Monash Gallery of Art (MGA) have engaged one of Australia’s most prolific photographers, Bill Henson, for a reflective exhibition of works spanning multiple decades, The light fades but the gods remain, to celebrate the gallery’s 25th anniversary.
The legendary Australian photographer returned to his childhood suburb of Glen Waverley to produce a new body of work, documenting the place he grew up. This new commission recalls an earlier series created in the mid-80s, Untitled 1985-86 (colloquially known as ‘the suburban series’), where Bill captured Glen Waverley in its early development, interspersed with dark, intimate portraits. Taken more than 30 years apart, both series will be shown alongside each other in a major exhibition this month at MGA, offering a profound insight into the revered artist as well as a reflection on Australian life.
‘As the majority of Australians grow up in suburbia, the new body of work speaks to a shared history, harking back to childhood, and capturing something of Australia’s national identity, our sense of place, belonging and home’, MGA’s Director Anouska Phizacklea describes of the important exhibition.
In reflecting on this new Glen Waverley series, Bill ruminates on memory and the desire to ‘capture and hold on to’ a place which no longer existed. ‘The possibility of photographing the landscape of memory and in so doing return to the “lost domain” of childhood seemed both beguiling and yet so unlikely’, he describes.
This groundbreaking exhibition will remain on show until late September.
The light fades but the gods remain by Bill Henson
July 27th – September 29th
Opening celebration July 27th, 2-4pm
Monash Gallery of Art
860 Ferntree Gully Road
Wheelers Hill, Victoria