The Mourners is a series of portraits documenting the ritual of wearing black as a signifier of perpetual mourning. In remembrance of those they have lost all that sit for a portrait, albeit from various backgrounds and faiths, wear black every day for the rest of their lives. The controlled environment of a traveling studio replaces existing backdrops of nursing home corridors, living rooms and church halls. Stripped back to the point where only the faintest trace of the sitter’s surroundings remain, the portrait brings the viewer to the periphery of an ultimately private space. Deflecting the unflinching eye of the camera with an averted gaze, The Mourners are absorbed by the void that is black, living mementoes – vessels for mourning, fixed by a photograph, which in turn alludes to a double death.
GEORGIA METAXAS lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. Her work sits within a documentary framework, aspects acknowledging her interest in documentary photography and the tension found between ‘artistic’ intent and documentary purpose.
The subjects and methodology of her work come from encounters in her personal and professional life in an ongoing investigation of groups she is connected to and works with; that are around her and therefore come into sight in her work. Often the subjects may be seen as under or misrepresented in the wider community. A central theme in the work has been the manifestations of ritual as she is drawn to rituals both cultural and personal. Metaxas has participated in a number of group exhibitions Australia wide, including many award exhibitions for which her work has been selected, most recently the National Portrait Prize, Canberra.
She has presented several solo shows around the country and her work is held in both public and private collections including La Trobe Picture collection; State library of Victoria; Supreme Court of Victoria; Artbank and Monash Gallery of Art, Wheelers Hill, Melbourne. More of Georgia’s work can be seen here.