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Orpheus features a series of 10 large-scale photographs and moving image artworks, which were elaborately constructed underwater using shells, fish and flowers, and the female form. The striking objects emerge from a dark waterscape, to create other-worldly ethereal visuals.

Offering a nuanced mix of hope and despair, promise and foreboding, this series of photographic vignettes was created during a lockdown reprieve in mid-2021, when Melbourne residents thought they were at last free from government restrictions. While invoking a sense of entrapment, this series invites the viewer to move beyond the darkness and towards the light.

Flowers emerging out of darkness, reminiscent of the Dutch masterpieces of the 17th century are a reminder of the transitory nature of everything.  Floating alongside the blossoms are jewel-like creatures and shells, dramatically shrouded by golden nets and sheets of suffocating cellophane.

“We are living through an age where our lens on the world must constantly shift and refocus as new ideas, crises, social movements and the natural environment rapidly changes.

A level of poetic consciousness is required to navigate this new world and at times hopeless landscape. Orpheus was a poet, a prophet and a musician in Greek mythology who at the end of his life worshipped no god but the sun.

For these images, I wanted Orpheus to be a woman who is glistening oracle-like, asleep on a dark sandscape. The viewer is invited to embrace their own mortality and energy for change simultaneously. To dare to be one’s own illumination—like a transient point of light in a night sky.”

©2022 Lilli Waters. All works and content copyright Lilli Waters. All rights reserved.