Affordable, Desirable and Collectible Artworks No.4
This weeks affordable, desirable and collectable artwork is an absolutely brilliant photograph by the renowned Aboriginal Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetrou titled “The Wimera, 1864 #1″. I came across ths work while browsing through all the photographs available on the Apeture website and just couldn’t take my eyes off it. The extreme beauty and intense colours of the landscape are mezmerizing, and the sense of isolation is unsettling, but it is the way the artist has depicted the children that really makes make an impact.
There is an overwhelming sense of displacement and detachment that seems to be the theme of this particular work. The clothes that the children are wearing would be more at home in an English country garden scene as opposed to an Australian outback scene yet the children seem oblivious to the fact that they do not belong in, or fit in, to their surroundings. None of the children are looking at the viewer which suggests that they are unaware that they are being watched and enhances the feeling that the children are alone and vulnerable. The victorian clothes, the expressionless faces and the soullessness of the children gives the children a ghost like appearance and creates a very spiritual atmosphere.
As the old saying goes, “the silence is deafening”, which I think describes this work perfeclty.
One of the things that I love about this photo is that Papapetrou has managed to create an artwork that does not require an explanation to be able to be appreciated and enjoyed yet when one does discover the story behind the work it adds a whole new dimension. According to the artist this work was “staged in natural environments at sites in Victoria where children were lost, the works titled The Wimmera 1864 are based on the story of Jane Duff and her two brothers, Isaac and Frank, who were lost in the western district of Victoria in 1864. The children were lost for nine days until they were found by an Aboriginal tracker”
Papapetrou has had an extremely successful career thus far having had solo exhibitions in New York, Sydney, Melbourne, Montreal, Melbourne and Adelaide as well as having been involved in many group exhibitions all over the world. Papapetrou’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Art in Florida, the Museum Contemporary Art in Sydney and the National Gallery of Australia among others as well as in private collections in Australia and the United States. With the global interest in Australian Aboriginal art and the growing popularity of photograph I would highly recommend this work as a fantastic investment.
This photo is an edition of 25, is signed and numbered by the artist, and can be purchased for US$1500 from the Aperture website which can be found here
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.