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Agence VU - Narelle Autio
Narelle Autio

Narelle Autio’s vibrant and award-winning images of Australian coastal life have won her impressive national and international acclaim.
One beauty of Autio’s work is its ability to speak to so many people about their own experience of being coastal dwellers. Another is the play of colour and light in the photographs, giving them a magic and painterly quality that transcends the usual depictions of the beach. Autio’s images give back to the coastline the complexity, drama and beauty that are eroded by postcards and clichés.

Narelle Autio’s new work Water Hole 2012 celebrates the otherworldly beauty of the dark waters she encountered whilst travelling through parts of Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.
For her 2009 series, The Summer of Us, Autio looked to the ocean, but this time to the shore, to the natural and man-made remnants of long summer days; a lone pink thong, the skeletons of sun hats and sand-crusted fish.
Exploring the human figure in relation to water, The place in between (2007) demonstrates a strong visual language, by isolating single subjects captured at the instant they plunge into the abyss.
In 2006 her New Colour Works pushed the expressive capabilities of photography. The figures in her underwater tableaux seem almost posed for dramatic effect, despite a complete absence of intervention on the artist’s behalf.
During 2006 Autio was featured in numerous group exhibitions including Light Sensitive: Contemporary Australian Photography, National Gallery of Victoria and the nationally touring Fifth Leica/CCP Documentary A ward.
Autio’s series Watercolours continues to be one of the artist’s highly celebrated bodies of work. Resulting from a two-year journey across Australia the images elegantly capture the complexity, beauty and drama of Australians' relationship with the water.
In 2002, Autio won the international Leica Oskar Barnack Award for her series Coastal Dwellers. This accolade contributed to an already impressive list of achievements including two World Press Awards, an American Picture of the Year Award and two Walkley Awards. Coastal Dwellers proceeded to be showcased in festivals and exhibitions including the Noorderlicht Fotofestival 2002, The Netherlands, Summer Life, Alice Austin House Museum, New York 2003, and FotoFreo, WA 2004.
In 2001 Autio was one of three photographers selected in the Australian Art Collectors Magazine's "50 most collectable Australian artists". She earned the same distinction again in 2005.


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Portfolio

Series

Water Hole (2013)

I have always been fascinated by this combined experience of exhilaration and fear. I feel it when swimming in the ocean or even in the relative safety of a backyard pool. We are drawn to water but we cannot live there. A breath of air is the only thing that separates us from death. These waterholes are such a contradiction to their desert surrounds and they take that feeling of life and death to extremes. The danger is real. It says so on the signs. These isolated bodies of water are the heartbeat of the country, the ultimate circle of life. Both mystery and promise lie beneath the surface of these waters. A dark place of conflict, of light and dark and life and death, of questions...

Burkini in Australia (2011)

Ahiida Zanetti lives in Sidney. When she saw her niece wearing her Islamic veil and doing sports, she had the idea of designing the burqini. “I remembered that, as a young girl, I had missed a lot of things, like swimming. So I created something that I could wear while being active”, Ahiida Zanetti explains. “The burqini is born of the encounter of my Muslim culture and my Australian way of life.” Is it not a mix between a burqa and a bikini, simply because it does not cover the face. Ahiida Zanetti now produces roughly 5 to 6 000 models every two months. Lucky and Ramla are two sisters born in Somalia. Their family fled the civil war and ended up in Adélaide, an Australian...

The summer of us, Australia (2009)

For her new body of work, The Summer of Us, Autio has returned to the ocean, but this time to the shore, to the natural and man-made remnants of the long summer days; to a lone pink thong, the skeletons of a hat and a sand-crusted fish. Using large format films, Autio documents her finds, treating each one with the same attention to details.

The place in between, Australia (2008)

I love to photograph in the sea, it is my second home but I have always feared the ocean as well, or rather, what lies beneath. Underwater I wait for the jumpers to disturb the stillness. I watch the shimmery figures above me balancing on the rails and I know what they feel. I love the moment that the sea has hold of me, cocooned in bubbles, suffocated by water and sound and cold and darkness. There is that moment of suspension, of complete isolation. Between worlds, seperated only by a breath of air.

Watercolours, Australia (2008)

Autio's vibrant images of Australians at leisure have won her impressive national and international acclaim. In 2006 her works shown with Stills Gallery, Sydney, pushed the expressive capabilities of photography. The figures in her underwater tableaux, despite being ordinary people enjoying a swim at the beach, seem almost posed for dramatic effect, as if on a stage. The play of colour and light in the photographs gives them a magic and painterly quality. Watercolours, her solo show with Stills Gallery in 2004, is the result of a two-year journey across the continent. They elegantly captured the complexity, beauty and drama of Australians' relationship with the water. A selection from...

Not of this Earth, australia (2001)

Not of this Earth by Narelle Autio features photographs looking directly down onto the parklands below Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge. Autio's images of people lying, lunching and playing on the grass form an elegant tableau vivant of humanity. These spontaneous moments seem incredibly still but also full of life. Contemporary urban life seems viewed from afar - not of this earth.

School of dance, Melbourne (2001)


Exhibitions



The Summer of Us (Marseille)
From 2014-09-15 to 2015-01-24

The fifth continent seems well far from our concerns. Nevertheless, thousands of kilometres from Marseille, the habits and customs of the Australian coasts are not so distant from ours. Within the framework of An oceanian Season, the Bibliothèque Départementale des Bouches-du-Rhône, in association with Agency VU\', presents the work of Narelle Autio, an Australian photographer born in Adeilaïde and currently living in Sydney. With a subtle photographic approach, Narelle Autio investigates the powerful link existing between the Australians and Ocean. This study on the \" common...

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The Seventh Wave (Vannes)
From 2014-04-04 to 2014-05-04

During the Photo de mer Festival, the city of Vannes shows The Seventh Wave, photographs by Narelle Autio and Trent Parke. The work of these talented and award winning photographers has the air of both document and dream. They began working on The Seventh Wave in the summer of 1999 as a response to one of Australia\'s worst ever summers for drownings. Their black and white photos capture the energy and power of the ocean which can be dark and menacing at one moment but tranquil and luminous the next.

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The Summer of us (Vannes Cedex)
From 2011-04-08 to 2011-05-08

Narelle Autio’s exhibition « The summer of us » will be part of the festival Photo de mer’s 7th edition, organized by the city of Vannes, and which will take place from April 8 till May 8 2011.\r\rA dozen of free and new exhibitions will enable you to discover hundreds of images taken by passionate photgraphers.\r\rIn the gardens and buildings emblematic of the patrimony of the city, inside as well as in the open, Vannes will share with you, during a month, the richness and emotion of the sea photography.

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Watercolors (Clervaux)
From 2009-09-05 to 2010-09-04

The Australian photographer Narelle Autio describes in her work, "Watercolors" and "New Color Works" the intense and complex relationship of the Australian population to the sea. The emotional attachment to aquatic environment is characteristic of the continent. The artistic motivation of Narelle Autio is to translate these emotions into images. Narelle Autio lives and works in Sydney. She is a founding member of the photography agency "Oculi". In Europe, she is represented by the "Agence VU" in Paris.

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