Jane Burton: Ivy

8 April - 4 May 2010

These works are from a series of photographs titled Ivy. Rendered in sepia tones with mottled stains in pastel hues, these images suggest a certain, timeless otherworld. Evoking vintage picture postcards and old photographs from the pages of family albums, the people and places pictured are forever anonymous and enigmatic.


Female figures and children are captured in garden settings where the foliage is rampant and encroaching and the shadows threaten. There is an air of enchantment suggested but with an unspecified darker edge.


In interior spaces, vignetted nudes appear against wallpapered backdrops, and with theatrical props. Posed suggestively for the camera and the viewers’ gaze, the subjects themselves are faceless, their gaze and features hidden behind dark hair.


Similarly, an image of a house covered in ivy appears shaded and watchful, its windows staring out like dark eyes of the soul.


The subjects and surface patina of these works suggest a mythology of decay, the traces and stains of family history: events past, people long gone, and secrets forever buried.


Jane Burton, Melbourne 2010