Lilli Waters

Lilli Waters (born 1983, Armidale, NSW) is a fine arts photographer whose work explores the human condition through dramatic images of the female form in haunting, windswept landscapes. A Lilli Waters image has a painterly quality, evoking the Pre-Raphaelites with macabre, foreboding elements, a jewel-like palette and a sensitive use of light. Waters makes use of translucent fabrics and long hair to obscure the identities of her subjects, suggesting that the image might be just as much a mirror for the viewer, as it is a portrait.

These images initially appear to represent a romantic idea of beauty and an equivalence between the fertility of the female body and the landscape. Yet in the era of ‘Me Too’ and ecological crisis, Waters’ work offers a critical feminine gaze. Her portraits allude to the conundrum of simply being in a woman’s skin: of how to express physical agency and ease in a society that constantly objectifies women and irrevocably wreaks damage on the environment. These are images that convey complex emotions: the interplay of darkness and luminosity, strength and vulnerability, and the possibility for new understandings based on an awareness of our dependence on the earth.

An ecological concern also finds expression in Waters’ underwater still life series which reference Northern Renaissance paintings in lighting and composition. Her underwater works feature live marine creatures amongst rocks, fruit and flowers to evoke other-worldly landscapes with a palpable feeling of space and slowed time. Waters representations of luxuriant, yet fragile beauty are a reminder of the imminent loss of whole species and ecosystems as a result of climate change.

Lilli’s work has been exhibited to much acclaim in Italy, Germany, Japan, the UK, the US and Australia. Her images have appeared in publications around the globe – including Vogue Living (Aus), Belle Magazine (Aus), Art Aesthetica (UK), Real Living Magazine (Aus), Austrian Living (Austria), Jane by the Grey Attic (Aus) and The Opera Magazine (Germany) as well as appeared in feature films, including Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed (USA). She has been a finalist in the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize (2021), Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art (2021), Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (2020), Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize (2020), Du Reitz Art Awards (2020), Percival Photographic Art Prize (2020), National Portrait Prize (2019), Australian Photography Awards (2018) and Art Aesthetica Art Award (2018).

Lilli is reprented by Curatorial & Co gallery in NSW, and Metro gallery in VIC.

Biography

Selected Solo Exhibition


2021

To be announced, Metro Gallery, VIC

2020

Disenchantments of the World, Curatorial & Co. Gallery, NSW

Anthropocene: The Age of Humans, Virtual Exhibition, Curatorial & Co, NSW

Others Dream Modern Times, Melbourne, VIC

2019

Reawaken, Craig’s Royal Hotel in collaboration with the Ballarat International Foto Biennale, Ballarat VIC

Untitled, Metro Gallery, Melbourne, VIC

Things of Fire and Ash, Remembered Victorian Police Museum, Melbourne, VIC

2018

Coral Lands Saint Cloche Gallery, Sydney, NSW

2017

Plastic Fish Junior Space, Melbourne, VIC

2015

Anja Red Gallery, Melbourne, VIC

2013

Things of Fire and Ash Victorian Police Museum, Melbourne, VIC, touring Nationally

2012

She Raw Edmund Pearce Gallery, Melbourne, VIC

She Raw Blak Dot Gallery, Melbourne, VIC


Selected Recent Group Shows


2021

Du Rietz Art Awards, Gympie Regional gallery, QLD

Flora, Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Gardens, VIC

Art in the Plague Year, UCR Arts, California Museum of Photography

Ilford CCP Salon, CCP, Melbourne

Darlings, Curatorial & Co. Gallery, Sydney


2020

Women and Photography, Ovada Gallery, Oxford, UK

Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, Campbelltown Arts Centre, NSW ICP Concerned: Global images for Global crisis International Center of Photography, New York, USA

Talismans, Rafts, Mementos, Modern Times, Melbourne

Here With Me, Curatorial & Co., Sydney

Du Reitz Art Awards, Gympie Regional Gallery, QLD

Percival Portrait Prize, Perc Tucker, QLD

Loud and Luminous, Contact Sheet Gallery, Sydney


2019

Chapter One, Pix on Location, Sydney

Summer Group, Metro Gallery, Melbourne

Ritual Practice, Modern Times, Melbourne

Rose Rouge Kaisu, Tokyo, Japan

Midyear Selection, Metro Gallery, Melbourne

Sun Celebrates Her Sun Studios, Melbourne

Her Wild Dreaming Schoolhouse Studios, Melbourne Winter Group Show Metro Gallery, Melbourne

Loud & Luminous Head On Photo Festival, Contact Sheet Gallery, Sydney

National Photographic Portrait Prize, National Portrait Gallery, NSW, touring Nationally

Fifty Squared Art Prize, Brunswick Street Gallery


2018

PCP Collective, Perth Centre for Photography

ILFORD CCP Salon, Contemporary Centre of Photography

Summer Group Exhibition, Metro Gallery

The Luxury of Landscape, Pilazzo Pandolfini, Tuscany, Italy

The Last Line of Defence, Besser Space, Melbourne

Candyland for CanTeen Art Auction, NAB Graduate Fundraiser, Melbourne

Hyper, 222 Roslyn Gallery, Melbourne

Contemporary Art Awards Finalists, online group exhibition

STILL, National Still Life Award, Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, NSW


2017

Click 17 Photographic Art Prize, Brunswick Street Gallery

Her Way, 5 Rankins Lane Gallery, Melbourne


2016

BlümchenSex, Palmengarten, Frankfurt, Germany

Phantom Paradise, Saint Cloche Gallery, Sydney


2015

Keeping Company: Saltwater, Manly Art Gallery, Sydney Unreal, Head On Photo Festival, M2 Gallery, Sydney

ANJA Pop-Up Exhibition, Leonard St, Melbourne


2014

Finalists, Head On Photo Festival, Sydney


2013

Stockroom, Carbon Black Gallery, Melbourne

Art in Mind, The Brick Lane Gallery, London

Head On Photo Festival, State Library of NSW

The Kinglake Project, The Cube Gallery, Melbourne


2012

SUB 1000, Carbon Black Gallery, Melbourne

Kodak Salon, CCP, Melbourne

Doug Moran House Contemporary Photographic Exhibition, NSW, touring Nationally


2011

The Collective, Off The Kerb Gallery, Melbourne


2010

Snapshot 10/10, Carbon Black Gallery, Melbourne


Awards and Prizes


2021

Finalist x 2, Du Rietz Art Awards

Finalist, Ravenswood Women’s Art Prize

Finalist, Nillumbik Prize for Contemporary Art


2020
Finalist x 3, Australian Photography Awards
Honourable Mention, International Photography Awards Finalist, Photo Oxford Festival

Finalist, Fisher’s Ghost Art Award
Finalist, Beautiful Bizarre Art Award 2020 Highly Commended, The Mono Awards
Finalist, Du Reitz Art Awards 2020 Finalist, Percival Photographic Portrait Prize
Finalist, Biennal Adelaide Park Lands Art Prize

2019

Honourable Mention, Budapest International Photo Awards

Shortlisted, Australian Photography Awards

Finalist, Now Contemporary Art Prize

Finalist, Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize

Finalist, Iris Awards, Perth Centre for Photography Commended, The Mono Awards

Finalist, Incinerator Art Award

Highly Commended, Australasia’s Top Emerging Photographers Award

Finalist, National Photographic Portrait Prize


2018

Finalist, Australian Photography Awards

Finalist, Art Aesthetica Art Prize, UK


2017

Finalist, Contemporary Art Awards

Top rated entries, Lens Culture Portrait Awards

Finalist, National Still Life Award

Finalist, Click 17 Photographic Art Prize, Brunswick St Gallery

Semi-Finalist, Head On Portrait Prize, Museum of Sydney


2015

Semi-Finalist, Head On Portrait Prize, Museum of Sydney

Top rated entries, Lens Culture Portrait Awards


2013

Finalist, Head On Portrait Prize

Highly Commended, Qantas Soya Award


2012

Highly Commended, Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

Semi-Finalist x 2, Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

Highly Commended, Qantas Soya Award


2011

Winner, She Raw Focus Project People's Choice


2003

Best Photographic Folio, Photographic Imaging College


2001

Atom Awards, Finalist, Senior Secondary Music Video Diegesis Award, Winner of Secondary Music Video

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Exhibitions
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