From Sharne Wolff...
Survey is Deborah Paauwe’s first show with Michael Reid. The Gallery plans to give Sydney audiences an overview of the South Australian photographer’s artistic practice and will exhibit a taste of Pauuwe’s work from six series’ made since 2002. Viewers may recognise some earlier work in Survey and, in particular, Tarnished Spiral and Exquisite Wheel, part of the Carousel series in 2008 and later celebrated on the internet.
Although she’s lived in Australia since her teens, Paauwe has mixed Chinese and Dutch background, was born in Pennsylvania USA and travelled widely as a child. In her most recent series The Painted Mirror (exhibited here in full), young girls and women pose before rich blue backdrops in carnivalesque costumes. There’s a timeless theatrical atmosphere to these shots, while the identity of the subject is left to the imagination. As is typical of Paauwe’s images, and as a nod to her Chinese heritage, each model holds either a vintage style mirror or a fan that obscures her face. The props themselves are illustrated in turn with paintings of romantic and exotic landscapes, traditional portraits or still life vases filled with roses. The narrative in each photograph might have begun with a personal experience but Paauwe seduces the viewer by creating an aura of mystery.
Until December 1
Michael Reid Gallery, Elizabeth Bay
Pic: Deborah Paauwe, Eastern Light, 2012. Giclee print 75.0 x 75.0 cm edition 1/10. Courtesy the artist and Michael Reid Gallery.