Jane Burton’s Other Stories is a collection of photographs that are intended to be experienced as a series of loose associations rather than determined narratives. Structured with five chapters like a fairy-tale collection, each series is toned in a different colour – reminiscent of old photographic processes and hand-colouring techniques. The atmosphere common to all the stories is cinematic and dreamlike. Saturated with colour (peach-sepia, red, viridian green, lavender, and blue), each has its own emotional pitch and temperature; the ‘story’ is non-linear, non-literal, falling instead between remembrance, hallucination, and fantasy.
Whether depicting a figure, landscape, interior, or object, the photographs are imbued with a weight of meaning and emotional intensity. The landscapes are rendered as symbolic and psychological – places imagined, felt, remembered, rather than actual or specific. The female figure depicted, a character that moves through the stories, an animating presence, more ghost than definitive persona.
Jane Burton’s latest publication with M.33, ‘It is Midnight, Dr.__’ is a small and exquisite limited edition cloth-covered book designed by Yanni Florence. It contains 11 mounted original photographic prints accompanied by an essay from Barry Humphries. Burton’s darkly seductive and morbidly thrilling images can be read as reverie or erotic fairytale. In a garden of stone we witness a female nude assuming postures of devotion and abandonment on the earth’s floor. Like an alabaster statue come to life, a somnambulist or someone bewitched, she appears to enact unspecified rituals. As always with Burton, we experience the artist’s preoccupation with flesh and stone; mortality and the eternal.