Not long ago, I came across a fashion magazine from the 1980’s. I was a young woman beginning in photography when this was newly made.
The images I found in it pointed to the physical ideal I should aspire to, as well as the craftsmanship of the images themselves. A flood of memories ensued. I agonized over the conflict between who I was supposed to be in the eyes of others and the person I had actually become with age.
It was easy to see now how false that vision was, and easier to dismiss it. I tore out a page and crumpled it in my hand as if to reassure myself that this fantasy no longer held sway over me.
As I walked away, I felt good about that act and stopped to take another look at what I had done. It was then I notice the light coming through a window playing across the crumpled surface, transforming it into something more. The crushed beauty had in fact become a beast, or visa versa, depending on your point of view. What I saw in the distorted face that stared back at me was my own darkness unclaimed.
Over the next few months, I crumbled many more pages and placed the distorted women I created in settings that evoked a haunting sense of familiarity.
I am still in the process of exploring these “elemental” beings. “The Dark Feminine” is about coming to terms with everything I have denied within myself.
Each one of these pieces is an aspect of recognition, and a key to further understanding. They are all women, all parts of me, asking to be recognized.
This work takes the viewer into my inner life. It may seem strange at first, but hopefully there will be recognition and ultimately more points of connection than not.
Our inner lives may have more in common with each other, than our everyday lives would lead us to believe.