an invitation to dance

Image: Ann Shelton, an invitation to dance (detail), 2020.




Royal Botanic Gardens, Anzac Station precinct [i]
Near the intersection of Albert Road and Domain Road, Melbourne
Outdoor work – accessible all hours


Wheelchair access

Radical. Courtesan. Legend.

The life of Lola Montez transcends truth and slips into desiring myth. A radical and mercurial figure Montez exceeded prescribed parameters of femininity and ignored limits and existing conventions controlling women’s bodies. Montez toured Australian gold rush towns during the 1850s as a performer—and was notably the first woman ever photographed smoking.

Drawing upon Montez’s own use of photography to promote her self-image, Shelton has created a new series of works. An Instagram feed (@elizagilbertandlolamontez) created by the artist allows audiences to engage with archival material relating to Montez.

Commissioned by Photo Australia and the Metro Tunnel Creative Program for PHOTO 2021

On display from 18 February 2021

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