Since spending time in Europe, I have an abiding interest in history, and Aimee’s photos display a similar interest. You may see them as dress-ups but I didn’t. To me, they were an attempt to enter the world of another era through self-presentation. It was said that clothing maketh the man. I’m a daggy Aussie male of a dressed-down era so I’ve come to this late, but these days I’m developing a respect for fashion as personal expression. Some influences are the Grace Kelly : style icon exhibition at the V&A in London (now at the Bendigo Art Gallery), the self-presentation of a few locals and a film on the NY fashion photographer Bill Cunningham that I saw just last week. In her bedroom studio, Aimee entered the world of Leonardo and Mona Lisa, Vermeer, Caravaggio, Enlightenment males, Eighteenth Century women. Her colours and backgrounds and emotional surroundings display some very capable technique in lighting and photoshopping but, more importantly, I felt the results are nicely true to the spirit of the originals. But Aimee is also exploring other ground and I only realised the extent of it as I explored her website. She’s not just exploring herself in history but also closer relationships by putting herself in the shoes of the other. Most of these pics are monochrome and undemonstrative, but they are close to home. She appears in one series as her brother with heaby metal windcheaters and makeup suggesting facial hair. She presents another as herself as Narcissus, naked and mirrored. She appears as her mother in childbirth, this time in a glorious Caravaggian chiaroscuro. It’s both intriguing and touching and I much enjoyed the exhibition and my later research on her website. Aimee was the winner of a Canberra Grammar Gallery prize for emerging artists that led to this worthy exhibition.
Thanks to Aimee for permission to publish her photographs