Unwritten Skin

Lisa Tomasetti

Art Exhibition previously on in Melbourne precinct, Victoria, Australia. Published by Gallery 101 on Wednesday 24 October 2007. Tuesday 25 March 2008 to Saturday 12 April 2008.

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'Experience, love and loss are written into the skin over the course of a lifetime. Gradually etched with marks and lines, we are inscribed by the myriad events and emotions that help to make us who we are. The current fashion for women is to try to cheat this process and aspire to an ideal of youthful perfection.

Our anxieties about ageing and our life choices find form in nostalgia for apparently pure and unblemished beginnings. Lisa Tomasetti’s Unwritten Skin examines some of the paradoxes associated with this nostalgia for childhood innocence. Ironically, the fetishization of unwritten skin is itself an act of writing in which our own desires, born out of a sense of lack and longing, are projected onto the next generation. Unwritten skin may suggest a tabula rasa, or a blank slate, but in this exhibition the unwritten is also code for unspoken, implicit and rooted in tradition.

Unwritten Skin comprises a series of photographs of young girls in which personal, historical and cultural inscriptions of childhood femininity intermingle. Tomasetti’s skilful use of light, shadow, colour and costume distance us from the actual lives of her subjects and cloak the girls in metaphor. Time is stilled, and the sumptuous reds, golds and blues imbue the photographs with a dream-like, storybook quality. The girls’ dresses, bonnets and ruffs, and the velvety blackness that envelops them, mimic the paintings of Caravaggio, Vermeer and Victorian portraits of quiet, obedient young ladies. However, whereas the women and girls of art history are so often compelled to turn away from our gaze and keep their thoughts well hidden, Tomasetti“

Location

Gallery 101
Ground Level, 101 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Opening Hours:
Tues-Fri 10-5pm, Sat 12-4pm