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. www.lilliwaters.com.
Leeds Art Gallery reopens to the public after undergoing restorative work on its roof for nearly two years, with an exciting 2017 programme.
Glenn Ligon: Encounters and Collisions, Tate Liverpool
Glenn Ligon, one of America’s most significant contemporary artists, has curated a show which could be deemed his ‘ideal museum’. Featured artists include Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.