Photo Gallery: Bill Henson’s Twilight Vision

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One of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary artists, photographer Bill Henson possesses a love of light and ambiguity. His painterly prints capture adolescence, nature, and ruins in twilight states. Sensual figures emerge from darkness; majestic landscapes and waterfalls flaunt their natural beauty; and ancient temples display dreamlike surfaces. Taken together, the romantic elements in his current solo show at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney presents a timeless paradise, where life might be spent in unimaginable pleasures.

Henson had his first solo show at the National Gallery of Victoria in 1975, when he was still a photography student. In 1995, he represented Australia in the Venice Biennale and in 2005 the Art Gallery of New South Wales presented a 30-year retrospective of his work. His photographs sparked a debate about censorship in Australia in 2008 when his complaints were made to police about an email invitation that depicted an image of a nude 13-year old girl.

The Prime Minister condemned the work, but after actress Cate Blanchett and other members of the country’s creative community came to Henson’s defense, his photographs were given a PG rating and no charges were filed. This time around the gallery submitted his photographs to the Classification Board in advance of the show to diffuse any protests.

Bill Henson, 2010 remains on view at Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery through June 5. Click through below to view a selection of images.

Bill Henson, Untitled #30, 2009/2010, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Untitled #9, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #12, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #27, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #2, 2009/2010, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #22, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #29, 2009/2010, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #1, 2009/2010, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #28, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #19, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #17, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #13, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #5, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #11, 2009/2010, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney

Bill Henson, Untitled #4, 2008/2009, archival inkjet pigment print. © Bill Henson, Courtesy Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney