UNSW Art & Design, AD Space
The Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma is a series of photographs made in the shadows of a dark side of me that, as of late, I have begun to re-explore. Without meaning to make them so, these photographs reveal my fears and private memories, all the things that are wrapped up in a human life. In The Garden there is danger and beauty in a wild jungle that grows unfettered. The photographs are a documentation of my subconscious and imagination, often posing as something entirely unrelated and recognised only by me. They are created spur of the moment. I go from the gut. I don’t want them to be perfect because reality isn’t perfect; it’s messy, and the imperfection of these spontaneous moments reflects what I’m after.
The Garden is where I am the maiden standing on the hilltop, the wind blowing through my hair as I wait for the ships bearing treasures to roll in on the waves. I am the wild horse running across an open plain without borders. I am the witness to dark and mysterious things. I have let loose a part of me, joyously rebelling against the tyranny of the documentary photography that has described me for decades and against how I am perceived as an artist. I call upon all those things I loved growing up alone: mysteries, b-grade horror films, science fiction, the noir and sensuous forbidden ideas, anything that smacked of surreallity, mystery, intrigue, beauty, danger, and outer space. All these ideas have converged and landed me here in the Secret Garden of Lily LaPalma.
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Maggie Steber is a photographer who has worked in 66 nations on humanistic ideas. She received 3 grants in support of her 30 years of covering Haiti. Aperture published her monograph Dancing on Fire in 1991. She has been a photo editor, director of photography, curator and photographer. She teaches workshops around the world including Master Classes for World Press Photo. Steber has served as judge for many grants and photographic competitions. Her work is widely exhibited and is included in the US Library of Congress and the Richter Library at Univ. of Miami. Honors include Leica Medal of Excellence, World Press and Pictures of the Year first prizes, Overseas Press Club awards and Medal for Distinguished Service to Journalism.
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