PUREBRIDE2019 - 2020

Tasmanian artist Meg Cowell is becoming well known for her enchanting wedding dress photography.

Through submerging each dress in fresh water, she creates a stunning life-long piece of contemporary art that we think are the perfect wedding keepsake.

We take 5 with her to find out more about her process...


Many brides dutifully pack up their wedding gowns once the day is done, but I struggled with the thought of storing away this treasured garment so quickly and permanently.

Meg Cowell’s enchanting wedding dress photography was the answer I’d been looking for. I’d never seen anything like her work before and relished the idea of having a contemporary artist capture the detail and character of my gown.

For me, the process was simple – I mailed my dress to her studio in Melbourne, sent through some wedding photos and eagerly awaited the finished piece. For Meg, it was a rather different story involving a 1000 litre pool, swathes of black fabric and scaffolding!

Once she was done shooting, my gown was returned in perfect condition along with this spectacular portrait. I just love how the light plays off the pearlescent beading of my dress as it dances through the water and can’t wait to display this striking large-scale artwork in our home.


We are always looking for out of the box ideas that make our brains sparkle here at Polka Dot Bride and when this amazing concept landed in my inbox, it had me inspired.

Photo Artist Meg Cowell has created a stunning series of photographs that submerge amazing gowns into deep, pure, fresh water (which causes no damage to the garment), carefully positioning them and capturing the way they float and billow that gives personality and life to these inanimate, but often beautifully crafted objects.

Her work has led her to find ways of photographing each gown, to reflect it’s own personal sense of style – simple, strapless wedding gowns are given their own mood as equally thoughtful as the period ballgowns with cinched waists and vivid colours.

Her love of the floating gown has led her to launch her own bespoke service for weddings, allowing brides to preserve the memory of their wedding gown in a completely new way. The idea, born out of her friends’ own desire to preserve the memory of their gowns. “I have so many friends getting married and searching for ways to commemorate their dresses and continue to enjoy them. I had the idea of photographing their dresses and the result is truly amazing”. Each commission is considerate of the wearer’s own personal style, Meg working to ensure the end result captures the own unique mood of the bride’s wedding day in the resulting piece.

Meg’s work will be on show in her new exhibit, Night Bloom, which opens at Flinders Lane Gallery on March 24th. See more at Meg’s website.


Enchanting, Bespoke Wedding Dress Photography by Meg Cowell

Melbourne based artist, Meg Cowell is renowned for photographing theatrical garments that have been arranged and illuminated while suspended in water. "I have recently launched my wedding dress photography project which is a bespoke service for owners of treasured fashion." Each gown is carefully suspended and arranged in pure fresh water, allowing the garment to bloom in an almost cosmic setting. The resulting effect gives character and life to the garment as it dances through the water, and is transformed, flower-like, floating in the abyss.


'Melbourne-based artist Meg Cowell produces photographs of youthful female bodies in contrast with cloth, flowers and liquids. For these, she dresses her subjects in garments that are strongly infused with nostalgia and melancholy, such as floating dresses with ruffled necklines and lacy shifts in antique silks. Through the suggestive, sensual qualities of these fabrics, Meg constructs a dream space of feminine fantasy and illusion. While the work is full of a deep sensuality, the feeling is constantly in conflict with an incredible sense of coldness. The milky waters seem almost deathly cold, suggesting mortality, but are contrasted by the goose-pimpled flower of youth and the sinking fog of eternity. Image courtesy Flinders Lane Gallery.'


“My relationship with photography surfaced within the sloshing chemical trays of the Hobart College darkrooms,” says Meg Cowell. “In the gloom amongst the dripping taps, I relished, what felt to me like, the almost supernatural processes of chemical dips and rinses that created and sealed my camera’s vision. I was enthralled by the control that was possible at the various stages of decision‐making that managed exposure, cropping and tone. I loved how these choices – what to reveal and what to conceal – could be used to veil reality and create meaning.”


Melbourne based artist, Meg Cowell, photographs undulating feminine garments in, what appears, a vacuum of infinite space. The dresses, rich in hue and excessive in their skirting, are handpicked for their unique and romantic character: “Each garment has to speak to me in some way, to tell me what its wants me to do with it, as cosmic as that sounds.” The chosen articles of clothing are then photographed in a 1000-litre pool Cowell has installed in her inner-city backyard.


Melbourne based artist Meg Cowell photographs undulating feminine garments in, what appears, a vacuum of infinite space. The dresses, rich in hue and excessive in their skirting, are handpicked for their unique and romantic character. Cowell’s exhibition, The Sea, The Shore, presents a series of large-scale photographic works that illustrate this shift from garment to artefact. Through sophisticated direction, the artist creates vignettes of unique gowns, lingerie and couture as they bloom into new forms: for example, dresses appear flower-like, floating in the abyss.


Meg is an eclectic mixed drink; a tall glass of beauty and sensuality, generous helpings of that thing you get after 9 years of Uni and buckets of creativity. Her highly unique tableau photography is extremely time-consuming and painstaking (all that time in bathers and gumboots, wrinkly fingers and squelchy toes must get on a girl’s nerves), yet that snapshot in time, or as Meg puts it “capturing a fluid moment”, is as alive as any reportage leaping-a-puddle image.

SLR LOUNGE7th July 2013

‘The effect is sensual, tentative, and evocative of the sirens of the sea; alluring, mysterious, with a sense of dark fascination.’

20 MINUTES7th July 2013

‘Chiffon, silk and lace acquire heaviness and livelier tones on contact with water.’

FLAVOUR WIRE30th June 2013

‘ Meg Cowell’s hauntingly beautiful photo series To the Surface captures stunning period dresses as spectral figures floating through darkness.’

STYLE FRIZZ27th June 2013

‘Ghostly fashion for the love of art, that’s what Meg Cowell’s camera delivered though her two parts of the ‘To the Surface’ series.’

LOST IN E MINOR24th June 2013

‘Meg Cowell’s haunting dresses rise from the blackened void, revealing their ghostly feminine visage.’

TIME OUT14th June 2013

‘Meg Cowell’s haunting dresses rise from the blackened void, revealing their ghostly feminine visage.’


‘The camera reveals satiny textures, florid colors and tendrils of fragile underskirt- suggesting an incipient process of osmosis, reminding the viewer of water’s symbolic associations with transformation.’