The Guardian Picture Essay on line. This photographic series by…
As one of Australia’s most acclaimed photographers, Robyn Stacey has been creating spectacular and sumptuous images since the mid-1980s. Whether breathing new life into historical collections or bringing our gaze to contemporary society, her work invites us to imaginatively journey into the private worlds of other people. Since 2013, she has been transforming entire rooms into walk-in camera obscuras. Masking windows to leave just a ray of light, as if by magic, the view outside spreads over the room’s interiors, but upside down and in reverse. This dream-like moving scene does the opposite of a shadow. It casts trees, drifting clouds, even towering buildings, over the internal architecture and its inhabitant’s belongings. “It’s like being in your own private movie”, says Stacey, who photographs this inside-outside union in the fleeting minutes when light and composition are just right.
Stacey has presented work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, recently including Magic Object: The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 2016, and Robyn Stacey: Cloud Land at the Museum of Brisbane, in 2015. She has been the recipient of major awards, grants and residencies and her work is held in notable public collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Portrait Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of South Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, the New South Wales Historic Houses Trust, the City of Sydney, Samstag Museum and Artbank.
Three substantial publications, Home (2011), Museum (2007) and Herbarium (2004), beautifully capture Stacey’s fascination with artifacts and specimens, and offer unique insight into the collections of the Sydney Living Museums, the Macleay Collection of Entomology and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.
Main Photograph: Robyn Stacey, Room 710 Tower Mill Motel, 2015. Courtesy the artist
Room 3601, Sofitel on Collins, Mr Hoey (detail) 2013
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