Ovid, Fasti 5. 222 ff (trans. Frazer) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
“[Chloris, the goddess of flowers, speaks of the metamorphosis of handsome youths into flowers :]
Limited Edition Print
Concept and Design Heather Wakefield, Lo Kat
Photography: Heather Wakefield
Model: Lo Kat
MUA: Stephanie Evans, Kaitin Molina
Lighting Tech: Ed Lark
The Dark Side of Transformation
Sometimes I don’t know where inspiration is going to come from, which was the case for this painting. As a Fine Art Conceptual Photographer it comes from different places but I am always interested in the inner narrative in my work. That is the deeper psychological aspects of ourselves. These sessions become very “process oriented” not all planned with every last hair in place. I allow room for a spontaneous creativity to enter into the piece. I create a structure and then see what happens. Many are absolute failures. Some work out, like this on. I like it and I hope you do too.
In this piece I teamed up with a friend who agreed to model for me and to learn along with me. This was just one stage set out of 4 that day, but the dialogue about the photo was very in-depth and personal. It took 9 months to birth. I really did not expect a digital painting to emerge from it. So, I was surprised when that expectation was broken.
In the end a female narcissus revealed herself. She got caught in her own reflection and turned into a flower at the side of a stream. Do we want this fate?
The fear of being caught in the reflection is very strong in many women. Like take myself for example. I cannot stand to have my photo taken. Like many feminists I value other things such as my character more than a pretty photo. And yet, when I see a photo of myself I just automatically do the same thing as every other woman, I look at all the flaws, and for me it HAS to be a decent quality photo in addition to being an attractive capture. I can go on for days about some bad low light capture in bad light with a terrible angle…So many ugly selfies out there, too. No wonder women think they are not attractive. Would we rather get caught for another day feeling frozen and helpless? Feeling insecure, shamed, self-conscious than to take one small turn, put on some lipstick, and turn slightly into the flattering light? and say hello to the person next to us before we smile. SNAP! Delete.
I see this as a metaphor, when we become paralyzed by our own inner world we are expected to just do whatever it is our fears are telling us. I work with many aspects of the female psyche and the value of beauty, my photographic conceptual paintings in essence are universal self-portraits that have come out of my mind with others as actresses. I work with attitudes toward beauty, describe visually inner narrative and what it is and is not very directly in my personal work. This is the power of art. To look at our emotions from the outside. To see something in a new way. SNAP. Delete.
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