These images were created from scanned tintypes from the 19th century. Tintypes were the first practical means of recording ones image. In this series my use of the sphere is a reference to Darwin’s study of biological determination; a held belief that women were “the weaker” sex. This fueled the idea that men and women inhabit separate spheres. Spheres were strictly defined by gender and a women’s was in the home as wife and mother. To go beyond her sphere women found they were limited. Botanical illustration was permitted as long as it was to confirm the existence of God. Once the study progressed from illustration to science men stepped in. This also occurred in other fields, for example medicine. Originally women, some known as healers and midwives were dependent upon for healing the sick, this was eventually considered out of their sphere and men again dominated.
Here I have use poisonous plants. Though beautiful, these plants take over and try to hold these women “in place”. As in the Garden of Eden, when women gained knowledge they suffered.
“History repeats itself” is a term that should not be taken lightly. We need to understand our past and come together now to protect not only our present but also our future.