Capturing moments of those that are nearest to us, is a practice many families do. Why? The moment feels worthy of memorising...because we're moved in some way...or because its a special time that we hope by photographing will preserve it forever. There is another kind of documenting. Moments of great change, disruption or transformation. Maybe the Cloud Street collection by Lily Callisto is both.
"Cloud Street is a collection of memories of my immediate family, from two orbits around the sun. These disquieting years saw drought, fire, flood and pandemic come to our doorstep." says Lily.
Lily Callisto crafts images that 'you can feel, whispers of love and longing' through her Argyle Street Studio in the northern reaches of New South Wales, Australia.
Lily shared this quote with me:
'All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.' by Susan Sontag.
The Cloud collection feels deeply personal as we are let in on Lily's private family moments over a two year time window. 'These disquieting years saw drought, fire, flood and pandemic come to our doorstep' according to Lily. Cumulus clouds are usually present during fair weather as fluffy, cotton-like beings so maybe each photo is that happy moment of family despite the turmoil of external events outside of our control.
Lily has created something quite special in the Cloud collection. These aren't traditional portraits or newly minted parents with their newborn...although Lily also creates these for the community she serves. Each photograph, when viewed together, transfers the deepest of love that Lily feels for her family. A child with arms up in freedom and joy in #14, the explorers of #30 and the magical powers of creation in #8.
Cloud Street was shot using digital photography as well as 35mm and 120 film. If you're the first purchaser, you can also receive a fine art print from the collection too. One collector has purchased three from the collection, and that is certainly going to help present the emotions expressed by Lily through her photos.
You can view more of the Cloud Street collection on OpenSea.
Her second minted artwork was released on 28th November 2021 on Foundation.
"A self portrait of my daughter and I, and a portrait of a disassociated mother-state." This portrait was shortlisted and exhibited for the 2021 BAM Art Prize.
This is fine art as a photo documentary from the northern reaches of Australia, where family, belonging and time are shared in an almost dream-like state, inviting us in to see experience the moment too.
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