Yesterday I was invited to preview the joint opening of Bleached Gothic and Olympia at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Federation Square, showcasing the work of acclaimed female Australian photographers Polixeni Papapetrou and Petrina Hicks which was breathtakingly beautiful and thought-provoking.
Olympia: Photographs by Polixeni Papapetrou is the first major museum retrospective of acclaimed Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetrou (1961–2018). Drawing from the NGV Collection and the artist’s estate, the exhibition comprises photographs of the artist’s daughter Olympia. From her birth (1997) until her mother’s death last year, Olympia played a central role in Papapetrou’s image-making, variously assuming the complex roles of model and muse, collaborator and champion.
Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic is the first major survey of celebrated Australian photographer Petrina Hicks, who is known for her beautifully stylised and often surreal photographs that convey the inherent ambiguity and complexity of the female experience. Drawing on mythology and art history, Hicks’ works rely almost exclusively on the ethereal nature of her models (including an albino cabaret dancer, snakes and an award-winning hairless cat) and are imbued with the tension between seduction and danger, familiarity and strangeness, intimacy and distance. 27 Sep 19 – 15 Mar 20 NGV Australia