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Rosemary Laing

RosemaryLang.jpg

Rosemary Laing | Australia b.1959 | Flight research #5 1999 | Type C photograph on paper, ed. 2/3 |107 x 240cm | Purchased 2000. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Rosemary Laing, 'Flight research #5', 1999

Rosemary Laing
Australia b.1959
Flight research #5 1999
Type C photograph on paper ed. 2/3
107 x 240cm
Purchased 2000. Queensland Art Gallery Foundation Grant
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

Rosemary Laing

Flight research #5 1999

Rosemary Laing's photograph proposes a paradox: the trajectory of an extraordinary movement is captured in a photographic 'still'. 

This image comes from a series of photographs of flying and soaring brides. Laing is referring here to the study of movement in modern art, by avant-garde artists such as photographer Eadweard Muybridge and the early twentieth-century Italian futurist painters Balla and Boccioni. Perhaps the most celebrated 'action study' is Marcel Duchamp's painting Nude descending a staircase 1912. 

While these artists charted specific actions, Rosemary Laing's photograph implies movement through its absence. The bride levitates improbably above the scenic Blue Mountains, just outside Sydney. Looking directly at her viewer, she sits above the horizon line.

Rosemary Laing has captured an impossible event in a panoramic landscape view, yet, her photograph is as carefully posed as any studio shot, inserting the bride into a canonical Australian landscape, 'marrying' her to the bush.