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Title

flight research #2a

1999


Artist

Rosemary Laing

Australia

1959 -


About

In the 'flight research' series Laing photographed a woman wearing a bridal dress suspended in the air. In some works she hovers over an extensive mountainous landscape seeming to defy the laws of gravity. In others such as this image there is a poignant sense of impending disaster as the bride tips forward hands outstretched, seeming to anticipate her eventual contact with the earth. The bright cerulean blue of the sky and the white of the brides dress make a dramatic contrast and seem symbolic, the blue suggesting infinite space and traditionally the heavens and the white dress carrying the weight of virginity, innocence and purity.

Laing has created several series around flight and movement including 'brownwork' photographed at Sydney airport in which figures interact with planes and tarmac in unexpected ways. However the 'flight research' and 'Bulletproofglass' series are the most enigmatic with their subject matter of hovering brides. These surreal images echo the role the bride has had in popular culture - in films such as 'Muriels wedding' (1994) - and in high culture in such paintings as Arthur Boyd’s Brides series. The symbolism of the bride remains powerful in modern and contemporary culture and Laing participates with her own images which suggest both freedom and transcendence but also impending tragedy and disaster.


Details


Place where the work was made

Blue Mountains New South Wales Australia


Date

1999


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

type C photograph


Edition

ed of 3


Dimensions

103.3 x 103.3 x 5.7 cm frame


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Andrew Cameron 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program


Location

Not on display


Accession number

151.2011


Artist information

Rosemary Laing

Works in the collection

30


Referenced in 4 publications

Bibliography


Graham Forsyth, Rosemary Laing: a survey 1995-2002, ‘Flight research spin 1998-99’, pg. 28-37, Sydney, 2003, 28.

Victoria Lynn, Rosemary Laing: gradience, 'Gradience', pg. 3-13, Sydney, 2000, 8. reference to the 'flight research' series

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'Members events: November 11', pg. 47-49, Sydney, Nov 2011, 47 (colour illus.).

Vivienne Webb, The unquiet landscapes of Rosemary Laing, ‘Exploring place’, pg. 6-35, Sydney, 2005, 9, 10, 13, 43. reference to the 'flight research' series