images

 

Impulse, 1989 18 x 30” x40” color photographs, installation at Gallery TPW The work combines single frames from 8mm home movies, circa 1960 in series of tableaux reflecting on the socialization processes at work in the family.

 

Echo, 1990 various sized colour photographs, vinyl letter—installation view at The Photography Gallery, HarbourfrontCommissioned by the Toronto Photographer’s Workshop on the 10th anniversary of their gallery at Harbourfront, the work engages the mythical figure of Echo as a metaphor for issues surrounding photography and representation and as a parallel to women’s relationship to language.  The work comprises two complementary story lines built of images and texts, each considering experiences of isolation, desire, discovery, adaptation, transformation, action—as factors that influence and determine individual and and cultural change.

 

Portraits, 1989, 8 x 8” x 1” x2” photobooth strips—slide document of installation at Articule. Each portrait comprises imagery chosen by the portrait subjects: a favorite photograph of the subject, a photograph of another, esteemed person, a representation of a natural phenomenon or landscape and a colour.  The variety of images sources and their various and shifting meanings considers the complex nature of self-identification.

 

Queens + Subjects, 1989-92, 30” x 40” colour photographs, in the collection of the Art Bank of Canada. Collage works juxtaposing images of women and children with pictures of nature, from popular and private sources.  The images are chosen as they make intelligible the gesture of the body as a primary means of expression. Complementary concerns address the relationships drawn between concepts of nature and femininity, both seen as simultaneously essential and culturally determined.

 

Gravity, 1989 – 2000. Continuing an ongoing interest in the construction of gendered identity, the project comprises a series of short stories and visual poems addressing the ways in which women’s social and emotional experience is regulated through law and language. Each story uses combinations of reference material and text to produce stories about different historical figures who have suffered socially imposed restrictions, repressions, constraints, by virtue of their subscription to or rejection of a socially acceptable female role .

 

An Abridged History of Women.  1994-1997 A large-scale, serial photo-installation project, amassing over 300 images of female historical subjects (both actual women and fictional female characters) that have lent something to the imaginary processes through which my own and other women’s histories and identities have emerged. The doubled objective of this project is to trace the restrictive limits as well as the productive tensions of categorical definitions of gender.

  • 12 criminal women 1994, 12 x 11” x 14” photographs, etched glass
  • 5 victims/4 scarlet women, 9 x 11” x 14” photographs, plexiglass

At issue in both of these works is the way in which female sexuality is woven into definitions of female criminality and victim-hood. All of the women pictured in these works were represented in media accounts and legal proceedings as sexualized subject.  While the circumstances giving rise to each women’s notoriety were radically different and none conceivably motivated by a female sex trait, the significance of each woman’s actions or experiences were eclipsed in popular accounts by the gender of the subjects involved.

  • 48 anonymous women, 1995 48 x 8” x 10” photos, etched glass

48 anonymous women represents an important component of this larger, long-term project. On a rudimentary level the images in this series–all unidentified when I found them–offer concrete evidence of women’s erasure from official accounts of history.  However, the work also considers the leveling function of historical production more generally.  By organizing the images into a grid pattern, my intention is to emphasize the conventions of representation within which all identity is submerged.  Nonetheless, and importantly, each image asserts the various difference of its subjects, within and perhaps because of the rigidly formalized system.  In harnessing the idea of anonymity to that of systemization, I am attempting to articulate the tensions between difference and sameness within a community defined in singular terms.

 

  • 60 missing women, 60 x 5” x 5”, etched glass, 40 laser prints

The work gathers images from various newspaper accounts of women and girls who had gone missing, over a period of 10 years prior to the production of the work.  In the context of the archive project as a whole, this series serves as a reminder of the very real social violence women experience on an ongoing basis—of how the processes of social erasure are not merely philosophical and political, but personal as well.  Out of respect for the still grieving families, in order to preserve a semblance of anonymity, these subjects have been identified by the date of their disappearance alone.

 

  • sirens + other female phenomenon, 1997 78, 7 3/4” x 9 3/4” ink-jet photos, etched glass

The work juxtaposes colour photos of female screen stars from the 40s – 60s, with images of storm cycles named after women.  The objective is to underscore the ways in which representation both abstracts and alienates the object it frames, as well as promotes opportunities for self-definition.