Alexia Sinclair’s The Regal Twelve is a series that combines hundreds of photographic elements and illustrations to form complex digitally montaged artworks. The series portrays twelve European monarchs who have ruled supreme and whose lives span over two millennia. Through the study of history and portraiture, a series of contrasting regals formed, whose stories are revealed within each artwork. Travelling to Europe to photograph a host of regal backdrops, Sinclair returned to Australia to photograph models and props in the studio. Like pieces from a jigsaw puzzle, she meticulously stitched together each element, along with a myriad of delicious symbols and motifs relating to each monarch.
An unusual blend of Royalty, this series features very few conventional rulers. Instead, The Regal Twelve is a diverse series that celebrates the famous, the infamous and the obscure. Selection was based on their contrasts in leadership, their flamboyancies and their enduring influence upon society. In a time when women generally held little power, these Artemis-like women ruled as both male and female. Promoted in portraiture as having warrior woman-like and goddess-like qualities, each character is transformed through the incorporation of weaponry and armour into a sea of motifs and symbols designed to signify strength. This sense of warrior-woman is a quality that is suggestive of the strength of the modern woman and contemporary notions of beauty. Exploring the complexities of each ruler, The Regal Twelve celebrates historical realities within the guise of contemporary fantasy, a kind of conversation between the past and present.