In the mythology that Petrina Hicks constructs and evokes through constant references to classical antiquity, we not only perceive the unravelling of the illusory nature of perfection, but also the poetic and political claim to a space in which animals and humans reconnect and recognize their mutual individuality as they observe each other. Who are these white ghostlike creatures, these winged messengers of the night, these small age-old dragons perching on a female fingertip? What secrets lie hidden inside the ancient vases? And who is the enigmatic Pandora holding them? The woman is a medium in the intimate con-fusion with other species, capable of exchanging silent kisses with a butterfly on the wing and respecting the spirit of the other creatures, recognizing the ability to feel emotions that is shared by all living beings.

Mythologies’ images reveal an instinctual and magical dimension, a reality beyond the boundaries of the visible, in which the promise of perfection that captures our attention in the Australian photographer’s seductive aesthetic cracks and overturns, leaving us disoriented.

Petrina Hicks is an Australian artist who has gained a reputation for her large scale photographs that explore representations of women and feminine iconography throughout art history and mythology. Her photographs are rich with mythological and historical symbolism and imbued with a sense of the surreal and uncanny. Symbolic animals and females often appear together in her work to represent psyche and identity. Her work is held in many public collections including National Gallery of Victoria, National Gallery of Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Gallery of Modern Art, Art Gallery of Western Australia. In 2019 the National Gallery of Victoria held a major survey exhibition of Hicks work, titled Bleached Gothic. This exhibition included fifty photographs and video works spanning the period 2003 to 2019. From June-September 2021 Hicks survey exhibition Gothique Blanc was held at the Australian Embassy, Paris, France displaying photographs spanning the period 2003 to 2019.

Mythologies. Petrina Hicks

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 14.8 × 21 × 1 cm


Year of publication










edited by Laura Andreini

English edition


ISBN: 978-88-55211-19-2