The Light Fades but the Gods Remain

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Thames and Hudson / Monash Gallery of Art, 2019. First edition.
Clothbound hardcover, 282 x 338 mm, 168 pp., 125 color illustrations.
Photographs by Bill Henson. Text by Anouska Phizacklea, Pippa Milne (English). Poem by: C.P. Cavafy, Robert Walser (English). Design by Daniel New.

Over thirty years have passed since Bill Henson made his iconic Untitled 1985/86 series. These mesmerising photographs cast a hazy procession of people and places from Melbourne’s suburb of Glen Waverley, interspersed with dreamlike vignettes of Egyptian structures.

Now, commissioned by Monash Gallery of Art, Henson has revisited his home suburb to create new work. While these photographs return to Glen Waverley, they show an environment that appears to have slipped out of linear time. Henson’s new images are sumptuous and resplendent in their grandeur, offering a view of what is ‘just down the street’, but seem to come from another age. Together, the two series provide a glimpse into Henson’s brilliant mind as he ponders the passing of time.

The Light Fades but the Gods Remain, accompanied by an exhibition of both series of work at Monash Gallery of Art, celebrates an extraordinary artist at two stages in his career. The publication includes extracts by various authors who have had an impact on Henson, as well as text by Monash Gallery of Art Senior Curator Pippa Milne.

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