Nicole Robson / Keeping Up Appearances / September 26 – October 13 2012
A photograph of a domestic interior is a source of fascination. The intimate nature of this space offers the viewer a window to a private environment, creating a desire to identify the occupants. We analyze the visual clues and familiar frameworks but our observations are based purely on what we, as the viewer, perceive to be the facts. If we are presented with a constructed scene such as a stage set, the environment of the theatre allows us to suspend disbelief so our imagination can work with what we are seeing. Careful concealment of the internal workings of the theatre is vital to what is being portrayed on stage; If we compare the domestic environment to a theatre scene, particular areas of the home are presented as ‘front’ of house such as the living rooms, whereas bathroom and bedroom areas become the ‘backstage and dressing rooms’. This creates layers of social behavior, revealing only what the occupant presents for interpretation.
In using discarded ornaments and décor items sourced from various second hand outlets I am attempting to reorder the past, summoning both good and bad memories for the viewer to choose from. The subjects in the work are at odds with their surroundings, which are intended to puncture through the façade created by an ‘almost’ seamless environment, hovering on the edge of believability to allow a narrative that is uncomfortably unnatural. These figures suggest a reality, which may be hidden behind the décor.
The work is created through a purpose built, life size set, which is redecorated for each shoot.
Nicole’s recent exhibitions include Pane, a collaboration with performance group MADE, presented in Hobart, Launceston and Brisbane as well as groups shows at CAST Gallery, The Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney and The Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne. In June 2010, Nicole travelled to Lausanne, Switzerland to participate in reGeneration2: tomorrow’s photographers today, launched at the Musée de l’Elysée the exhibition toured to China, South Africa, USA, and France. In January 2011 Nicole received a Marie Edwards Travel scholarship to attend the opening and folio review at the Aperture foundation in New York. This exhibition also included a publication of the same name, printed by Thames and Hudson. This year Nicole was selected as a semifinalist in the Headon Portrait Prize, Sydney and was selected as one of 10 emerging artist to be highlighted in the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston.