Inspiring learning with art and design

Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic

27 Sep 19 - 15 Mar 20 NGV Australia

Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic is the first major survey exhibition of photographer Petrina Hicks. Her large-scale, hyperreal photographs  of children, animals and young women subvert and disrupt the photographic language of advertising and portraiture.

Hicks’s photographs are notable for their duality; seductively perfect at first glance, the works are undercut with a sense of the uncanny. The tension between beauty and danger, familiarity and strangeness, intimacy and distance are present in many of Hicks’s works, which are rich with mythological and historical symbolism.

Petrina Hicks: Bleached Gothic includes more than fifty photographs and video works spanning the period 2003 to 2019. Seen together for the first time, Hicks’s shimmering, enigmatic and surreal compositions convey the inherent ambiguity and complexity of the female experience. At a time when issues of gender and representation are more culturally relevant than ever before, Hicks’s photographs explore the cultural and visual representation of women and children in contemporary society and throughout history.


Book your free self-guided school visit.



Book a program with an NGV educator to introduce your students to the key themes of the exhibition.

The Creative Lens | Two Contemporary Photographers
Levels 7-12, Tertiary, Mon-Fri 10am, 11.30am, 1pm & 2.30pm

Enter the playful, mysterious and thought-provoking worlds of leading Australian photographers, Polixeni Papapetrou and Petrina Hicks.

Engage in lively discussion of the themes and ideas explored by each artist, comparing and contrasting their different styles and sources of inspiration.

1 hour

Cost: $8 per student