In the Wimmera 1864 #1, photograph by Polixeni Papapetrou
As one of Australia's most acclaimed photographers, Polixeni Papapetrou has developed an extraordinary corpus of work which is characterised by a longstanding collaboration with her children, often engaging her daughter, son and their friends as subjects for works.
While Papapetrou's earlier photographs positioned the subject in front of a painted backdrop within the studio, since 2006 she has engaged with the Australian landscape, staging her elaborate narratives within various settings - from grand mountainous vistas to harvested fields and native bushland regenerating from fire.
In the Wimmera 1864 #1 from the Haunted country series is amongst the earliest works by the artist to have been staged in the Australian landscape and is one in which she explores the narrative of the 'lost child'. The work references the story of three children lost in Mallee scrub near their home outside Horsham in the Wimmera District and is reminiscent, as the artist intends, of Frederick McCubbin's late 19th century paintings of children lost or at least wandering absent-mindedly through the Australia bush.