Chelle Wallace

As a fine art and conceptual artist I draw on photography as the most honest lens with which  to communicate. I seek to mine seemingly ordinary experiences for collective threads, and  emotional content that can often go unmet. Turning the lens on my own beginnings as a  daughter, has led to an ongoing body of work- The Good Room. Applying the technique of  Tableau Vivant to the tradition of Still Life, this series of photographs depicts showy domestic  scenes that both dignified and veiled my mothers lived experience. 

The Good Room celebrates the beauty and vices in my mother’s seventies home and those of her  generation. A play on blurring the lines between gallery worthy art and the informal art of domestic  scenes. It recognises that despite the forbidden opportunities that plagued women’s lives they not  only took refuge, but excelled, in the transcendent ingenuity of lovingly curated objects and outfits  that became the focus of much untapped brilliance. 

For my mother, order and beautiful things offered visible testimony that she was rising above  childhood scarcity. Her external search for worth and recognition, left me searching too. I am  especially interested in family relationships and place of origin as the most powerful realm  for recovering truth, welcoming back the parts we have split off, and reclaiming greater  wholeness with which to meet the difficult conversations this world demands of us. 

Tracing the broken and continuing threads I carry of my mother, it retells her story leaning on humour, and sometimes the absurd, to reveal fragments she thought should be hidden, and which now find a home in our shared search for something more truthful. 

My fine art work has been selected in various prizes including 

Olive Cotton Prize Finalist 2021 

Head On Photo Awards Semi Finalist 2021 

Galah Press Portrait Finalist 2021 

Lethbridge Art Prize Finalist 2021/2020 

BAM (Byron) Art Prize 

Finalist 2020 & Semi Finalist 2021 

Australasian top 20 Emerging Art Photographers 2021

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