Emerging Selection 2011: Australian Photographer Alix PERRY
Born in Australia.
Works and lives in Queensland, Australia.
Her website: https://www.alixperry.com.au/www.alixperry.com
Australian Photographer Alix Perry joins the group of minimalist/naturalist photographers like famous Canadian photographer Laura Letinsky. Each scene is highly composed. In “I sowed a seed ” series some natural elements like watermelon, orange are shown in an unusual way that give a sens of extreme sophistication to the composition. A hand squeezes so hard each natural element you’d think it is an extension of torment.
“I sowed a seed” Series 2010
|To the core….||Watermelon
INTERVIEW WITH ALIX PERRY
B.Ch: In 2010 you jumped into another dimension. You introduce an interesting narrative drama in your photographs. Can you explain?
Alix PERRY: As a young woman in the twenty-first century, my experience is we are less natural than we have ever been, however the woman-nature parallel is still used as a metaphor, present in various forms of visual culture today. In a bid to discover my own relationship to nature and question the relevance of the woman-nature parallel, I used the medium of photography as a basis for my investigation to discover my place, in history’s feminization of women. I aimed to do this by dismantling the various metaphors the woman-nature relationship has created. Through challenging or estranging the idea of woman-nature, my controlled use of aggression, consumption and utilization of natural objects indicate the way in which culture can be used against itself to disrupt the harmony of the woman-nature relationship.
B.Ch: Concerning the last series “I sowed a seed”, you create a special paradoxical mood, both genuine and total artifact. Can you explain how you choose each item you put to play with you?
Alix PERRY: The objects chosen to be manipulated in the image have are mostly chosen subconsciously and are not necessarily everyday objects. The objects are familiar to me as a young Australian woman and have been present in my upbringing in one-way or another. Growing up in modern day Australia, I have been exposed to many introduced species of natural objects, including exotic fruits and flowers, English gardens as well as my own Australian native plants. The introduced plants always dominated. Family gardens almost always had beautiful flowers, manicured lawns and hedges; the Australian native garden had failed to be a part of my upbringing. This is reflected in my photographs.
Most of the natural objects used are universal, and I guess for me, I have always felt that Australia as a young country lacks any cultural identity and to some degree, so do I. Thus in the image the natural objects can reference many things; paradise, the exotic, the beautiful, and the innocent.
B.Ch: The title of your photograph is part of the creative process, can you develop?
Alix PERRY: As I am working on a series, I sketch my ideas on paper in a journal then name them according to the narrative that plays in my head as the idea develops.
B.Ch: The color white is dominant in your works, what does mean to you?
Alix PERRY: I always find it strange that my works are very pastel and white in appearance. I never intentionally set out to create the works in this way, as for those who know me, I am always dressed in dark colors, so the result is always surprising on reflection. As for this particular body of work, when it developed, the paleness of the image became an important factor to express femininity, especially when my gestures within the frame became aggressive. Photography also allows me to play a character within myself that I am not all that familiar with, a feminine character.
B.Ch: When do you stop a series?
Alix PERRY: It is difficult to say as it depends on how well the series is going or if I am ready to give up! I guess it is instinctual as well, there is a certain feeling, when everything comes together and you know that one or two more photographs may complete the process.
B.Ch: Is there an Australian school of Photography like we say for Helsinki school?
Alix PERRY: Australia is such a large country that the artists are really separated by the state they live in. Although there is no official recognition of any schools of photography, I feel there are some differences between each state in terms of style and content. In Queensland, where I live and work, we have a strong photographic community and there are some fantastic mid-career and emerging photographic artists.
B.Ch: Who are your favorite photographers?
Alix PERRY: My favorite photographers, that is always difficult question for me as I go through love affairs with different artists as a new project develop. From my most recent series, 19th & 20th century painting was a huge influence, however photographically, a long term favorite and current obsession would be Robert & Shana Parke-Harrison…. amazing. Consistent favorites include Francesca Woodman, Graciela Iturbide, Emmet Gowin, Claude Cahun, Sally Mann, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Laura Letinsky. I would have to say, that I am equally engaged in art across a diverse range of mediums, all of which are influential to my practice.