In August I began a series of nude photographs with the working title, Projet Sage Nu. The project’s objective is to challenge contemporary notions of feminine beauty and the fallacy that it is the sole domain of the young and nubile. In many ways this work is a reaction to ageism as it applies to older women. It is also a reaction to the overt sexualization [objectification] of women and girls in popular culture, media, and advertising. My subjects are mothers and grandmothers, as well as women who have never had any children. All are over the age of fifty.
The poses are seated, and all compositions are from the neck down with special attention paid to the placement and character of the hands. The body therefore is secondary, offering only partial views of itself with a softness resulting from the shallow depth of field. The photographs are monochrome. In creating and editing my images, I explore shape, texture, and composition as a vehicle to meaningful narrative. These are not portraits in the traditional sense, yet they communicate these women’s humanity, strengths, and frailties primarily through the expressiveness of their hands. While I began with myself as the sole model, women have begun to express an interest in participating in this exciting project.
Currently I am working across various media platforms, including audio, video, and GIF formats. My recent poem, Requiem for a Grandmother, was pivotal in the project’s transition from purely two-dimensional photography to a multimedia experience. Please stay tuned for further updates.