Bleached Gothic by Petrina Hicks
The first major survey exhibition of celebrated Australian photographer Petrina Hicks, it includes more than 40 photograph and video works spanning the period 2003 to 2019. Seen together for the first time, Hicks’s shimmering and often surreal compositions convey the inherent ambiguity and complexity of the female experience.
Included in the exhibition are five video works that play with the concept of slow time. Presented side by side, the photographs and the videos appear remarkably similar, but the video heightens the viewers’ sense of unease, transforming what in real life might be a beautiful moment into something menacing when replayed in a measured slow loop. In these videos, Hicks moves just beyond the two-dimensionality of the photograph, stretching out a single moment in an act of durational photography.
In her contemporary art practice, Hicks draws on the aesthetics and techniques she developed during her previous career as a commercial photographer. She recreates the allure of advertising and portraiture in her impeccably pristine images. Women, girls, and animals are recurring subjects Hicks's photographs take inspiration from mythology and art history.
Tony Ellwood AM, Director, National Gallery of Victoria said, “We are proud to present the first in-depth exploration of the work of Australian artist Petrina Hicks, providing audiences unprecedented insight into her work and place in contemporary photography.”