Personal Celebration

The windswept drama of the carefully composed, haunting landscapes of Melbourne-based artist Lilli Waters (b. 1983) is interspersed with predominantly female figures whose incandescent skin, enshrouded in jewel-toned fabrics and illuminated by firelight, offsets the water-logged darkness of their surroundings. At first glance the photographs appear laden with doomed romance and a macabre eroticism. It is only on closer inspection that the viewer begins to glean a message of empowerment. The images are delicate and audacious, offering insight into the complexity of their inhabitants, just as the elemental background evokes a sense of foreboding. Waters challenges the conditioning of women in contemporary culture, which she attributes to an internalisation of sexism. Through her photographs, Waters encourages self-acceptance, emotional awareness and defiant celebration in her subjects and, subsequently, in herself.