Photographic artist Tamara Dean examines the longstanding relationship of Australians with waterholes and rivers in her exhibition, Force of Nature – currently on show at The Lost Ones Contemporary Art Gallery, Ballarat until 17 September 2017.
Dean’s lush and immersive works explore the transitional nature of youth, capturing the desire for exploration, of challenge, as she reveals young people poised on a path to somewhere important. “Young people create rites of passage and rituals for themselves in nature,” says Dean.
“For me, it’s about the initiations, the pushing of physical, spiritual and emotional limits in order to discover one’s sense of self. The experience of getting to these waterholes, and the subsequent ritual, is as important to me as the photographic representation at the end. The lack of clothing represents a universal sense of humanity and our inherent animalism.”
Dean’s large-scale landscapes feature magnificent natural settings and a feeling of transcendental immersion in nature. There is a disturbing beauty in these images, her tones resembling pre-Raphaelite paintings. Her love of light and dark reveal the sensuality of her muses, combining the daily and mundane, making it exalted and divine. Dean’s images lovingly examining her subjects as they converse, engage and communicate.
Director of The Lost Ones Gallery, Tara Poole said she was honoured to be showing Force of Nature alongside the Ballarat International Foto Biennale – as it was giving the city a chance to recognise an Australian photographer of international renown during the Festival.
“Tamara has gained a well-deserved reputation internationally for her striking works which lend themselves more to 19th century painting than traditional photography,” said Poole. “There’s an otherworldly nature to the collection, with its sublime bush settings and a youthful spirit of adventure and transition.”
Tamara Dean is an internationally recognised Australian photographer who explores rites of passage in her large scale works. Tamara studied Studio Art at the College of Fine Arts before completing her BA in Design at the University of Western Sydney, and has completed her MFA at the National Art School. Tamara has received numerous awards including the Olive Cotton Award and Sydney Life: Art & About.
Tamara Dean: Force of Nature
The Lost Ones Contemporary Art Gallery, 14 Camp Street, Ballarat
Exhibition continues to 17 September 2017
For more information, visit: www.thelostones.com.au for details.
Image: Tamara Dean By Feel 2013 (detail). Archival pigment print on cotton rag paper, 150 x 200cm. © Tamara Dean