Artist Interview: Petrina Hicks - Art Collector

28 November 2011

Australian photographer Petrina Hicks's current exhibition Hippy and the Snake is showing at Helen Gory Galerie in Prahan. Hicks talks to Australian Art Collector about her residency in Berlin and using the language of advertising in art.

Petrina Hicks

Can you tell me about your current exhibition?

I was interested in the history and association between women and snakes as seen in art and writing since ancient civilisation.

The woman and the serpent is a recurring motif in many forms of art and I wanted to take an Australian perspective and explore the Australian females' relationship with the snake ( and other animals_ and also nature.

Apart from the woman and the snake is there a linking theme or motif behind the works?

Ambiguity and duality is something I often aim for - images that have advertising aesthetic and explore the codes and language of advertising, so on the surface they appear to draw viewers in.

Petrina Hicks

Can you talk a little about your art making process?

I collect hundreds of reference images, sourced via the internet, books and cinema. I also take reference from all art forms and even places like generic stock photo libraries found online.

My reference images are quite obscure and so do not resemble the finished ideas. They just help me storyboard, build ideas and visuals in my head.

Why photography and video?

I'm interested in how the camera stretches out the photographic moment. It records up to 2,000 frames per second, which then gives the slow motion effect.

[But] the camera can also record images of very high resolution and definition, so the result looks very photographic image quality

You are currently completing a residency in Berlin. Has working overseas challenged or influenced the way you create art?

Yes the experience of living in Berlin - a city full of artists and galleries - has had some affect on my practice. The dialogue with other artists and curators is invalluable and remove helps me to define and refine their.

I especially value the access to major museums and gallery collections which are not available in Australia.

Hippy and the Snake is on show at Helen Gory Galerie until 10 December 2011.

Amy Yang

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