Sonia Payes is a photographer and new media artist based in Melbourne, Australia. A Master Photographer with the Australian Institute of Photography, Payes studied at the Australian College of Photography, Arts and Communication and at The Melbourne School of Art and Photography.
Creating images that both captured and defined her subjects, Payes gained attention with her photographic essays on 60 Australian artists in UNTITLED. Portraits of Australian Artists published by Macmillan in 2007. Working with multi-media animations and 3D installations is a new aspect of her practice that provides unlimited potential to explore the largely environmental themes of creation, apocalypse, regeneration and renewal of our future.
In 2012, Payes made a solid connection with China, exhibiting twice in Shanghai and undertaking a two-month residency with the Australia China Art Foundation in rural Beijing. This led to the Interzone series, exhibited at Fehily Contemporary in 2013. The 3D animation from this series has since been shown at Auckland Art Fair and Art14, London.
Other recent exhibitions in 2014 include Photo LA with the Queensland Centre for Photography; Wild Cards curated by Bill Henson for the Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, and Re Generation curated by Prof Ted Snell and presented in association with the Queensland Festival of Photography.
Payes has held 12 solo exhibitions and been included in over 35 group shows and many prestigious art prizes. Her works are held in numerous public, corporate and private collections throughout Australia and overseas.
Sonia Payes is represented by Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia.
"I wanted to challenge myself as an artist and discover new ways of creating an extension of the two-dimensional photograph – from the wall to the moving image and now into three-dimensional work." She said
"Looking back, I can see that Re:Generation had its genesis in Insomnia #1 from 2007, an early series in which thousands of photographs of my daughter’s head were morphed into a moving image. Since then, technological advances have provided the means to further develop these ideas through three-dimensional animations and 3D printing into full sculptural form."
Re:Generation 2014 fibreglass, UV stable gelcoat 3 elements:500.0 x 230.0 x 230.0 cm; 250.0 x 230.0 x 230.0; 125.0 x 230.0 x 230.0 cm
The imagery of a four-faced goddess featured in my recent exhibition Interzone. Thematically, this series of works was concerned with environmental destruction and the creation of a new humanity to regenerate the land. Re:Generation is a monumental embodiment of this theme.
On an art residency in China in 2012, I witnessed first-hand mountains being quarried out of existence to make cement dust, which in turn is then used to create endless rows of high-rise towers in new cities. I have chosen to look at this destruction as part of the cycle of creation and regeneration. I envisage a future world where a new breed of all-knowing humanity will have both foresight and hindsight, benevolence and power. They will rise from the earth, like corn, and populate a new era.
Re:Generation is a homage to my daughters and all children born to future generations."