MODERN TIMES 'My Heirloom' Lilli Waters

MODERN TIMES - My Heirloom: Lilli Waters

“In celebration of The New Heirlooms, our Christmas campaign which celebrates the notion of giving and receiving treasured gifts, we take a moment to chat with artist, Lilli Waters, about an item she treasures and how it came into her life.

Melbourne-based Lilli Waters comes from a family line of women artists. Her mother is a well-regarded botanical artist, and her grandmother was a photojournalist during the Vietnam War and a former Australian of the Year. With such a profound artistic upbringing it’s no surprise Lilli holds dear a special brooch, inherited from her late Grandmother.”

Can you please tell us about something special you treasure, perhaps it was handed down to you or you would like to see it passed on?

This brooch belonged to my late Grandmother, Elaine Joyce Moir. She was an extraordinary woman, an activist, a photo journalist in the war, a former Australian of the Year, and my rock & inspiration as a child growing up. She wasn’t big on jewellery, she only wore brooches and had a very small collection of pieces which she loved dearly. She would wear it with a soft cream high neck blouse in the 80s and with a black suit in her later years.

It makes me emotional just picturing her, she had this amazing belly chuckle which still brings such a huge smile to my face. It was handed down to me along with some of her other possessions. As a little girl, I would sit & go through her jewellery & lipstick boxes, and I remember thinking that this brooch in particular as being so fancy and grown up. She also left me her art deco jewellery box & hand mirror, which sit on my bedside table. I treasure them very very much.

I’m not exactly sure which year the brooch is from, but we suspect it’s from either the Victorian period or early 1900s, and that the face carved out of shell is that of Goddess Diana. Diana was the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature in Roman mythology, associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. The crescent moon in her hair, worn as a diadem, is a major clue that it is indeed the goddess. We also suspect that the brooch was a gift to my Grandmother, given to her by my late second cousin before he died.

It is extraordinarily beautiful & very special, as Elaine was to me. I intended on wearing it on my wedding day, but sadly couldn’t see it at the bottom of the jewellery box on the particular day!



Hi everybody!

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
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 🙂

Lilli x


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.



I am super excited to have works selected to be a part of the Modern Times Summer Series!

Celebrate art with the Summer Series, a fresh collection of inspirational pieces by our emerging and accomplished artists from across Australia. We have new release Modern Times Editions complemented by a suite of new originals across various mediums and styles by Modern Times favourites Stacey ReesEmma LipscombeEllie MalinKate DambachKayleigh HeydonRia GreenIrene Grishin SelzerElizabeth Barnett with new artists Taj Alexander (Deams) and Lilli Waters. Refresh, collect, or begin dropping hints to the right person leading into the festive season, with lay-by options available. Shop the full series below now!

See artworks here - Modern Times - Summer Series

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The Design Files
’The Luxury of Landscape’
By Sally Tabart

Curated by artist and designer Aneka MannersThe 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

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Three weeks from today, 'The Luxury of Landscape' multi-disciplinary exhibition opens at the Palazzo Pandolfini in Florence, Italy.

I'm very excited to be exhibiting a new body of work alongside some incredibly talented artists.

If you happen to be in Italy from the 4th - 18th of October, please come and say ciao.

Soundtrack - Jacob Cole


Capture Magazine - Sep/Oct 2018 issue


Waters finds some element of failure in all her images. There's things that haven't resulted in her initial vision, but she sees this as a natural component of her creative process. "I often look back at old work and think, 'Wow' so average', but it's all a learning experience, and you can't grow and improve if you don't experiment and take big risks in your work," she says. She resists having a 'go to' that she knows will work as it wouldn't bring challenges, and she'd get bored and not grow creatively. Despite her ability to look and grow from her failures, Waters has days when she feels as if she should quit and that everything she makes is 'shit'. Still, she pushes on and takes opportunities to create new images. There's in incessant drive to create inside Waters. This allows her to reach above and beyond failure.



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 

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'Hyper' Group Exhibition // 222 Roslyn gallery

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

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.

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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

Lilli x 



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.

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VOGUE - Lilli Waters

VOGUE // 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


The Design Files - Lilli Waters

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 Fishand 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


Coral Lands opens tomorrow!

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

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


Coral Lands - Upcoming Solo Exhibition

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


ABC Art Bites: 'Mirror'

ABC Art Bites: MIRROR Series 1, Episode 1

I journeyed back to Wytaliba, a community just outside of Glen Innes, NSW, where I was born, 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 & haunting place. One in the river where my mother used to swim when she was pregnant with me and another in the mud brick house which my parents built with their bare hands. 

Stepping foot in my old house, which has now been reclaimed by nature, was a sad and beautiful thing. This self portrait for me was a collation of all of my feelings about this place.

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.

You can view the full episode here

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'Mirror' ABC Art Bites documentary

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

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