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  • Writer's pictureFiona Prior

Bill Henson. Love, passion and exploding supernovas ...

Updated: Mar 22, 2021

I’m sure everyone remembers their first crush, and even more fondly, their first requited love. That electrical current when hands inadvertently touched; the feeling of drowning in a kiss or losing yourself to an embrace.

image: 'Untitled' 2003-2021, courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery


The latest Bill Henson exhibition is all that. Here again are Henson’s signature beautiful young ones at the cusp of emotional and sexual discovery; their frisson lighting a million stars (or streetlights) from a universe that they have entirely forgotten in the wonder of their awakening desire.


The deeply shadowed scenes of these beautiful young creatures are almost sculptural (a compositional approach intrinsic to Henson’s work) and remind us that these desires have been awakening since the first humans walked the earth.


Henson captures the timeless quality of those longing looks and tender caresses – we can’t but help think of archetypal young love and those wonderful love stories that are mythical, Shakespearean … and playing our in every teenagers’ life!

image: 'Untitled' 2001-2021, courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery

As desperately romantic – and timeless – as a stolen kiss, you will remember the feeling of your first infatuation and those moments you thought life would stop if your love was not returned. And, as always, you will be in awe of the evocative beauty of Bill Henson’s work.


Bill Henson

until 1 April 2021

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Fiona Prior
Fiona Prior
Mar 22, 2021

I feel the same James. Henson's work is such a celebration of life and youth and passion and beauty 🌹

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james.king5
james.king5
Mar 22, 2021

A lovely review Fiona- I wish I could get to Sydney to see it.

Although I’m over eighty, your first sentence and Henson’s exquisite photography transported me back to my teens.

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