Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Francesca Woodman

For some reason, I feel the urge to gather together influences at the moment and here seems like as good a place as any... I'm certainly not the only one who finds the accomplished work of Francesca Woodman inspiring... perhaps it's something that appeals to the female in me, who was once a girl and who is still navigating her identity as a woman. I find her work so hauntingly beautiful, as if she knew all along her fate (early death by suicide at age 23). She seems to somehow inhabit two worlds in her photos to me, that of the one she lived in and that of the spirit realm, a fleeting presence on earth, and so photography was a perfect vehicle to express and capture these brief moments in time. During her short life (1958-1981) she was prolific but only a small selection of her output has been shown.

I have noticed how many of the women photographers I admire have used or do use their own bodies to explore their identity/sexuality/inner world, and they have silently given me 'permission' to do so too, at various times... Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, Nan Goldin, Sophie Calle, to name a few that come to mind now...

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