Maria Kontis

(Australia 1969 – )

Him or me

Not on display
Further information

Maria Kontis collects found photographs to use as source material for her finely wrought pastel drawings. She is interested in the lost memories that are embodied in photography, and the potential for new narratives as the image is cast adrift from its origins, to be re-imagined in drawing.

The photographs are not copied faithfully. Rather, certain elements within them are singled out for emphasis and the scene, as it was originally captured by the camera, is reworked. This drawing is from a series of seven titled ‘Private life’ 2014-16. The drawings were based on photos from anonymous European collections, sourced via the internet, and selected for some elusive quality - formal, psychological or emotional – that seemed to suggest to Kontis the possibility of a kind of ‘drama playing out’.

The drawings in the series share some visual connections – water, summer, sunshine, light, air – yet retain a mysterious diversity that hints and teases. While narrative is suggested, it is elusive and subjective, much as the memories Kontis seeks to capture - memories that remain incomplete, their detail inevitably lost in the passage of time.

pastel on paper
56.5 x 76.0 cm sheet
Dobell Biennial Acquisition Fund 2016
Accession number
© Maria Kontis