The IRIS Award is an international biennial art prize acknowledging outstanding contemporary portraiture. It encourages artists to challenge the boundaries of portrait photography. 

Lilli’s image titled ‘Friends on Film #2’ is from the larger series “Friends on Film“.

“Friends on Film is a portrait series documenting family and friends photographed on medium format film, after social distancing restrictions during Covid-19 were eased in the state of Victoria, and people were permitted to visit friends in their homes whilst practicing social distancing.

This series was inspired by isolation and the need for human connection and sharing of our own individual experiences of this strange time.

For me, unable to work and having a newfound amount of time on my hands, I was unable to find purpose and joy in a bonding ritual by capturing these portraits.

I am attempting to embrace what was an enforced slowing down and use this approach in my practice. I do this by using film and allocating only two rolls of film per person, a maximum of 20 photographs per sitting. Every shot is carefully considered, far removed from working in the digital realm where an ability to shoot endless images removes the risk but also the magic.

The analog camera lens for me is a portal into a different way of seeing, a re-evaluation of how I feel about photography, which is ultimately just a way to connect with other humans.” 

The IRIS Award celebrates excellence in portraiture photography, revealing portraits that are unique, original and conceptually stimulating. Artists are encouraged to stretch the definition of photography by incorporating new practices such as video art, photo sculptures and multimedia. In doing so, the award challenges artists to bring to light non-traditional ideas or take an experimental approach with traditional techniques.

The work of selected finalists is exhibited in a professional group exhibition at the Perth Centre for Photography.
Exhibition dates: 25th September – 16th October 2021.

With thanks to Joe’s Printing

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