© Catriona Grant

Catriona Grant: from the series "Role Models"

Masquerade: Women's Contemporary Portrait Photography

Beth Yarnelle Edwards
, Catriona Grant, Kathe Kowalski, Magali Nougarede and Sarah Pucill

"Masquerade" is an exhibition of five women photographers selected by Photofusion in collaboration with IRIS - International Centre for Women in Photography, whose recently published book of the same title explores the genre boundaries that define portraiture, investigating ways in which women negotiate the traditions, conventions and theories accrued around the medium of photography.

Each photographer consciously uses and subverts the codes and traditions surrounding photographic portraiture whilst also considering contemporary womens' practice under the established genres photography has inherited from painting.

Beth Yarnelle Edwards' domestic interiors "Suburban Dreams" offer a fascinating insight into middle-class California's suburbs. In the dramatically staged photographic tableaux, Yarnelle Edwards examines the relationship between real people, their possessions and the spaces they inhabit. Similarly, Magali Nougarede's series, "Toeing the Line", is an attempt to speak of middle class values in relation to the lives of women found on repeated walks along the seaside at Eastbourne highlighting the intensity in which many women interact with their environment.

Sarah Pucill's black and white self-portraits self-consciously play with the frame and its boundaries exposing that which is and that which is not in the frame. A complex and tangled gaze travels between viewer; the women photographed and the mutual gaze of the women in the frame. Symbolism is dominant throughout Pucill's work with the duplication of the body and its inherently female shape.

In contrast, Catriona Grant's series, "Role Models", of young males takes an intimate viewpoint showing an aloofness and vulnerability contradicting the usual aggressiveness associated with male teenagers. "Get Me Some Pills" by Kathe Kowalski is a heart rending, unflinchingly honest dilemma of her mother's battle with Altzheimers. Photographed in her home, in various states of undress, the photographs are stripped of sentiment as Kowalski is faced with the painful realities of her mother's illness.

The publication "Masquerade: Women's Contemporary Portrait Photography" published by Ffotogallery, Cardiff, is available throughout the exhibition.

Exhibition: 28 May - 10 July 2004
Opening hours: Tue, Thu, Fri 10am - 6pm; Wed 10am - 8pm; Sat 11am - 6pm
Gallery closed: Sun, Mon & Bank Holidays

Photofusion Photography Centre
17a Electric Lane
UK-London SW9 8LA
Telephone +44 020 7738 5774
Fax +44 020 7738 5509
Email info@photofusion.org