Woman's Identity

Woman's Identity, 1975-1979 maps out one path on my journey to becoming a photographer. It takes on the conscious idea of a self portrait as both problematic and self empowering. The title aspires to a singular woman’s gaze, one of difference, rather than assuming a universal status for all women. Inspired by the writing of Virginia Woolf and the novel,The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, it represents a coming of age as a young feminist.  Made over a period of five years, these silver gelatin archival photographs hint at the way my work would later develop, sustaining a strong visual sensibility with a scholarly interest in issues of feminism, identity and place. A related essay,The Personal is Political, examining artists' self portraits was published in Camerawork, London,1978. My curatorial thesis for the exhibition, Three Perspectives on Photography, (1979 ) with John Tagg and Paul Hill at the Hayward Gallery, The South Bank London, outlines further research into the multiple ways feminism has impacted different women’s photographic practices. A catalog of the same name with my essay, Feminism and Photography was published by the Arts Council of Gt. Britain. 

As David Bate writes, “The exhibition, Three Perspectives was less governed by aesthetic orthodoxies and had a more explicit analytical outlook than the 'anti-aesthetic' of the Pictures exhibition (NY.) Indeed, both Three Perspectives and Pictures were in their own ways forerunners of a more critical strand of postmodernism, one that would embrace similar strategies, techniques and ambitions as in these exhibitions.” Portfolio magazine 50th anniversary issue, 2009.