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Princess + Light

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The push to impose our ideals of beauty and femininity starts at a very young age. I confess I am resigned to letting it happen to my three year old daughter (I even occasionally encourage the …

The push to impose our ideals of beauty and femininity starts at a very young age. I confess I am resigned to letting it happen to my three year old daughter (I even occasionally encourage the invasion of the princesses - maybe because it is nostalgic for me) but it was a graphic and unsettling shock to me when I merged the two images for this photographics project. 'Would you let you daughter go out looking like that?'

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  • 1. Princess + Light Helen K Williams | DSDN 144 | Project 3
  • 2. Bill Henson Figure 1: Untitled, Bill Henson, 200- 2010, Archival inkjet pigment print, 127 180 cm, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne Further to my earlier blog: I eventually found a way to include a nod to Bill Henson when I shot the images of my daughter that I used for this project. I don’t pretend to know exactly how he extracts such beautiful images from his subject matter but I attempted what I thought he might do (i.e. used a dark room and black backdrop with a single direct light from the side) and the results were very useful for my final project. The half dark faces allowed me to highlight the effects of the superimposed princess make-up on my daughter’s baby face.
  • 3. Cindy Sherman Figure 1: Untitled, Cindy Sherman, 2000, The Artist and Metro Pictures, New York I knew I would have to find a way to work my love for Cindy into one of my projects. Since she is all about alter egos and donning masks it seems like her images, at times funny and at times grotesque are like a bad-joke-gone-wrong which is exactly what I hope to achieve with my project. I particularly like the way her images leave us wondering ‘is this for real?’
  • 4. Dina Goldstein Figure 2: Bathroom, Dina Goldstein, 2012, http://inthedollhouse.net/ Dina Goldstain is a contemporary photographer who specialises in photographing elaborate scenes such as her well-known ‘Fallen Princesses’ series from 2007 which depicts fairy tale princesses placed in modern day scenarios. The above image from her Dollhouse series has been featured heavily online recently. Inspired by the questions of her young daughters playing with their Barbie dolls she (again) plays with the ‘what if’ concept to create a narrative about Barbie and Ken facing the breakdown of their marriage. I have also been affected by the gradual understanding of my role as the mother of a little girl as well as the consequences of parenting in the information age. This awareness is what has informed my third project in photographics.
  • 5. Light
  • 6. Princesses
  • 7. Ariel
  • 8. Ariel
  • 9. Belle
  • 10. Belle
  • 11. Cinderella
  • 12. Cinderella
  • 13. Pocahontas
  • 14. Pocahontas

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