Amber McCaig / Imagined Histories / November 06 – 23 2013

Imagine Histories Amber McCaig WEB_600

Fantasy buffs and history enthusiasts have been dressing up and reliving the past for decades. However, in recent times, the popularity of historical fantasy in film, television and literature has pushed role-playing to the forefront as the new form of escapism. Popular culture is now preoccupied by a fantastical view of the Middle Ages, brimming with chivalry, romance and pseudo kingdoms. This notion of a simpler time has paved the way for tens and thousands of people all over the world to select a past for themselves that could have been, without the lingering fear of plague or death. Historical re-enactment groups like The Society of Creative Anachronism are one of the most popular ways for people to embrace these nostalgic, magical and misty visions of the past.

This series of images shows only a small selection of these ‘imagined histories’. By using a combination of portraits and still life elements, I have been able to create an exploration into the idea of identity and imagination, providing an insight into what it is like to live out your fantasies in everyday life. Spanish pirates, Venetian noblewomen and 11th century Vikings have escaped out of the darkness of the past are now living in the future, placed on a stage for all to see. Laden with armor, treasure chests, maps and lore, these fantasies show the power of our imagination and what we can create if we dare to dream.

Amber McCaig graduated from Photography Studies College in Southbank in 2009. Since then, Amber has produced her most recent body of work titled ‘Imagined Histories’, featuring historical re-enactors. This series was recently awarded the prestigious Portfolio Review Prize at The Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2013.
Download the roomsheet here.

Press / Media:
Visual Arts Review, Robert Nelson, The Age, 13 November 2013
Art Blart, Three Exhibitions, Dr Marcus Bunyan, 19 November 2013
Featureshoot, Portraits of Medieval Reenactors, Jenna Garrett, 20 November 2013