Images taken over forty years ago are reanimated in Bill Henson’s mysteriously beckoning new monograph – Particle Mist.
Drawn from three series: Untitled 1974, Untitled 1975, with additional and previously unseen photographs from an unfinished work begun in 1976, they are ostensibly of young dancers – girls in ballet class.
Arranged in three acts that reference classical narrative ballet form, we see the girls in Act 1, in their boaters and blazers, in pairs or alone. They aren’t speaking, just outdoors and waiting, perhaps for an exam or class or for something to stir them from their private thoughts.
Act II – and the girls are in the penumbra of an old-fashioned, high-windowed studio, hair demurely secured in white hairbands, wearing regulation leotards. They don’t converse; they stretch, lean against the barre, listen to an unseen teacher perhaps. Now and again, one or other seem to become aware of the presence of an