LYDIA WEGNER's photographic practice examines the tradition of still life in a contemporary, consumer driven society. Her careful compositions suspend objects of the everyday in a state of limbo, their teetering balance reinforcing the fragility and ephemerality of items that would often be discarded as rubbish.
By valorising these quotidian tokens of our day-to-day life, Wegner reflects on the haste with which society discards that which is deemed expendable. From her works, reference can be made to the Italian art movement Arte Povera, which employed unconventional materials and styles and attacked the corporate and consumer driven mentality of society.
In keeping with this investigation of the valuable versus the valueless, Wegner’s works invoke a sense of stasis. Their complete stillness brings an eerily beautiful tension to the space depicted, and the objects appear to await the slightest movement, which would cause the entire image to collapse. The unnatural stillness, which pervades the compositions also imbues an element of absence, or waiting, lending a sense of the perpetual to objects that are generally considered only temporary fixtures within our lives.
There is also the uneasy sense that boundaries are neither present nor absent in these works. Space appears both infinite, and overwhelmingly tangible, and as the viewer, we cannot tell whether the objects are suspended in infinite space or constricted within the confines of set parameters. Shadows are disembodied from the objects that cast them, and reflections are distorted by the nuanced space within which they are set.
Recent solo exhibitions include Silver Shadow, Bus Projects, 2016; Assemble Colour, ARC ONE Gallery, 2014; and Folded Colour, Centre for Contemporary Photography, 2013. Group exhibitions include: In the White Square, ARC ONE Gallery, 2016; Is/Is Not, Westspace, 2016; Genteel Notions, LON Gallery, 2016; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, 2013- 14; Das Boot, Next Wave, 2014; Fundraiser Exhibition, Centre of Contemporary Photography, 2013; Low Relief, Seventh Gallery, 2012; FotoFreo (Fremantle Festival of Photography), FutureGen12, Fremantle, 2012; and Art of the Ordinary, ARC ONE Gallery, 2011. She was a Finalist in the 2016 & 2015 Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award, and was a Finalist in the 2015 Churchie National Emerging Art Prize. In 2010, she was a Finalist in the Wallara Travelling Scholarship Prize, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Victorian College of the Arts, and in 2013 she was a Finalist in the Keith and Elizabeth Murdoch Scholarship Prize. Wegner was also awarded a Hill End Artist Residency through Bathurst Regional Art Gallery in 2013. Her work is held in the collections of the Monash Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Victoria and Artbank.
Visit Lydia Wegner's website.