Marionettes: Moments of Silent Implosion

Birthday Wish, Samantha Everton 2011
Samantha Everton – Marionettes


Prue Vercoe @ Vine Communications
Ph: 0410 541 663
MEDIA RELEASE22 November 2010

Moments of silent implosion

Internationally acclaimed photo-artist Samantha Everton presents her latest
fantastical series, Marionettes, and a new focus on women and their hyper-real
realities, March – May 2011

There has always been something unsettling, yet strangely familiar about Samantha Everton’s imagery, as it
holds the viewer spellbound and pondering the source of their curious fascination. Her latest series,
Marionettes, is a vibrant example of Everton’s innate ability to captivate, showing at Anthea Polson Art,
Main Beach, Queensland, during 26 March – 9 April 2011, and then at Dickerson Gallery, Woollahra,
Sydney, during 20 April – 15 May 2011.

As with previous series, Utopia, Vintage Dolls, Childhood Fears and Catharsis, Marionettes accesses realms
of the uncanny that Everton calls “magic realism”, but the focus has shifted from that of the child’s, to
‘grown-up’ issues of isolation and loss of control, under the weight of daily life.
“The works show women caught in moments of silent implosion. The pace, pressures and rigours of daily life
have reached a crisis point,” says Everton.

In the image Blue Day a woman hangs, as if catatonically, from the picture-rail in her bedroom, as a little
kingfisher observes helplessly. A dominant blue door lies open, or is it closing? The Chameleon presents a
woman quite literally ‘driven up the wall’, as she clings on lizard-like to the wall, beside a framed print of a
ship tossed about in stormy seas. A sallow, burnished light streams across the floor to illuminate a perfectly
iced, pink birthday cake, its four lit candles unwavering in the airless room. In Birthday Wish a well
dressed, white-stockinged young lady stands at a wooden table, arms dangling listlessly and face plonked
into her ill-fated masterpiece, as a commanding white swan looks on in disbelief.

Although the Marionettes scenarios illuminate women’s sociological and psychological isolation, they also
hint at something extraordinary in these captured moments of implosion. Whilst illustrating important and
weighty themes, the images are made accessible by a pervading sense of situational comedy. The
omnipresence of birds, both native and introduced, has symbolic import, heightening the surrealism of the
narrative and providing a unifying element to the body of work. “I love surrealism,” Everton explains,
“Pictures where there’s something extra, if you look a little closer.”

Many months in the making, the 2011 Marionettes series sees Everton again going to extraordinary lengths
in sourcing exactly the right characters, props, costumes and house for the images. This time she found her
house in Brunswick and rented it for a month.

“I was told the previous tenant was a WWII veteran in his 90’s who lived alone, although there was
presence of a past life in feminine trinkets and hand-sewn curtains. The place had been left unoccupied for
some time and he seemed to have left quite unexpectedly, as the furniture and fittings were all intact, and
some of his clothes were still hanging in the wardrobe. Even the bed was made-up!” says Everton.

True to the realism of her work, Everton captures her images on traditional film using a medium format
camera. “It is very important to me that the viewer believes in the image, therefore everything you see,
from the girl flying through the air to each individual bird, was actually there in front of the camera.”

Everton is reluctant to explain the narrative content and underlying symbolism in the works, preferring that
the viewer respond from a personal perspective. “My images are a snapshot, mid-moment, they don’t begin
or end,” she says. “It leaves you to your own imagination, to draw your own conclusions.”

Everton’s innate talents and the unerring integrity of her photographic processes, has been well celebrated
and awarded over the past seven years. Most recently she gained international recognition, when she
achieved 1st Place in the Portrait category, 3rd Place in the Fine Art category and an Honourable Mention at
the prestigious Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) 2010.

Media enquiries: Prue Vercoe @ Vine Communications Ph: 0410 541 663,


Birthday Wish
Pigment ink on cotton rag
900mm x 975
Samantha Everton 2011

Blue Day
Pigment ink on cotton rag
900mm x 1080
Samantha Everton 2011

Pigment ink on cotton rag
900mm x 1080
Samantha Everton 2011