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Siri Hayes

“In my practice I am concerned with investigating notions of landscape, portraiture, the history of art and exploring the unique qualities associated with the photographic medium.

Landscape, particularly the Australian, and the way in which human history has created ways of interpreting, looking and framing it is a theme I continually return to. I am interested that by applying certain composition devices I can frame, for example, an overgrown and weedy natural area in the northern suburbs of Melbourne to look like a sublime European Romantic landscape painting. Also intriguing is that the inclusion of certain props or subject matter such as children in a specific kind of gum-treed bush setting can allude to ‘Lost Children’. That there are certain cultural indicators that make something particularly Australian, European or from an historic period that are at odds with contemporary experience and reality is a fascinating area for creative exploration.

I am also interested with the illusive and deceptive quality of photography and the photographic surface. That a 2D surface can become believable and undeniable evidence that something has occurred or exists in reality is fascinating. That in much of photographic history the camera and photographer are somehow invisible to an unfolding scene is a part of this deception and illusion. In my work I like to draw attention to this by overtly posing my subjects or having them directly address the viewer. Often their placement or pose within the composition is taken from familiar paintings from the history of art and in this way the viewer can make associations with things beyond the image frame. In my work the subject's setting can become a stage to act-out unknown narratives for the viewer.”

(Siri Hayes 2006)