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Deborah Paauwe

Deborah Paauwe’s photographs are imbued with childhood memories and feelings. “They are not necessarily directly autobiographical but rather conjure recollections of how it felt to be young, growing up, with life in a state of flux. Each body of work features anonymous female players - sometimes a child, sometimes an adolescent, sometimes a young woman. In each there is an interplay between the qualities of her costume, her apparent age and the narratives suggested by her body language. However, each series has had a quite distinct tone – sometimes vivid in colour or florid in pattern, at others soft, sugary and diffuse.” (Alasdair Foster, “Dark Fables”, 2004 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, catalogue essay, Art Gallery of South Australia, February - May 2004.)

Issues of femininity, sexuality, power, fantasy and voyeurism pervade Paauwe’s work. Through costume, veiling, performance and a potent atmosphere of ambiguity, Paauwe examines the complex and often fraught relations between the child, femininity and the camera.