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Nicole Welch: Lament

Nicole Welch
Film still
Image courtesy of the artist

Lament was Nicole Welch's first video work as she extended her signature photography style into timelapse video. A chandelier lit up a dark room in this silent, meditative piece. The lit chandelier is deconstructed and reconstructed piece by piece, a reflection on the impact of colonisation on the Australian landscape and culture.

Lament comes from Welch's Illumination series, which utilised the symbol of the chandelier throughout the series.

"[The chandelier] is associated with cultural hierarchy, luxury, status, power and money. It was first used in medieval churches as a basic cross nailed with candles and was the only constant form of artificial light. The light represented knowledge and was used to establish power and control through the offering of illumination."
- Nicole Welch

While the photographs in the series featured the chandelier hung above Australian landscapes making a claim upon them, in this timelapse video the chandelier was taken apart piece by piece.

"This recorded decoding is a lament and an acknowledgement of the loss that is now etched into the landscape. The reconstruction of the chandelier is an offering of hope, a question, and a personal reconciliation."
- Nicole Welch

Nicole Welch had generously gifted this work into MAMA's Collection through the Federal Government's Cultural Gifts program.