ISOBEL TAYLOR-RODGERS AND CLAUDIA PHARES
Isobel is interested in dealing with antagonisms, dichotomies and contradictions within the self and flurried, unsuccessful attempts to reconcile these conflicts. Her works attempt to create simultaneously humorous and devastating situations, in which the women depicted struggle in an endless state of vulnerability beneath a veil of armour, or, a moment in which an external persona, created by the individual, engulfs the internal and the personal is lost to the public.
The photo series It’s conceivable! represents visual metaphors of my experience preceding and during the course of my pregnancy. Becoming pregnant was not easy. I was confronted with my preconceived notion that being a woman revolved around my ability to bear children. Reproductive issues in a woman’s life are not openly discussed and remain taboo. I struggled to find female artists who have experienced the same issues and explored them in their creative process. This photo series is my interpretation of this experience.
Each photo is a still life constructed in a studio setting and represents a particular physical side effect in the process of getting pregnant. I chose a minimalist approach to illustrate these events. I found a sense of control over the experience in using basic still life arrangements with defined parameters. I was drawn to vivacious colours from the start of my pregnancy. The pull I had for energetic colours was maybe a subconscious way to persevere and find meaning throughout the complex experience. Yayoi Kusama inspired me with her creative approach in dealing with her personal life challenges: the resulting works convey a sense of excitement and optimism, yet they stand for a darker side to her life. It’s conceivable! projects enthusiasm and joie de vivre; embellishing the anxiety, the discomfort, and the fear of the unknown I felt with becoming pregnant.