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Summer Concept Project: Void – The Awakening Part I

Although I love doing work for my clients, there is just something special about personal photography projects.  It is something that every photographer should do, often.  I don’t do them nearly as much as I should, and so recently I made it a point to schedule some time out just for myself and my art.  I found inspiration, booked the location and models, and secured wardrobe.  Below, you will find my artist statement for this series, a collection of 7 images inspired by one of my favorite novels in American Literature. Last Friday, three of these pieces were displayed at Lakeside Legacy Arts Park’s First Friday art exhibit.  Since I mostly do private work for clients, I found it to be a new and interesting experience.  We’ll see where the inspiration swirling around my head takes me on my next project.  Plans are already underway!

Artist Statement:

Void: The Awakening Part I

“There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why – when it did not seem worthwhile to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation.”

-Kate Chopin, The Awakening

I use photography as an extension of my love for writing and literature. Beautiful prose, such as the works of Shakespeare, has always resonated deep within me and moved my soul. My work today as a women’s portrait artist often reflects my love for the same flowing and romantic style.

In college, while studying to be an English teacher, I remember reading Kate Chopin’s 1899 novel, The Awakening. Such a powerful novel for its time. Such a powerful novel for a woman of any time to read. Revisiting that specific work recently laid the foundation for me to begin this unique portrait series. It provided me the inspiration to use my camera, light, literature, and lack of visable human emotion in order to convey the entrapment a women feels when she has lost her true sense of self, instead succumbing to “that fictitious self we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world” (Chopin). That lead me to pose the question: What is behind the visage that we display for everyone else?

My answer is the resulting, Void: The Awakening Part I, which was carefully crafted utilizing mood, available light (as well as a supplemental light source), and a digital edit reminiscent of film grain in order to convey its heaviness and weight.

Hair/MUA: Stefanie Orlowski

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Images Copyright 2013 April Bowers Photography