Siri Hayes Plein air explorers 2008 Courtesy
of the artist and Gallerysmith, Melbourne
Switchback Gallery, Gippsland campus
14 May -- 19 June 2008
University of Sydney Art Gallery, Sydney
29 June -- 10 August 2008
Curator: Kyla McFarlane
With an eye to the romantic sublime and another on the burgeoning urban sprawl, Siri Hayes' photographic landscapes are at once lyrical and down-at-heel. Drawing on a wide range of influences, from the paintings of Nicolas Poussin to Jeff Wall's photographic tableaux, her theatrical, expansive compositions explore our social and cultural relationship to land and locality.
Siri Hayes: Landscapes features a new body of work developed during a week-long residency at Monash University's Gippsland Centre for Art and Design in April 2008, as well as a selection of existing photographs taken at Merri Creek in inner-suburban Melbourne, Wilson's Promontory and Phillip Island on the Victorian coast. Moving from the city to the rural hinterland and the coast, Hayes reflects on contemporary and historical engagements with the land and its representations, observing our insignificance within its expanse as keenly as our urge to manipulate, inhabit and delight in it.