"Bodies Mapping Time", 2009 - Present
Puberty and pregnancy, childbirth and fatigue, injury, illness and surgery, working and aging - These and more inscribe themselves into woman's flesh, redefine her contours, weigh her down, lift her up. Her body may signal promise or survival - or trial's struggle between the two. It is her domain and her mirror - but circumscribed, often, by standards of appearance that deprive her of self-confidence and self-love.
A woman's body is biography, really; and society - that ruthless judge - misguides us into devaluing the ways life events are recorded on a woman's skin, encouraging her to "white-out," with Botox and in shame, the storied evidence of her progress through life.
In Bodies Mapping Time, I work mainly with women who have never modeled before (Some 85 women so far, of all shapes and sizes, from 21 to 91 years old), but who are interested in recording where they "are" at this moment in life. I photograph each woman in the natural light of my studio. A few chairs, some pillows, two bolts of fabric, my old digital camera on a tripod, the magic that each woman brings, and the rapport we establish comprise each session. Working intuitively and collaboratively on poses, together we select the portraits we feel most effectively convey who she is at this point in her life. This heretical approach, where a model partners with the artist, and where the sitter selects her portrait, counter-intuitively affords me greater artistic freedom: permitting me to witness (and hopefully capture) each woman's fullest expression of herself. Ase.