Leila Jeffreys' 'High Society' Exhibition in Sydney & New York | Yellowtrace
Rain and June, 2019.

Leila Jeffreys' 'High Society' Exhibition in Sydney & New York | Yellowtrace
Coral, 2019.

Leila Jeffreys' 'High Society' Exhibition in Sydney & New York | Yellowtrace
Buckbeak, 2019.

Leila Jeffreys' 'High Society' Exhibition in Sydney & New York | Yellowtrace
Blue Blossoms 2, 2019.

Leila Jeffreys' 'High Society' Exhibition in Sydney & New York | Yellowtrace
Autumn Leaves, 2019.

 

Australian contemporary photographer Leila Jeffreys presents her latest nature-inspired works, ‘High Society’, the result of almost five years of planning. Having documented birds since 2008, the new exhibition revisits the world of the native Australian Budgerigar, the very subject of her first solo exhibition nine years ago. This time, Jeffrey’s worked with over 300 Budgerigars, capturing them in her signature large-format portraits and also experimenting with photographing whole flocks of birds and smaller groups within those flocks.

“By presenting the birds en masse in a series of trees, I explore how nature exists in relation to humankind. The focus shifts from the individual and is instead concentrated on the flock as a single living organism,” explains Jeffreys.

The concept first occurred to Jeffreys when she noticed how a flock of native Australian Budgerigars resemble leaves when perched in a tree. On looking closer, the artist noticed individuals, couples and families, that she interpreted as a secret ‘High Society’. Applying her acclaimed empathetic artistic vision and intuitive approach, Jeffrey’s went on to capture a vivid sense of personality in her subjects. Each work forges an emotional and sympathetic bond with birds and audience as she establishes parallels between the ‘flock’ and our human concept of ‘community’. Overall, the exhibition is a commentary on our need to preserve wildlife societies and their homes.

 

Related: Little Trace Of // Australian Photographer Leila Jeffreys.

 

Leila Jeffreys' 'High Society' Exhibition in Sydney & New York | Yellowtrace
Ocean, 2019.

Leila Jeffreys' 'High Society' Exhibition in Sydney & New York | Yellowtrace
Millet, 2019.

Leila Jeffreys' 'High Society' Exhibition in Sydney & New York | Yellowtrace
Bluey and Liquorice, 2019.

A preview of ‘Nature Is Not A Place To Visit. It Is Home.’ video artwork by Leila Jeffreys, from her series ‘High Society’.

 

“I hope this series inspires you to ask questions about the constructs of society: the relationship of the group to the individual; the collective consciousness and the concept of free will; and the ability of one individual to influence a group,” says Jeffreys.

Beyond her still photography, Jeffreys created a three-panel video art piece for ‘High Society’. Working with the world’s most advanced slow-motion camera, it reveals more of the secret life of the Budgerigar’s through the process of slowing them down to a speed we can register and more closely analyse. The intense high definition, colourful birds and triptych format lend the video a mystical, abstract quality.

Working alongside conservationists, ornithologists and bird sanctuaries, Jeffreys’ works are no easy feat, involving travel, long periods of waiting on her subjects, and many hours in post-production.

High Society will be exhibited from October 16 to November 10 at Sydney’s Olsen Gallery in Woollahra and New York’s Olsen Gruin on the Lower East Side.Click To Read Entire Post

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