“The Last Boys” explores the concept of masculinity and the pressures that come along with being a man. This project was inspired by Barry Jenkins’ riveting film, “Moonlight”, With “The Last Boys”, I created a series of what a man means to me: the physical parts of him, juxtaposed with his own vulnerabilities. Expressing the “hardness” of a man (hands, jawline, beard) and placing it alongside the softness of clothing forms or objects a contrast between the strength that men always have to exert just to find a place in the world and their true emotional tenderness. Creating this project has opened my mind as a woman photographer and made me reflect on how I’ve been viewing men throughout my life.
“Becoming Her” is like a sequel to “Her Red Hands.” Where “Her Red Hands” spoke on the narrative of periods and menstruation, “Becoming Her” discusses womanhood and identity through an analysis of how women view themselves. From body acceptance, hair care, sexuality, and mental health, “Becoming Her” shares the stories of everyday women as they discover who they are. This is an ongoing project that began in February of 2019, and will be crafted into a printed book.
Cristina Mora: Poised yet outspoken, Mora’s work evokes reflection—literally. With frequent use of mirrors, Mora beautifully creates self-portraits with or without her physical being included in them. A feminist for all women, Mora’s photography doesn’t just advocate for women’s rights, it speaks for women often silenced by their gender and the stigma that comes with being a woman. Cristina Mora comforts the viewer, letting her know that it’s ok to have emotions and be soft, but it’s also ok to speak your truth loudly, even if you think no one is listening.
Naequa Petermon: Petermon, motivated by the injustices faced by American black women, empowers her subjects through fashion portraiture. Nae Petermon is a force to be reckoned with, and her photos match her personality, often confronting the viewer about the issues that face us like depression and how to cope with loss. Petermon has been internationally recognized from brands like H&M and publications such as Vogue Italia. Yet, in person, Petermon is humble, letting her work speak for herself.
Hannah Pasedag: Mighty. Honest. Caring. Hannah Pasedag, a natural-born leader who fights for the equality of women and member of the LGBTQ+ community. Pasedag is a multimedia artist that often collages, screen prints, and crochets her photographs. Pasedag has even created interactive room installations. An advocate for mental health, Pasedag has been featured in publications, such as Voyager ATL and participated speaking engagements where she has addressed how art helps her find clarity in her mental health. Her work has also been exhibited in Atlanta and New York. In the photographs below, Pasedag uses rope to occupy herself during our shoot. Pasedag finds that tactile objects and “using my hands” helps calm her down when anxiety or ADHD symptoms occur.
Her Red Hands
“Her Red Hands” is a liberating series because it pushed me to express how I felt towards period culture. I’d look at the Playtex commercials and cringe, wondering why they were so unrealistic. By showing periods in an authentic way, we are able to not only empower women, but educate men about the realities of periods. This project was inspired by photographer Petra Collins and poet Rupi Kaur.
Sparked after looking at the work of Gordon Parks, “Within” was birthed after realizing that artists of color fly under the radar in Savannah. For ten weeks, I contacted artists in the Savannah area and then entered their studios/creative spaces, in order to document their story.
Artists of color deserve to have their voices heard, but often feel oppressed by the lack of representation in not just galleries, but on social media. I created this project as a way to open my eyes to the artists of in both the SCAD and Savannah communities. Artists featured: Issac McCaslin, Emerald Arguelles, TaHir Robinson, and Jillian Nedd.
This work was nominated by SCAD faculty for the 2019 PDN Student Contest.
Generalized Anxiety Distortions
Generalized Anxiety Distortions explores my mental health as I navigated the major changes that occurred during my junior year at SCAD. In fall 2017, I seized the chance to study abroad in Hong Kong for two months. But what seemed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the rest of the students, ended up being a grueling journey of rediscovering myself and taking back my identity. Shortly after the first part of this series was created, I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which changed my entire perception of myself.
Snapshots that I captured on my days wandering around Hong Kong. Not for any reason in particular. I was just exploring.
The first image “Through the Taxi” (2017) will be exhibited at the Blank Wall Gallery in Athens, Greece in April 2019.
Ain't It Awesome to Be Black?
“Ain’t It Awesome To Be Black” is a one-year project created from 2016-17. For my Photographic Foundations I final at the Savannah campus, I photographed the strong black women in my life. When I transferred to the Atlanta campus at the end of 2016, Trump had just been elected. Angered with the results and fearful of my future, I spray painted over the faces of the strong black women I’d met during my freshman year.
At the beginning of 2017, I wanted to take my activism work further. For my Controlled Lighting I final, I asked close friends to pose against a black backdrop under a single light with makeup on their face as if they were whitewashed. This body of work was inspired by Carrie Mae Weems’ From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried.
The Portrait of a Black Male
Comissioned and Assignment portraiture.
*The black and white photos were featured in the 2018 FujiFilm Print Photo Life Exhibition at Grand Central Station in NYC.
Her Red Hands | a short film
Her Red Hands is a documentary showcasing the stories from the most important women in my life, how they define their identities as women, and what it means to be a woman.
Her Red Hands | a short film by Courtney Lowry
a short film about periods and womanhood by Courtney Lowry.