Polixeni Papapetrou is a photographer who explores issues of identity and performance. She has been working in the realm of childhood since 2002, capturing the playful but also sometimes dramatic and worrying experiences of this stage of life. Working with her children and sometimes their friends as models, she stages images inspired by fairytales, literature, art history as well as tpopular Australian culture. The writings and photographs of Charges Dodgson (best known as Lewis Carroll) are one of her major sources of inspiration, with more or less obvious references in several of her images. The theme of the lost children is also a recurrent theme in her work, confronting the viewer with both his contemporary fears and child memories.
While the décor and setting are totally under control, Polixeni Papapetrou never manipulates her images and their startling beauty is entirely natural. A lot of her photographs are staged outside and the Australian nature, with its wild beauty and unpredictability is also an essential component in her work.
Polixeni Papapetrou is Australian and based in Melbourne. Her work has been shown in Australia, Asia and the United States, including at the National Art Center (2008, Tokyo), during the Seoul International Photography Festival (2008) and at Aperture Gallery (New York, 2006). In 2009, she was the recipient of the Josephine Ulrick-Win Shubert Photography Award and an Australia Council New Work Grant. In Autumn 2010, particiapted to the International Festival of Photography in Pingyao (China) and to La Forêt de Mon Rêve, a group exhibition at the Gallery du Conseil Général des Bouches du Rhône in Aix en Provence (France)). She also represented Australia during the Month of Photography Festival in Bratislava (Slovakia).