Greek Australian photographer Polixeni Papapetrou has passed away aged 57.
The news was announced on Wednesday by her husband, Monash University professor and visual arts critic, Robert Nelson.
“Polixeni left, nothing to do or be said, but a sorrowful emptiness now that she’s dead,” he wrote on social media.
“Please, no flowers to the house,” he requested.
The 57-year-old was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, and after five years of being cancer free was informed by her doctors it had returned.
After battling the illness for another five years, the last few days saw her fall into a coma.
Papapetrou was the first born daughter of Greek migrant parents, who came to Australia in the 1950s.
She went on to study law at the University of Melbourne, working as a commercial lawyer for some time. But after being exposed to the work of American photographer Diane Arbus, was inspired to pick up the camera herself.
Papapetrou has since gone on to become an acclaimed photographer, exhibiting her work around the world. In 2017 she was the recipient of one of Australia’s most prestigious photographic awards, the $30,000 William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize for ‘Delphi’ from her 2016 Eden series.
Just last week an exhibition showing her most recent works titled MY HEART – still full of her opened at Michael Reid’s Sydney gallery, and she is a headline artist in a show opening on Friday at Melbourne’s RMIT Gallery.
Papapetrou is survived by her husband, and two children, Olympia and Solomon.