My first visual memory of the cape was when I discovered an Edward Curtis photograph of the Qahatika girl in a high school textbook. This image never left me; somehow that cape took a powerful hold on me throughout my life.
I went on to study sculpture at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and found my work taking on flowing, organic, human forms. I was drawn to other artists who honored these mysterious forms in their work, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, and even Giacometti.
While working with Contact Press Agency, an Image by photojournalist David Burnett of the 1978 Iranian Revolution, a sea of woman all covered with the hijab stopped me in my tracks.
I continue to explore why this form still compels me after so many years. The mystery, the anonymity, the timeless quality, and the myriad of interpretations of what the cloak means in different cultures. I ask why do I still turn my camera to this subject; travel to foreign lands to observe this uniform or to create a new narrative.
I have photographed infrared nudes the past decade in Palm Springs and Florida. I believed bringing the two subjects together formulated a new narrative, a true paradox. The Nude has been a subject of artists since art became a part of the human experience. Nudes have not only reflected the ideals of human beauty but have also been viewed through the treatment of documentary, religion, allegory and purely as decorative practice.
This photograph, “Pathos,” or “the awakening of emotion," represents the classic nude and is meant to be interpreted through the viewer’s own filter and influences. How does society and culture consider the cloak, a hijab, and the nude.
These photographs, some staged, some found are part of a small collection of my ongoing series of this exploration.
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