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Art is the means of rendering the objective reality created by the human beings. One of the most updated arts is the art of photography, which is the subject of this paper. The exhibition in Melbourne is the gathering of the works by prominent artists of today, who express their ideas and thoughts in their works. This paper analyzes three photos by Samantha Everton titled Camelia, Party Dress, and Masquerade, considering their composition, color, space, messages, etc. in order to see the main ideas that this author renders by her works.
The first photo to analyze is the picture called Camelia. This is the photo produced by Samantha Everton in 2009 as a part of her Vintage Dolls series:
The photo is installed in a frame during the exhibition to ensure the considerable attention the viewers should pay to the works of this author. The main subject of the photo is a fantastic plot according to which a girl sits in the centre of a room, and another one pours water upon her from a kettle. The background is a papered wall, and on this background there is a black cat caught up in the moment of jumping. Being a modern picture, this photo refers to the past by the costumes its characters are wearing and by the very idea of dolls as photo subjects. However, this photo is not typical of Samantha Everton who is mainly known as a documentary photographer.
Therefore, it is obvious that the author aimed at rendering some new message to her audience. First of all, this photo, as well as the rest of the series, stresses the point that life is a game in which people can be considered dolls. Moreover, the conditional character of all the human achievements is also disclosed in this photo by showing the very artificiality of the role people play in their lives. This effect on the audience is achieved through a skillful composition of the photo and the appropriate use of colors. The colors are bright looking somewhat childish but the very setting and the background colors are at the same time simple, which helps to reflect the idea of the purity of the child’s mind.
Party Dress is the second photo by Samantha Everton to be analyzed in this paper. This photo is also installed in a frame as one of the central exhibits of the Everton’s section of the Melbourne event:
The subject of the photo is a little girl standing in front of the mirror as if trying to choose a dress to go to the party in. However, the reflection in the mirror is dressed in another way and displays another appearance. What is also important is that the centre of the photo is taken by a wardrobe in which the dresses the girl can choose are hanging. Therefore, the spacing is not traditional placing the main characters of the photo on the sides of the seemingly minor detail.
Being a 2009 photo as well, this piece of Everton’s work also refers to the past through the images it displays and through the ways it does this. In other words, Samantha Everton tries to connect past and present in her work, so that not to give up her documentary style but also to render the hidden message of the photo. This message claims that people usually lose their identities in the games they play, and the dresses they wear start meaning more than the people themselves. The composition and color use assist in rendering this message, as the location of objects in the photo are rather symbolic, while the use of bright, and often contrasting colors, symbolizes the hope for the better future. Thus, the sum of all the elements makes this photo one of the most expressive in the Vintage Dolls series.
The third photo under analysis is another work by Samantha Everton titled Masquerade, which also represents the Vintage Dolls series by this author:
The subject of this paper comprises two little girls sitting in the centre of the room with the papered walls and the curtains on the window, which makes the light in the room rather weak. The title of the photo is reflected in the unusual subjects that the girls hold as the parts of their masquerade costumes. Accordingly, the space of the photo is rationally used by the author to place her characters in the spotlight and make all other details minor. Such a composition of subject and space is not typical for Everton’s previous work, but it is a regular feature of the Vintage Dolls series. And again, the costumes and settings used are the references to the past, while the message of the photo stresses the dual nature of the human life.
In other words, Samantha Everton uses this photo to show that people are often dressing as someone else, trying to hide their identities, etc. but no costume can enable to hide from themselves. Thus, the message of this photo, as well as of all other photos of the Vintage Dolls series, is rather philosophical, even despite the fact that children are chosen by the author as the main characters of the photos. As for the composition and color, they are combined in the way allowing the photo to render its message. The subjects of the photo are assembling in the centre of the picture, and the pale bright dresses and pale colors in other aspects of the photo show the contrast between the real and the believed existence.
To conclude, photography is one of the most updated arts is art. This paper has analyzed three photos by Samantha Everton titled Camelia, Party Dress, and Masquerade, considering their composition, color, space, messages, etc. in order to see the main ideas that this author renders by her works. As a result, it is obvious that Samantha Everton renders philosophical ideas in her works, putting the emphasis on the sense of life and the roles people play in it.