image: 'Untitled' 2017-2018 Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
To both have an afternoon meandering round Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery and then to hear an hour's talk by Bill Henson himself made my weekend very special.
The works are all we have come to expect of this world-renowned photographer; dark, enigmatic, sensual, evocative and utterly beautiful and the 28 works on display ranged from imagery of moody, unearthly teenagers to landscapes and architectural ruins that seem to live on the very edge of our imaginations.
image: 'Untitled' 2016-2017 Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
A crowded gallery hung on every word of Henson’s talk as he spoke about his studio technique; how he finds his models – they tend to find him; and how he Photoshops obsessively to perfect the shadowy, sculptural quality of his works.
Henson shared that he feels his images ‘exist just on the other side of reality’, and also, more personally, how 2008 is not remembered by him as the year when his works were confiscated by State and Federal Police, but for when he went from analogue image manipulation to digital!
For the rest of us, that seizure of Henson's work in 2008 was of course what we remembered and I couldn't help wondering how affected the seemingly nonchalant artist was by such brutal and public censure. Is it possible to return to the same relationship you had to your work previous to such a vile insinuation?
Do catch this exhibition. It is like walking through an impossibly beautiful dreamscape of bewitching, glowing children who live in ancient ruins, age-old stories and in the the shadow regions of our minds.
Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery
until 8 June 2019