Suzanne Shelley B.A., M.C.D.A.D.,
the feminine line
These female identities are my ancestors. They come from different backgrounds and geographical locations, yet, collectively they documented family life by means of photographs, memorabilia and the written word. The images show the women during the years 1896 to 1908 and mostly in their twenties. Represented are; Ruby, Pearl, Edith, Angeline, and baby Eliza.
Posed in their ‘Sunday best’ in front of staged backgrounds with baby Eliza sitting contentedly on her mother Angeline’s lap, each personality is momentarily captured in the photographers gaze. The camera has turned each subject into an object, distancing viewer and viewed.
Now, these unique personas are displayed collectively in a window cast from my maternal grandmother’s home. Suspended inside this ghostly skin all the characters are inexplicably bound together in a single view.
What would they make of that I wonder?
The idea of using latex is that it holds memory and impression then gradually breaks down and deteriorates over time. Latex, being skin like, perceived as the boundary between the body and the outside world.
I consider contemporary printmaking as visual communication which embraces cross-disciplinary processes and materials and should continually challenge traditional boundaries by integrating new technologies.
- this work will be exhibited at The Depot Gallery Waterloo, Sydney. 11-21st October 2016