Guirguis New Art Prize 2013
While Petrina Hicks works primarily with people, her works transcend the boundaries of portraiture as she finds beauty in perceived imperfections and renders idealised beauty strange. While her images of adolescents elegantly capture the ambiguities of youth, her digital interventions are almost imperceptible, creating instead a polished hyper-reality. These subtle contrasts within the image play with the capacity of photography for dual capacities as both a revealer of truths and a perpetrator of lies, embracing the scope of what it means to be human.
Petrina Hicks' seductive, hyper-real slow motion work The Chrysalis simultaneously repulses and seduces the viewer. Referencing the slick, stylistic trickery and allure often utilised by the advertising industry, her clever use of rich colour and human and natural florid form are juxtaposed with excess saliva and a blemished, creature-like tongue. Here Hicks corrupts this process of seduction with a sense of distaste and overt sexuality, blurring the boundaries - the meaning elusive and slippery and the viewer denied any tangible meaning, left hovering in a state of ambiguity.
Image: The Chrysalis, 2011 video still HD video. Courtesy the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney