Deep in the Folds
The altered photographic works of Melbourne artist Eliza Hutchison find their traction amidst the intimate throes and junctures of the personal, psychological, biographic and historical.
The images that once filled the pages of Eliza Hutchison’s family photo albums are now mere memories. There were the film screenings and parties her parents would attend as part of her father’s role as an executive for a major US film distribution company; there were the tuxedos and glamorous gowns; the years in South Africa living a “classic expat lifestyle”.
“We had these albums full of photographs of the movie premieres they used to go to,” she recalls of the images, which have long since gone missing. “There were photos of the incredible evening gowns that my mother would wear. Zsa Zsa Gabor would come out and Cary Grant and all the big stars of the time would be there.”
It is no mistake that Hutchison frames her work in terms of “reconstructed memory”. Where notions of nostalgia and sentimentality are often cast as pariahs in the world of contemporary photography, the Melbourne artist’s fractured, warped, folded and re-photographed images do anything but rescind the photograph’s role as a memorial device.
“I used to spend hours poring over all of those albums,” says Hutchison, who is sitting at the kitchen table of her home in Northcote, Melbourne, which she shares with her partner and fellow artist Alexander Knox and their two young daughters, Strobe and Tatum. “In a way, I feel like I’m endlessly looking for other images to replace them.”
We’re rifling through catalogues of photographs, in the form of jpeg files on Hutchison’s laptop, test prints scattered ... Subscribe to read this article in full
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