As a visual artist it is through a cameras lens that my work takes its shape. Harnessing the mediums of analogue and digital photography, I explore the paradigm between expressionism and contemporary fashion photography. My work aims to push the boundaries of conventional feminine representation and I use photography not only as a means of expressing personal conflict with the feminine ideal, but also as a platform for individuals to further celebrate aspects of their identity.
Archetype; the original pattern or model of which all things of the same type are representations or copies.
As humans we are in a state of constant self performance. The stigmatized individual is frequently undermined as they seek authenticity.
This series of images explores the notion of female identity as i aim to challenge the stereotyped ideal. Females are constantly bombarded with notions of an supreme state of self, conditioning self improvement through increasingly superficial means. To be different is to be stigmatized.
With this body of work my aim was to visualise the pressure that females feel to meet both societal and internalised standards. To visualise both the physical and emotional discomfort of conforming to such standards. “archetype” explores and challenges the idea of femininity with concurrent themes of body commodification, sexuality, embodiment, female identity and self ideology.
The extent to which societies are bombarded with idealised image ads has only continued to increase throughout the years, we have never before been so encouraged to mould our identities from material possession and relate to one another through superficial means. With the sheer mass of exposure to such idealised representations it can only be expected that an individuals autonomy and perception of reality is subject to advertising influence. The interest for my dissertation lies specifically in how sex appeal communicates to viewers, sexual references have never before been so prevalent in the media so I feel it necessary to understand how they transmit meaning. I argue that there has been a significant shift in representations of females in advertising, so much so that rather than being presented as passive objects of the male gaze feminine identity is now constructed as sexually agentic, independent and empowered. Females now appear to be sexualising themselves rather than being sexualised by their male counterpart, this is presented as a positive step away from female oppression however I put forward the idea that all is not what it seems. Once we become educated on how one of such ads communicate to the viewer we learn that this is in fact a form of pseudo empowerment, female objectification in disguise. What are these misleading representations communicating to consumers and how is it affecting their perception of self and the world around them? I feel it’s imperative now more than ever to understand and challenge such pervasive images.