“The exhibition A World Of My Own explores feminine narratives and voyeurism seen in film through a series of cinematic self-portraits. By reconstructing ideal representations, scenes of voyeurism and the appearance of hyper-femininity, I have invited an objectifying gaze that is simultaneously challenged by the awry transformation of familiar narratives.
In this series I reflect upon my memories of growing up consuming images of femininity and playing dress ups to imitate these ideals. This reconstruction of feminine narratives is filtered through my own lens, from an isolated perspective in rural Tasmania, where the fantasy of femininity exists in solitude.” Micheila Petersfield 2018
A World Of My Own
ABC Radio Interview
Listen to Micheila talk about her work on ABC Radio, interviewed by Lucy Cutting. Broad cast on 18th October 2018.
Micheila Petersfield – The framed photographs:
All images are high resolution archival print on Platine Paper, which are then laid on aluminium – totally stable and acid free. Our framer selected a simple wooden moulding to enhance the image, 40 mm deep with a 20 mm wide face, then glazed using a high UV resistant and special non-reflective Art Glass. Recommended retail value of these frames is over $1,000.00. The Gallery is pleased to be able to pass on significant savings to our clients to ensure the images from Micheila’s new series are presented at their best, with museum quality, archival framing that enhances the art work.
The price for the complete framed 70 x 100 cm. works is $2,850.00 inc. gst.
The Silver Screen
Interview with Andrew Stephens, The Age, Art & Design, September 2018
Petersfield says her early explorations of what constitutes standard fashion photography were surprising. “I went into it with the impression that all bodies in fashion photography are represented as ideal, passive and objectified for commercial consumption,” she says. “After investigating I realised there are a lot of fashion photographers who actually try to challenge those ideals in ways that aren’t flattering at all.” That said, her own work takes that approach much further.
Petersfield started using herself as the subject because it was easy: “I was there and accessible.” Even so, she considers herself an introvert who shies away from performing in a public space. “It can make me a bit self-conscious putting myself out there to that degree,” she says. “I wonder if I am being too false if I retouch the images too much – but that is what the work is about. It is very performative. But I feel I am protected because it is not really me; I am transforming myself into characters and because they are so refined and perfected it is like a screen separates me from the images.”
In her latest series of 11 works for BOAA, Petersfield deals specifically with her interest in films that examine the voyeuristic gaze, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s classics Rear Window and Psycho. “I wanted to create similar scenes using my body, putting the spectator in a similarly invasive position as the characters in those films, perhaps making them feel uncomfortable,” she says.
The works also reflect her own experiences growing up, being exposed, like so many young women, to a constant diet of imagery from fashion magazines and other media that privileges a certain type of femininity. “I would dress up and imitate those things,” she says.
Runaway 2018, digital print on archival paper 70 x 100 cm edition of 5 plus (+ 2 AP)
In the work, her glamorised body is photographed in the glare of studio lighting and then transplanted into rural landscapes straight out of her childhood: fragments of the Tasmanian bush and farm sheds. “It emphasises the idea of playing dress-ups,” she says. “But this just reveals it all as a performance.”