Studies of Women

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Studies of Women

This project is an image collection that focuses on the inner conflicts and psyche of young women as they encounter the obstacles of expectation and identity that are cast on them in society. The changes that occur in young women during adolescence are the focus of many studies, and one book in particular that informs this work is called Reviving Ophelia, by Mary Pipher.

“As a therapist, Mary Pipher was becoming frustrated with the growing problems among adolescent girls. Why were so many of them turning to therapy in the first place? Why had these lovely and promising human beings fallen prey to depression, eating disorders, suicide attempts, and crushingly low self-esteem? The answer hit a nerve with Pipher, with parents, and with the girls themselves. Crashing and burning in a “developmental Bermuda Triangle,” they were coming of age in a media-saturated culture preoccupied with unrealistic ideals of beauty and images of dehumanized sex, a culture rife with addictions and sexually transmitted diseases. They were losing their resiliency and optimism in a “girl-poisoning” culture that propagated values at odds with those necessary to survive.“

Each of these images attempts to illustrate through metaphor one of many issues encountered by young women today in their journey to adult womanhood. These include metaphoric image juxtaposition, mudras-like hand gestures, and portraiture.

Each image has process elements that add to its story, and may include Platinum Palladium printing, Wet Collodion Tintype, Mordancage, Albumen printing, Cyanotype, and Gum Bichromate printing.