Head On Festival features:
See Jane Run
A photographic exhibition by Julie Sundberg, Emma Phillips, Anna Warr, Fiona Wolf
See Jane skip. See Jane wear a dress. See Jane put on her make-up. See Dick run. See Dick play football. See Dick drink beer.
As children, we are all taught how to walk, how to talk and how to behave. Boys do this, girls do that. But how much of what we learn as children is imbued with questionable notions of gender stereotyping?
According to University of Melbourne academic Michelle Smith, “the cycle of socialising children into believing that girls should like particular things that boys should not, is not only continuing, but is further compartmentalising children into their genders.” And that’s just where it all starts.
Women in particular are force-fed unrealistic standards of female beauty from a young age. They are constantly bombarded by messages to be sexy and hot. Mass media and advertising imagery generally portray the female body as flawless and perfect – images are often digitally manipulated to an unreal extent.
Consequently, women are encouraged to aspire to an unrealistic notion of female beauty and are often disappointed when this ideal can’t be attained. This immense pressure can manifest itself in very negative ways, in the form of poor self-esteem, constant self-doubt and eating disorders. “Am I thin enough? Am I pretty enough?” This exhibition combines the work of four female photographers who have sought to examine issues of gender roles and body image, through their own unique approach and photographic style. Each body of work challenges the viewer to rethink traditional roles and media portrayals of both men and women.
Fiona Wolf’s contribution to See Jane Run comes in 2 parts: IDOL and INVERTED WORLD. Fiona draws a line from the Stone Ages to Ancient Classic Greece to the Renaissance period and finally leaps into present times.
IDOL looks at classic body ideals and portraying the nude male and female.
Fiona takes a personal turn on a self-portrait as Vitruvian Woman. INVERTED WORLD is a cheeky take on male pinups pointing out an obvious but accepted imbalance of men driving female over-sexualisation and of the female body being exploited in the Media and society.
“If she can see it - she can be it”
But if she can’t see the woman in herself, how can she be one?
This outtake from her Vitruvian Woman selfportrait takes the viewer on a revealing personal journey of accepting womanhood despite the constant inner Light from young age against accepting to be the weaker gender.
Exploring a new technique in her practice, Fiona works with solar plates creating multicoloured etchings from her photographs. This is a delicate yet dark exploration of the female body with hints of Dürer in sensibility and the 19th century in technique.