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Aimee Fitzgerald

Aimee Fitzgerald


Artist statement

A black and white portrait photograph of a young white woman. The photo shows her looking at the camera over her right shoulder. Only her head and shoulder are visible. She has long dark hair. Her gaze at the camera is direct and piercing. The light in the photo appears to be coming from the right, beyond the photo's right border. The background is dark and featureless.

I chose to examine the interaction of individual identity with photographic records, focusing on portrait photographs of the Victorian era.

I used original nineteenth century photographs as well as recreations of Victorian family portraits, using myself as a model.

I chose to reenact these highly stylised roles, in which the foremost trappings of identity are clothing and pose, to show how interchangeable figures are within the prescribed templates of Victorian photography.

They also show the way in which within the historical record, an individual is reduced to the most superficial aspects of their identity.

The work is also an appreciation of the Victorian aesthetic, and an exploration of early photographic processes and the ageing process of photographs.

Artist works

Title: Family Album

Medium: Inkjet prints in a vintage nineteenth century album
Dimension: 21cm x 27cm x 5cm
Date: May 2009

A colour image of two pages from a nineteenth century photograph album. The right side page has a photograph of a young white man. The page around the photo has been decorated with a floral motif. The left page is blank. It appears to be the inside of the front cover of the album. Both pages show marks and discolourations. They are both a pale straw colour. The spine of the album shows signs of wear and tear.
A black and white photograph of a white adult man in nineteenth century-style clothing. He wears a shirt and jacket. He is visible from about the chest up and sits facing the left of the photo. His eyes are directed at the camera. At the bottom of the photo is written 'Arthur Middleton'. The surface of the photo has been worked with blue ink or paint; this forms swirling patterns and lines. A pattern has been drawn on the man's face. It resembles the roots of a tree or perhaps veins. The background of the photo has been rendered indistinct by the surface treatment.





Title: Photogram Series

Medium: Photogram
Dimension: 20cm x 25.5cm (x5)
Date: May 2009

View a slideshow of Aimee's Photogram Series


Artist inspiration

Two piece pink full length wool dress (bodice and skirt) with cream lace trimming. The pleated bodice has a high stand-up collar and is long-sleeved. Both cuffs and collar are trimmed with cream lace. Round copper buttons run down the centre-front and feature an anchor design. The skirt is pleated and layered with extra fabric and trimmed with cream lace. The skirt has been photographed on what appears to be a dressmaker's dummy. The background is a soft off-white colour.
Woollen dress. Photo: George Serras.

Woollen dress

By the 1880s wool was Australia's most important export. Thousands of fleeces were shipped to Britain's mills to be scoured, carded, combed, spun, dyed and woven into cloth.

Some of the wool eventually returned to Australia — as bolts of fabric or ready-made clothing, drapery and furnishings.

The Faithfull family of Springfield station, near Goulburn, New South Wales, grew wealthy supplying wool to Britain.

In about 1885, one Faithfull daughter bought this dress from David Jones department store in Sydney.

This pink fine wool dress consists of a bodice and skirt, made in about 1885.

It represented the latest in British fashion, but its origins probably lay close to home.

It is made of fine wool of the type grown on Springfield.

More on the Springfield collection