In his current exhibition at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Paddington, the subjects of Bill Henson's photographs — young people, Roman buildings, the Italian landscape — tend to be illuminated by moonlight or captured during crepuscular moments, but one particular work in the show jolts me from this dark reverie. Viewed from among the shadows, the columns of a Classical building frame a white lozenge of sunlit sky beyond. The form suggests a figure, a coffin, a keyhole, an exclamation mark. Placed directly opposite the entrance to the main gallery, this shaft of light becomes a startling portal in an exhibition where sinuous landscapes of human figures are interwoven with explorations of often crumbling European architecture. The androgynous bodies in Henson's works bear a patina of dirt and sweat, echoing the lichen and moss which has made itself at home amongst the ruins depicted elsewhere. Upon close inspection of these large, unframed photos, one can see the tiny speckles of colour that are layered to produce a coppery effect from the dirt-streaked skin.
Bill Henson’s Photograph of a Floating Girl Captured My Own Teenage Longing
Bill Henson’s Photograph of a Floating Girl Captured My Own Teenage Longing - ELEPHANT
Opening tonight at the elegant Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in the heart of Paddington is an exhibition of photographs by Bill Henson, featuring naked 12 and 13 year-olds. The invitation to the exhibition features a large photo of a girl, the light shining on her hair, eyes downcast, dark shadows on her sombre, beautiful face, and the budding breasts of puberty on full display, her hand casually covering her crotch Miranda Devine, "Moral backlash over sexing up of our children", Sydney Morning Herald 22 May This strange photograph is disturbing. We are compelled to look, and look again…The power of the image comes from the striking beauty of [the girl's] facial features, superb in definition, held against the abjection of her body Roger Benjamin, "The Henson Defence", The Australian , 31 May The content contains an image of breast nudity that … creates a viewing impact that is mild and justified by context.
Photos ~ Bill Henson
Buy Issue A new piece will be published every two weeks on both Elephant and Artsy. Together, our publications want to celebrate the personal and transformative power of art. I took the train with my Dad down to London for the show, from an Essex coastal hometown where the evening light did hold a kind of a power, something beautiful and electric on certain nights.
Dne Dne 6. Dne 4.