The set-up of Lydia Wegner’s staged photographs is unassuming. Cast from readymade materials the results are otherworldly. This ‘other’ world, however, is grounded in formalism. It is one of geometry, light and colour.
“I’ve titled the show Shifting Light because I’ve always been interested in light, colour and objects, and how they interact,” says Wegner. To create these images she experimented with materials such as reflective paper, Perspex, mirror and sometimes small bits of metal on her studio tabletop, resulting in compositions which were then lit by lighting gels. Their colours resemble candy or gems: turquoise, garnet and sherbet orange.
Wegner says of her new works: “I think there’s a lot more depth and layers. They’re not as minimalist as my previous photographs.” Though they appear harmonious there’s a dynamism to their composition. “There’s more of an intensity of colour, and layering of objects, and shadows. And there’s also a bit of play with mirror, which results in the bouncing around of light and shadow.”
Wegner uses an analogue process where she aims to achieve the desired hues and shadows in the studio – this method involves an element of surprise. “There’s a kind of magic which happens when I use the camera. You kind of get an image that you may not be able to see by the eye,” she says.
The outside world informs Wegner, but ultimately her practice is studio based. “I’m really interested in architecture and the casting of shadows that buildings can make. I feel that there’s a bit of influence coming from that, but also I think the constructed image and the studio still life is where my work is situated.”