It’s Okay to Cry
perforated photography print in lightbox
16.53″ x 23.39″
“I am 17, and in my first year of studying A-level Art. I have grown to both enjoy and appreciate the world of art, and I find myself inspired every day by society and the people around me. I hence began a project on ‘Inequality’ as part of my A-level course, and have explored gender inequality in specific – looking at the impact gender stereotypes have upon individuals.
From a young age, boys are told to favour the colour blue, be strong, play sports, and silence their emotions; whilst girls are taught to favour pink, look pretty, and become domestic goddesses. These stereotypes, stigmas and labels build false and distorted perceptions of individuals, which are often fueled by the media.
I was inspired by this notion, and produced this piece as a result. Through the use of light, I wanted to capture how powerful the negative impact of gender stereotypes can be upon individuals, and how hidden these effects can be – for without the presence of light, the tears, words and emotions remain concealed and oblivious to the viewer.
To produce this piece, I took a series of photographs, and used Photoshop to layer them over each other. I then pierced holes into the print to reveal light from a lightbox positioned underneath. This created a striking tone and contrast against the darkness of the print.”
“I love that not only are you using digital media to very convincingly mimic more traditional photographic effects, but that you are then sort of returning to analog in this very visceral and direct way by piercing the paper. That’s such a clever way of adding an additional layer of depth but also integrate this potentially very imposing text into an image that is otherwise extremely ethereal.
It reminds me of something that Saul Bass would do in that he such a strong and graphic design sense, but when pushes his work the next level is his willingness to try new applications and think outside of the box in terms of engaging media.
One thing I love to see you try next would be to incorporate color, because you do, in your artist statement, talk about the way that gender norms are communicated through the use of color (girls being forced to engage with pink and boys to associate with the color blue) and I think because you are using a light in this piece so effectively by shining the sort of light box through the holes, I’d love to see what you could potentially do with using different colored light. I think that would be another wrinkle that, given your excellent imagination, you would just run wild with.”