Lilith | Lottie Davies

Lilith 2010 | Photograph 47,2 x 91 Inch

Discover the biography and all work of the artist

Taken from the series Myths, this photograph, representing Lilith, is inspired by the eponymous tableau of the English Pre-Raphaelite painter John Collier. In Jewish folklore, the woman Lilith is a sort of mythological demon, and the very first wife of Adam, before Eve.  The photograph takes the same vertical form as John Collier’s painting, but differs from that tableau in the movement of the woman and the snake: whilst the painter entwines the snake in a spiral around the woman, and rests the serpent’s head languidly on Lilith’s shoulder, Lottie Davies places a little more distance between the two characters, and the serpent’s head is directed towards the exterior, like a reminder of external reality, accentuated by the artificial light and the saturated colours.

The thematic of this series is close that that of Davies’ following series, Light in the Trees, set in the intimacy of a forest lit with lanterns.  In her most recent series Memories and Nightmares, the photographer recreates personal memories, in equally striking colours. Thus the photographer explores the collective unconscious, going back at antiquity, and the small memories that constitute the individual imagination.  In the series Unseen World, a project conceived by Sean Johnson, member of The Association of Photographers in London, five photographers (including Lottie Davies) were sent a roll of expired film, accompanied by an envelope containing a subject matter to be addressed using that film.  Lottie Davies’ task was to remember the first time that she had held a camera in her hands.  Her response was to return to her journey to school, crossing gardens and forest in order to get there.

Born in Guildford, UK in 1971, Lottie Davies is a Philosophy graduate.  During her time as a student, she participated in theatrical activities working on costume, stage management and stage photography.  After her studies she moved to London, her current home, where she began work as a photographic assistant.  Her shots have been used in newspapers, magazines, books and advertising.  She has received numerous awards including from The Association of Photographers, The International Color Award, the Schweppes Photographic Portrait Award, first prize in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Awards 2008, and the Arte Laguna Prize in Venice 2011. Although principally inspired by the world of cinema, she admires the work of Sally Mann (‘Immediate Family’), the precision of Ansel Adams, the sensitivity of Eve Arnold and the social awareness of Joel Sternfield.

For John Collier, superstition, seen as the most degraded of beliefs, was universal. In this piece, Lottie Davies presents an ancient myth but adapts it to today’s tastes, always leaving an opening for a new reading of the myth, outside of its traditional framework.