Fifty Shades Freed

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

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Art Aesthetica Art Prize Finalist 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.

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Irisi Magazine - LILLI WATERS

Irisi Magazine

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!

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Plastic Fish is currently on show at The Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery in exhibition STILL: National Still Life Award 2017.

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Contemporary Art Awards Finalist 2018

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.

Hunter & Folk - Lilli Waters

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.

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The Opera Magazine Vol VI

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.

 

National Still Life Award

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

 

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Plastic Fish Exhibition

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.

Lill x 

 

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.

 

The Design Files

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

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