over the world.
Tags nudes, the opera magazine, lilli waters, art magazine, magazine, nude photography
'Mirror Mirror' ABC Art Bites series filming in Wytaliba, NSW
October 3, 2017
I’m finding it hard to put into words the mixed feelings & overwhelming emotions I’ve experienced over the last few days, exploring for the first time since I was a baby, the Wytaliba commune I lived on.
I managed to find the mud brick house that my mother & father built with their bare hands, the orchard that they planted & the same swimming hole my mother bathed in when she was pregnant with me.
I want to thank from the bottom of my heart Producer @katepaul_inc Director @brodie_mmm Cameraman @davetallstory & local resident Carol Sparks for giving me this very surreal and once in a lifetime opportunity.
‘Mirror Mirror’ ABC Art Bites series screens in April 2018.
To my partner in crime & love of my life Jacob, thank you for your genius ness, overwhelming support and for being by my side through the ups and downs, the tears and the joy of every moment I was lucky enough to spend in this magical place, I will carry it in my heart always xx
Tags lilli waters, photographer, abc, art bites, wytaliba, commune, film, abc tv
Return to my Wytaliba childhood home on film
October 2, 2017
Stills taken onsite my Wytaliba childhood home.
'Mirror' Art Bites series screens on the ABC in April 2018.
Tags art bites, lilli waters, wytaliba, commune, abc, photographer, film
Opening night for STILL: National Still Life Award
September 30, 2017
Unbelievably humbled to be a part of STILL: National Still Life Award opening night at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery tonight!
I was blown away by the extremely high calibre of talent in one room!!
A huge congratulations to winner Sarah Goffman with her beautiful contemporary reproductions of ceramic pieces using plastic, so very clever & what a gorgeous acceptance speech.
A huge thanks the judge Lisa Slade, curator Jo Besley & Co-ordinator Cath Fogarty, as well as all of the helpers & volunteers for putting on such a wonderful evening, what an incredible honour.
The STILL exhibition at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery will run from November until January 18th 2018.
Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, Rigby House, Cnr Coff & Duke Sts, Coffs Harbour.
'Our Love is Plastic' from the Plastic Fish series is a finalist amongst 62 amazing artworks.
Here are all of the finalists.
Tags plastic fish, lilli waters, photography, underwater photography, national still life award, art award, coffs harbour, our love is plastic, photographer
Finalist - National Still Life Award
September 29, 2017
I am completely and utterly surprised and humbled to learn that I have been selected as a finalist in the National Still Life Award with my image 'Our Love is Plastic' 2017, Archival Pigment print, 115.15 x 111.21cm.
Opening night at the Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, 25th November.
The Still: National Still Life Award 2017is a newly biennial, acquisitive award for works in the genre of still life, in all mediums, and is open to artists at all stages of their careers.
The Award offers $20,000 for the major award and $5,000 for the People’s Choice Award.
Still seeks to highlight the diversity and vitality of still life in Australian contemporary art practice, broadening the interpretation of this enduring genre. With art historian Frances Woodley’s definition that still life is “the representation of objects in space in relation to a surface … a representation, a reflection, a transformation and a revelation of the objects around us” as a starting point, the award encourages artists to explore, among others, still life themes of ‘memento mori’, the everyday and the passage of time, life and death.
The 2017 Finalists:
Tony Albert, Louise Allerton, Kelly Austin, Tanya Baily, Elie Begg, Annette Blair, Rene Bolten, Mechelle Bounpraseuth, Terri Butterworth, Fran Callen, Tom Carment, Angela Casey, Tiffany Cole, Karl de Waal, Trisha Dean, Mary Donnelly, Scott Duncan, Sarah Edmondson, Nicolette Eisdell, Merran Esson, Ben Fayle, Guy Gilmour, Sarah Goffman, Ronnie Grammatica, Linda Greedy, Colleen Greig-Canty, Vanessa Holle, Alana Hunt, Susan Jacobsen, Laura Jones, Helle Jorgensen, Paul Kalemba, Laura E. Kennedy, Myriam Kin-Yee, Zai Kuang, Michael Langley, Sam Leach, Kellie Leczinska, Alison Mackay, Josh Mackenzie, Kiata Mason, Julian Meagher, Robert Moore, Stephen Nothling, Susan O'Doherty, Sarah O'Sullivan, Sassy Park, Victoria Reichelt, Elvis Richardson, Damien Shen, Brendan Smith, Tim Snowdon, Richard Spoehr, Vipoo Srivilasa, Nathan Taylor, Samantha Thompson, Anselm van Rood, Prue Venables, Lilli Waters, Kati Watson, Greg Weight, Mirra Whale, Cleo Wilkinson
Tags still life, national still life award, lilli waters, art award, australian artist, australian photographer, photographic artist, photographer, underwater photography
Plastic Fish Exhibition
September 22, 2017
21st September — 3rd October, 2017 Junior Space 65 Smith Street, Fitzroy
THANK YOU to all the lovely people for coming to the Plastic Fish opening on the 21st! It was a full house!!
Huge thank you's to my sponsors Icon Frames for the gorgeous black hand-made frames, Kayell Australia for the beautiful Platine Rag paper, and delicious Fury & Son and Starward Whiskey for quenching everyone's thirsts.
Thank you to legends Tim & Ness from Thirds Fine Art Printing for their persistence & incredible help in getting these prints looking their best.
Plastic Fish is is on until the 3rd of October at Junior Space, 65 Smith St Fitzroy, open Tues - Sat.
ARTISTS STATEMENT -
Plastic Fish is an underwater photographic series with still life botanical arrangements and living creatures existing alongside man made plastics, seeking to represent a truth and vulnerability of the current state of our natural world.
This series of images is an invitation into a vibrant world abundant with iridescent objects, where fish dwell amongst opulent florals, an illusion of beauty & life.
Depth and space evoke a sense of the mysterious and time appears to slow down.
Beneath the surface, beauty reveals a darker truth, fragility, futility and the acute vulnerability of nature at the hands of humans, as we overwhelm all living things with our own disposable culture.
Tags melbourne exhibition, plastic fish, art exhibition, lilli waters, photography exhibition, still life, underwater photography
The Design Files
September 21, 2017
TDF - Lilli Waters & Jacob Cole
by Lucy Feagins
Today we visit the home of photographic artist Lilli Waters and her husband Jake Cole, a musician, in Pascoe Vale in Melbourne’s North.
The house-proud couple have been living in their much loved two bedroom art deco house for around 18 months. Together, they’ve created a warm, eclectic, multi-layered home which speaks to their many passions – art and photography, music, food, friends and pets!
The Pascoe Vale home of photographic artist Lilli Waters and her husband Jake Cole, a musician, is full of character and creative energy. Here, amongst a jungle of luscious indoor plants and a seriously impressive collection of op-shop treasure, Lilli’s haunting photographic artworks adorn the walls, alongside artworks and handcrafted objects by creative family and friends. Lilli also has a home studio here, whilst Jake’s ever-expanding guitar and amp collection slowly commands more floorspace!
‘The deal was when we moved in, that I got the second bedroom as my studio, and poor Jake got the linen cupboard for his giant collection of guitar pedals’ Lilli explains. ‘He loves that cupboard, it’s like his man den, or in his case, man cupboard’.
The pair previously lived in nearby Brunswick West, and were initially a little nervous about venturing into a new suburb. ‘We looked at so many houses in the area, and this one was the only one we loved’ recalls Lilli. ‘I remember after a weekend of house inspections, feeling so depressed at the falling apart shacks we had seen, we sent an email to the real estate on a Sunday basically begging for them to accept us, and they did!’. The pair wasted no time in making their new surroundings feel like home, establishing a veggie garden, and decorating with a varied mix of furniture, textiles and art.
‘You will probably be able to tell that I am quite the collector, and a bit of an op-shop nut’ Lilli confesses. ‘I’ve been collecting old stuff for about 15 years now, which is strange, because my parents were both op-shop home reno addicts and I used to hate op shops when I was a kid, I’d sit in the Kingswood bored out of my brain, but I guess it washed off!’
Lilli and Jake are also big collectors of local artwork, and have amassed a huge collection of paintings and photographs by talented family and friends. Amongst these are artworks by Lilli’s sister Camille Moir Smith of Carpenter’s Daughter, her mother Mali Moir’s botanical paintings, as well as paintings and prints by Bobby Clarke, Sarah Hendy & Lisa Sorgini to name a few. Alongside these much loved pieces are a few restored artworks too, including a sad poppy painting that was torn and left abandoned in a secondhand hand shop, but which Lilli rescued and had restored. ‘It’s as good as new!’ Lilli says! ‘I love finding old things and giving them life again… it reminds me of how something abandoned and broken can always be fixed and loved again.’
Lilli and Jake love coming home to their house, and feel it is a a space which really nurtures both of their creative spirits. ‘I’m very much drawn to the organic feel of this house’ Lilli muses. ‘It has such a warm feeling, and makes you feel safe and at home as soon as you walk in the door’.
‘We are renting, but we love spending time on making our home a beautiful and warm place to come home to, where we can grow things in our garden, create & make music.’
See more here
Tags the design files, lilli waters, photographer, photographic artist, tdf, design, real homes
Plastic Fish Opening Night
September 16, 2017
I am very excited to be a part of the Curatorial & Co. family as a new artist today!!
Tags lilli waters, photographer, photographic artist, still life, artworks, exhibition, art exhibition, photographic prints, plastic fish, our love is plastic, the other side
Curatorial & Co.
January 2, 2017
I am very excited to be a part of the Curatorial & Co. family as a new artist today!!
Tags lilli waters, curatorial and co, artworks, artworks for sale, photography, limited edition print
- Metro Gallery Summer Group Exhibition
- Chapter One Group Exhibition
- Ritual Practice Modern Times Xmas group exhibition
- Film Clip - Jacob Cole - The Driver
- The Opéra Magazine for Classic & Contemporary Nude Photography Volume VIII
- Art Thy Neighbour Interview
- Shortlisted, Australian Photography Awards 2019
- Finalist, Now Contemporary Art Award
- Finalist, Iris Award
- Finalist, Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize