Exhibition at C3 Contemporary Art Space, September 2010.

Eden is a series of photographs that examines the transitory stage of youth and human’s relationship with nature through thirty-five portraits of young people from around Australia.

In each headshot the subject is placed unclothed with nature as a backdrop, staring impassively at the camera. With no evidence of the subjects’ context (apart from tattoos or piercings) the images present, with idealised sincerity, the romantic beauty of youth.

By referencing the biblical Garden of Eden, and by placing young people in edenic backgrounds, Lia Steele explores the notion of youth as an idyllic time of purity and innocence, an unspoiled paradise.

For the three-week duration of the exhibition at c3 Contemporary Art Space, the work will be divided into the conventional gallery-space format plus eleven large-scale prints installed throughout the grounds of the Abbotsford convent. These outdoor works mark and compliment the re-birth of Spring. The harmonisation of the artworks within the naturalistic setting will allow viewers to feel a balance between nature and culture, witness the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth, and lament upon the sanctity of life.

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