Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
The Ladies collection is driven by the desire to give each of my ladies a chance to empower herself by stepping in front of my lens and by recording her written thoughts in the interviews about kindness, confidence and giant hamsters. The Ladies series can never truly be complete for there will be always be an endless list of ladies that I’d be honoured to capture in a frame.
Inspired by International Women’s Day, I photographed 52 women – one portrait and interview every week for a year. This formed the first part of the collection, 52 Ladies, which was exhibited in September 2018. I loved the project so much that I couldn’t stop there so I set my sights on 100 ladies, secretly hoping to reach the stretch goal of 116 — the number of years since women got the vote in Australia. Not only did I reach that, but it was surpassed with the collection making it to 123 for The Ladies: Part II exhibition. The series continues to grow – want to join the 123 strong, fascinating and wonderful ladies?
This series will explore what it is to be female in this day and age and I want to encourage discussion around what defines an artistic portrait. This is because I believe that smiling portraits of loved ones can also be art. It’s about highlighting the beauty in those we love by empowering them to love images of themselves. I shoot in black and white because this allows the background to fade away and I have a chance to capture a glimpse into their soul. The ladies I photographed all expressed relief at their portraits being in black and white so I want to explore why women find black and white comforting. The book is the core work of the collection but I feel strongly about having photos on the walls so that my ladies can have a chance to bring their loved ones to the exhibition to show off their portraits. For me, the project is as much about the photos on the walls as what the ladies get out of it – a chance to love themselves photographically and through their own words. The best feedback from the ladies has been how partaking has crystallised ‘what is truly valuable and constructive’ in their life and that while they previously had felt too timid to pose in front of a camera, now they wanted to do it more! The quote that inspires this project is below and this series features women of all ages including three generations of my family and several mother-daughter pairs.
I want to empower my ladies to see themselves how I see them – Strong. Wise. Creative. Kind. Inspiring. Passionate. Brave. Vulnerable. Generous. Quirky. Brilliant. Adventurous. Confident. Soft. Daring. Compassionate. Funny. Extraordinary. Bold.