Rock Paper Scissors by Vicky Martin
Bound by Vicky Martin
(great) Expectations is a series of portrait and still life photographs which explore ideas of conformity to the stereotypical, individual and societal expectations of femininity as well as the portrayal of roles typically perceived as female.
“Each portrait is succeeded by a correlating still life photograph to further symbolise the themes within the portraits. The female protagonist in this series searches for a sense of self and belonging through the pursuit of traditional ideals of beauty but in doing so reveals contradictions between her own and society’s expectations of perfection.
The still life photographs compound the expectations conveyed in the portraits: the narratives explore the relationship with and attitude towards the idea of beauty - some convey the need to transcend these expectations of femininity, while others explore how such stereotypes enter into conflict with the sense of self and what it means to be female.
In this series I was inspired by the 1950s ideal of femininity and female identity, an era in which women were shaped into becoming a saccharine image of the perfect woman, perfect wife and perfect mother. I wanted to create narratives that combine this era of superficial perfection with the claustrophobic sense of conformity that my protagonist continues to experience even in present day society.
The pursuit of this unattainable ideal of the female identity during the 1950s often in reality, led to women experiencing intense feelings of loneliness and isolation. My intent is to convey these emotions and combine them with conflicting feelings of ambivalence and defiance as my character is overwhelmed with the social pressure to conform to the female ideal.
“In this series I was inspired by the 1950s ideal of femininity and female identity, an era in which women were shaped into becoming a saccharine image of the perfect woman, perfect wife and perfect mother.”
Vicky Martin is a professional fine art photographer from the UK. Her first introduction to photography was whilst studying art and design at college in the 90s, it was part of the curriculum and she felt completely in love, it just seemed such a natural fit for her creatively. It was not until 2008 after being awarded a prestigious bursary that she was able to pursue photography professionally. Since then she has had her work published and exhibited nationally and internationally, from Europe to the USA in solo and group shows.
Throughout her photography, she explores her fascination with identity and the emotions that are created by considered scenarios that are based on both fantasy and reality. Her work explores identity through staging and creating realities for characters who often display conflicting emotions with situations. Vicky Martin seeks to encourage the viewer to ask questions of her work to which ultimately the answers depend on the viewer’s own personal identity and perceptions.
FotoNostrum Mediterranean House of Photography, Barcelona, Spain.
Latest Solo Exhibitions
PH21 Gallery Project Room, Budapest, Hungary. Not In Kansas, 4 – 27 July 2019
Light House Gallery, Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. “Past” 2009
Group Exhibitions 2020
ImageNation Galerie Joseph Turenne, Paris. Ethereal A Modern Romance. 13-15 Nov
Photos de Femmes Chateau de Lomenie, South of France. Seeing Women 16-18 Oct
Photos de Femmes Chateau de LaLande, South of France. Seeing Women 2-4 Oct