We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


flight research #2a



Rosemary Laing


1959 –

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Blue Mountains New South Wales Australia
    Media category
    Materials used
    type C photograph
    ed of 3
    103.3 x 103.3 x 5.7 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Gift of Andrew Cameron 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Rosemary Laing

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Rosemary Laing

    Works in the collection


  • 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.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

    • Marriage: Love and Law, Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains, 30 Mar 2019–16 Jun 2019

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

Other works by Rosemary Laing

See all 31 works