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Lyndal Petzke, Hermes Birkin Bag, 2011

Sancintya Simpson interviews Lyndal Petzke: QCP Profile of the Month

Lyndal Petzke is an emerging artists based in Brisbane, Australia. She has completed a Bachelor of Photography with Honours (first class) and has exhibited throughout Australia and the USA. Petzke’s digital images ask the viewer to not only question the authenticity of a photograph but the authenticity of consumer culture through digital constructing images from photographs. She’s interested in the cultural value of objects, aiming to highlight the relationship between material and monetary value and questioning globalisation in relation to Western society.

Lyndal Petzke, Samurai, 2009

How did you come across the process of constructing your images digitally?
My process began by constructing and photographing paper sculptures. I then began to experiment with merging concepts of photography with sculpture by creating an image of a sculpture digitally using photographs. My aim with this experimental process was to create a visual language which could more effectively comment of ideological values associated with the object and the image in a contemporary context.

What procedures do you undertake from taking the photograph of the initial object, to creating the digital construction?
I begin by selecting the object I want to replicate, I select object which are ideologically powerful, historically and culturally significant and ascetically appealing as a sculptural image. I then think about the character traits associated with the object and the objects physical appearance like the texture or colour for example, I then question how I can translate these ideas visually through the collected materials. I then collect or construct the objects I intend to photograph I always photograph a number of different possibility and then select the most effective photographs for the particular image I am constructing. I keep all the images of file kind of like I data base which I can refer back to or use for a later image.

Lyndal Petzke, Shiro Kuramata Copacabana Bag, 2011

You write about how your images overlap photography and sculpture, can you explain how this is so? And do you see the hybridisation of photography as detrimental or do you feel the flexibility of the medium to be a beneficial?
My images overlap photography and sculpture because rather than physically making the sculpture I am digitally constructing an image of an object, the image is a replica of a ‘real’ object but my replica only exists in the 2 dimensional terms. In a contemporary consumer society images are attached to generic objects through advertising and the media in order to give them added social value, these social values are heavily engrained in society and considered more valuable than the objects material worth. In my work I question the validity of the object in an image driven society. I don’t view the hybridisation of photography as detrimental I simple see it as another chapter in the evolution of photography and an exciting opportunity to question areas of dissonance in contemporary society in a language that in current and relevant to today.

In Origami Amalgamation you digitally construct hats from photographs of origami, looking at the amalgamation of culture. How do you call the hybridity of culture into question through your digitally constructed images?
In my work Origami Amalgamation I am exploring the forced opening up of Japan by the united states navy in the 19th century. As a method of defence Japan began to adopt Western social, political and military institutions. The origami is used as a metaphor for the coming together of two cultures as prior to this an Eastern and Western form of origami existed, the opening up of Japan caused the merging of these two forms much like the two cultures.

Your latest series, Mass Authenticity critiques the concept of value in a consumer society through constructing artificial designer handbags from photographs of leaves, juxtaposing the materials versus the idea, with man-made/natural and derided/desired. What interested you in researching the area of consumerism and how do you feel this series links to your previous work?
I believe that the excessive and almost obsessive social worth placed on luxury consumer items has began to warp tradition values. I felt it was important to call these new perceptions of value into question. Mass Authenticity uses visual paradox by constructing objects from unexpected materials in a similar way to Origami Amalgamation as a means to encourage the viewer to look at the objects from a new perspectives. The work also builds on ideas of Western imperialism explored in the first work by taking these concepts further to look at globalisation and the use of luxury objects as a symbol of power.

For more information on Lyndal Petzke, visit her website and the QCP website.

Sancintya Simpson is an emerging artist based in Brisbane.

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