The 19th century brought together a mix of events that I use in my exploration of female identity. The photographic process, the tintype was invented in the mid 1800’s. This was the first time that common people could afford to have their images recorded. This is also a time when society believed in strict separation of gender roles. Men worked outside of the home and women were expected to stay at home as wife and mother. Finally, this was the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement. Woman were discontent with their place in society and wanted equal rights. I appropriate, scan and manipulate 19th century tintypes of women as my starting point creating a narrative about women. In this series, Sugar and Spice I look at the restrictive parameters put upon young girls whose only choice in life during the 19th century was to become wife and mother. Here I look into the minds of these girls and try to understand their desires, conflicts and fantasies. I also show the inner strength these girls had to persevere and become the women they wanted to be. Today, decades later, we are still dealing with gender roles that would be all too familiar to the women in these images.
April 14, 2018