In her studio among the grey gums in the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria, artist Courtney Watson creates works where all is not what it seems. Using photography, paint and collage, the artist creates small-scale pieces with big visual impact, her palette reminiscent of the food advertisements that saturate our daily lives. Bright blues and salacious reds bump and clash with one another in much the same way her subjects do, where seemingly unrelated objects are juxtaposed with one another to bring forth new meanings.
“My work pushes objects to look like something else, something feminine and bodily,” says the artist. “Through the lens of the female gaze, I create photographs that are often sensual and erotic.” Her works use food and food packaging to challenge the double entendre, reclaiming the various ways the female form and experience have been objectified by society. Her cherries, ripe to be popped – or so the saying goes – sit frigid among icicles. For Watson, food and its packaging are abstracted and confounded in order to act as a vehicle to confront her experience as a woman. Colours almost bright enough to taste are alluring, but also disconcerting, creating a weird and wonderful world that resists simple explanation.
Featured image:Courtney Watson, Lips, 2021. Oil paint on stretched canvas, 36 x 36cm. Courtesy: the artist.