A decade ago acclaimed Australian photographer Samantha Everton debuted her ‘Marionettes’ collection. Since then the photographs from this series have appeared in national and international exhibitions as well as on the pages of magazines and photographic journals across the world. With much of the series having entirely sold out to collectors and institutions in its original editioned run the artist has chosen to release a smaller size edition of each work to celebrate the anniversary of this series.
These works show women caught in moments of silent implosion. The pace, pressures and rigours of daily life have reached a crisis point. Whilst illustrating important and weighty themes, the images are made accessible by a pervading sense of situational comedy. -Samantha Everton
There has always been something unsettling, yet strangely familiar about Samantha Everton’s imagery. Originally photographed in 2011 these works take on new meaning in 2021. The atmosphere of suspension, isolation and distorted time contains both an absurdity and an element of the everyday. In a restricted new world they offer a comfort to those of us fatigued by current events who find ourselves climbing the walls, perpetually staring out of the windows and desperately wanting to plant our heads into a home baked cake.
In a combination of light and shadow, the worlds Everton has created and photographed appear as a theatrical stage upon which a life indoors is played out. She goes to extraordinary lengths to produce her images, sourcing exactly the right characters, props, costumes and houses for each collection. For this series she found a house in Brunswick Victoria once belonging to a WWII veteran and rented it for a month.
True to the realism of her work, Everton captured this series on traditional film using a medium format camera. While the pictures suggest a chance encounter between camera and the moment captured, each is the result of an intricate choreography of imaginative concept, lighting, mood, costume, setting and artist.
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. – Samantha Everton
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.”
Born in Whyalla, South Australia, and raised in central Queensland, Everton graduated from RMIT and has exhibited across Australia and internationally. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Px3 Paris International Photography Award (2010, 2014), Moran Contemporary Art Prize (Highly Commended 2009), Olive Cotton Photography Prize (Finalist 2011), London International Creative Competition (Finalist 2010) and the Head On Portrait Award (Third Place 2015).