The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Petrina Hicks

25 Aug - 10 Oct 2015

“The work in this series investigates the continuing relationship between ancient culture and contemporary life, ancient symbolism and motifs. Hicks reveals: “The human condition is ephemeral and fleeting, not permanent like marble and stone relics from the past. I’m interested in looking at how we attempt to reconcile our impermanent nature as human beings.” The photographs are reminiscent of the kinds of sculptures seen from ancient times however they are presented with a modern contemporary aesthetic. Observing depictions of objects that relate to the past can cause reflection on our transition through history and show us how significantly we have changed. The past now remains recorded in these artefacts and when photographed the narrative continues.

The photographs in The Unbearable Lightness of Being are infused with calmness and a gentle hint of oddness. In Serpentina I (2015), the subject’s ability to remain composed as a handful of snakes circulate comfortably around her fingers is a challenging scene to construct, hold and capture. The soft whites and beige colours mingle elegantly to form an environment where all elements appear to be similar, almost the same, distinguished only by the pigments of each organic texture. Detail is so precise that there is a feeling of anticipation that the subject’s hair may shift in its immaculate and pristine state. Hicks hopes that the works in the exhibition will be: “Quiet and still enough to resonate in some way.” The photographs, with their soft hues and enigmatic tones awaken curiosity. Hicks continues to create new and engaging work that leaves viewers with a wish to see more.”

-Sara Sweet, Aesthetica Magazine, May 2015