My work explores female identity in a male-centric society. I created digital collages that begin with vintage nineteenth-century tintypes of women which I scan and manipulate to create a narrative about women’s lives. I do this by incorporating history, symbolism, color, botany, an infusion of fantasy, along with personal experiences.
The nineteenth century was an era that brought great change to society. It brought the Industrial Revolution, the invention of the photograph, and new scientific discoveries and beliefs. 19th-century naturalist, and biologist, Charles Darwin theorized that all species of organisms arise and develop through natural selection. He believed that men were superior to women and that for society to run smoothly men and women should exist in separate “spheres”. A woman’s sphere was at home, as a wife and mother. Fortunately, there was a backlash in response to these controlling gender roles as women came together and fought back by creating the Women’s Suffrage Movement.
Regarding my titles: I give names to all of the women in my tintypes. I believe this gives each woman a personal identity, something 19th-century women did not have during their lifetime when they were considered to be the property of their husbands. If I use the same woman in multiple series her name always remains the same.
Series: Invasive Species
An invasive species can be plants, animals, and other living organisms whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm. Is this what men fear if women are not controlled? Are WE the invasive species or are THEY?