Bill Heimerman: photographer and director of The Photographers’ Gallery…
Rape is a subject that is too often treated as shameful and taboo. Without Consent aims to raise awareness about this serious matter and open a conversation to discuss the issue of rape culture and its cycle throughout our history. As a rape victim herself, Anjella Roessler uses personal experiences to connect with the trauma experienced in the past as well as through to the present day. Her practice uses traditional and experimental photographic methodologies to create imagery that is in conversation with both the past and present. Historical research is paramount to her practice. It combines with her own experimental visual outcomes to investigate our connection, or lack of, with traumatic events. Without Consent examines the sexual abuse of women in Victoria, in both early colonial times and current day, questioning the lack of significant changes to the traumas perpetrated on so many women. In-depth research through newspapers and archives locates stories and sites. Specimens of flora are then removed from these locations; the violence of the removal is reminiscent of historical trauma perpetrated. These specimens are then used to create camera-less lumen prints in which the flowers take on shapes of the scars that continue to occur in a never-ending cycle.
Using locations around Victoria including Geelong, Melbourne, Ballarat, Daylesford and Bendigo, Geelong based photographer Anjella Roessler, herself a rape survivor, created the beautiful delicate images by using plants found at the locations where rapes have occurred from 1836 to the present day.
Roessler says “Using plants from locations of rapes, I have sought to substitute the lingering traces of DNA in the molecules of the soil and air in which the plant has grown, for my subjects. Several of the images are created from stories local to Geelong. My own is included.”
The Papermill Gallery. Fyansford, Geelong. 16 May – 6 June 2021
Anjella Roessler is a Geelong artist. She graduated from Deakin University (Creative Art – Photography) with First Class Honours in 2018, and Photography Studies College with an MA (Photography) in 2020. Her photographic practice explores the intersection of trauma and narrative and is informed by historical research. Roessler’s work has been shown at Gallery 19 in Massachusetts, at the Astrolight Festival at Scienceworks Museum, and in Noir Gallery in Coburg. She has been a feature artist at the Under the Blue Moon Festival in NSW and her images have been featured in publications such as Fiend, Lucky, The Hand, and Intrepid Magazines.
Photograph above: Rape of Anjella Roessler 1994. 2019 lumen print.
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