Vanities #1

PhotographerDebra Livingston
PrizeHonorable Mention
CompanyUniversity of the Sunshine Coast
City/CountryMaroochydore DC, Australia
Photo DateApril, May, June 2017
Technical InfoNikon D800
Entry Description

Drawn from the traditions of the Dutch and Flemish masters a category of this was vanitas where compositions contained symbolic objects often depicted with dramatic contrast between light and dark and designed to remind the viewer of their mortality and the worthlessness or vanity of worldly possessions. I borrowed the tropes of this age-old tradition but imbued them with a modern twist. I visited a Thrift shop in Nambour, Queensland, Australia. Thrift shops, second hand or opportunity stores sell items that have been donated—sometimes from deceased estates—in the aid of charity. Captured on location and in the studio with purchased items these still life arrangements of typical vanitas objects such as flowers and fruit sit alongside contemporary curiosities including a wood articulated hand and an ornamental parrot to create a conversation between the past and the present.