In my collection, Menopause, I explore the social and cultural values surrounding femininity, fertility, menstruation, and menopause. Using staged portraiture, punctuated by abstract vignettes, I trace a continuum spanning from youth, fertility and menstruation to maturity, barrenness, and menopause. The series is marked by a visual language of the sacred and the profane. Through references to worship and penitence, sanctification and sacrifice, I draw into contrast individual experiences of menstruation, and the stigmatized societal views of womanhood, fertility, beauty, and femininity.
Marked by bright red elements set against contrasting backgrounds, the images include subtle and explicit depictions of blood that root the photographs within their thematic framework. As the series progresses, the carefully crafted blood-red adornments that ornament the women give way to consuming coverings that obscure the models’ forms and identities. By including rich symbolism, I invite viewers to place themselves within the timeline of the developmental continuum she presents, and to question how normalized cultural views have affected their own understanding of these natural cycles of the female body.