Published in British Journal of Photography
I carry a small sketch pad with me at all times, and whether I am sitting on a tram or walking the streets, if something strikes me I write or sketch it down,” says Brisbane-based photographer Samantha Everton. Some of these ideas eventually get worked into storyboards for shoots, for which she captures her compositions in-camera, using the elaborate sets and props to “depict and interpret dreams, inner fears and visions of the subconscious”.
Over the last five years, much of her work has focused on adolescence, but her latest series, Marionettes (recently exhibited at Dickerson Gallery in Sydney and Anthea Polson Art in Queensland), depicts adult women. It captures “the isolation and the pressures of daily life – those moments of self-implosion where you are literally climbing the walls”, says the Australian, who began making photographs while working as a hairdresser in her twenties to document her creations, later ditching her scissors for a camera and doing a degree at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Shooting using a Mamiya RB film camera, she enhances the colours using gels and long exposures, “painting” areas with a torch to lend the subjects – almost always female – a characteristically luminous glow. “I can express more through colour and costuming with women,” she says. “Sometimes I don’t think of myself as a photographer, the action of taking the photo is such a small part [of my work]. Basically, I create a theatrical production in front of the camera and then shoot it.