My photo series "Unbridled" marks the transition of the housewife from the earliest stage of Victorian, England, to the neo-punk housewife of the future.
Women make up a forgotten, but essentially, hidden piece of history. By hidden, I refer to the lack of representation of women's contributions to society. Through drama and playful allegory, I attempt to shed light on this issue.
Photography allows me to capture a historical time period through the use of portraiture, much like famous painters did with oil in the past. The best examples of such paintings, are those of aristocrats that may be found in your nearest museum decorating the walls. The cold, opulent, and solemn look that these individuals display on their faces is what I strive to replicate in my work.
Before I began exploring photography, I was traditionally trained as an oil painter. While learning to paint, I was exposed to a massive amount of renaissance oil portraits â€“ and the romantic and neoclassical styles were my favorites. What I discovered was that women - particularly those in portraiture - were usually overly sexualized (or objectified, if you prefer), or, prudish and homely. This polarity in how women were portrayed is what I challenge with my photographs. I work to create powerful "stand alone" women that convey glamour and strength, not servitude and frailty.
It is my overall mission to play and contrast the roles and gender expectations of women in history. I also believe that it is important to create work that sends a message about female gender-based oppression or misrepresentation. Through my art making, I hope to project a positive image of the modern woman. Additionally, my goal is to display a range of personality, emotion, and character that was not present in traditional women's portraiture.
Aden Solway , 17 yrs
Etobicoke School of the Arts