On the Couch with Lilli Waters

Lilli Waters AAR On the CouchWho is Lilli Waters?
I’m a Melbourne based artist who creates dark and ethereal photographs, melding rawness and fantasy, and often exploring femininity and the female form in nature.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would be a ballerina, a musician, a painter, a sculptor…

Who inspires you and why?
I’m generally inspired by people who do things really well, who devote their lives to something, some practice, whether it be looking at colour technique, filmmaking, building, painting. People who seem to have mastered something so overwhelmingly well yet are always curious and open to learning. I have a couple of mentor type figures and love just listening to them talk and could do so all day long. They are open and honest and willing to share. They are not only talented but kind and generous to others who wish to learn from them. These are the people who inspire me the most.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I know art can be profound and powerful and in its highest form can change peoples lives, but sometimes I wish I could be a human rights lawyer, and have the ability to see measured change and results particularly when defending vulnerable women and children in the world.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Florence, Italy. The art, food and the Tuscan countryside are enough to burn a good ole’ permanent hole in your heart.

When friends come to town, what attraction(s) would you take them to, and why?
Most of what I love about Melbourne revolves around food and art. Saturday: We’ll head to the NGV for an art fix, and then make our way to a little dark and cosy wine bar in Northcote called Joe’s Shoe Store (which once was as you may have guessed, an old shoe store), and order a pizza from Pizza Meine Liebe next door (they do a great gluten-free pizza base, too). Sunday: A trip to Nova Cinema on Lygon St to watch a new art-house film (simultaneously trying out their famous chilli choc top), perhaps followed by an Aperol Spritz and Venetian-style tapas across the road at Heart Attack & Vine, or if we’re feeling a little more peckish, a large bowl of house-made pasta would go down nicely at DOC espresso (they make the most delicious mushroom and truffle Parpadelle) accompanied by a glass of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. Mmmm, delicious. Some of my oldest friends are wonderful musicians (including my husband) and there is usually a range of great gigs happening in Melbourne on a Sunday arvo, so we would head out afterwards for some soul, blues or country music.

What are you currently reading?
Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. It’s a non-fiction book which reexamines colonial accounts of Aboriginal people in Australia, and cites evidence of pre-colonial agriculture, engineering and building construction by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. It is an extremely insightful and eye opening read.

What are you currently listening to?
My hubby Jacob Cole’s brand new album Nightsville is on repeat in our house. It’s a moody, atmospheric instrumental record, melding blues, improvisation and dreamlike soundscapes. It’s being released on 29 May and it’s all very exciting to see it go out into the world at last.

Happiness is?
Wine in the afternoon sun and giggling with a dear and old friend, immersing myself in art, nature and films, patting cats, playing with babies, shooting 35mm film on worldly adventures, trips to museums, playing music with my husband, being with the people I adore.

What does the future hold for you?
Hopefully a life full of art, love, an overgrown garden of my very own and most of all, protection of our environment, animals and oceans for our future generations.

Lilli will unveil her latest exhibition Anthropocene, The Age of Humans in a brand-new virtual exhibition via Curatorial & Co from 9 June 2020. For more information, visit: www.curatorialandco.com or www.lilliwaters.com for details.

Image: Lilli Waters (supplied)