Editor’s Note: Each week we’ll be featuring members of the Photofocus community. Part of our New Year’s resolution is to focus on new and emerging talent. As such, Melissa Niu will personally select images from our readers and feature them here on Photofocus.
“She Rests” is the concluding image in “The Poetry of Dreams” series. The series is a set of self portraits that look at the universal archetypal character of the “any woman”. This particular image was made on a icy cold day, just after the sun had gone down on an abandonded dirt road behind my family’s home near Wrightwood, CA. I used all natural light to create an alluring surreal state. The dress is an original from the 1940’s and the suitcase is from the late 1800’s. I prefer to use vintage props to add a sence of a by-gone era. I also choose to use the confines of the square to draw the viewer in to an alternate space in time. My goal is to create a link between the viewer’s subconscious and the image. I hope that the viewer will forget that they are looking at a photograph and instead get lost in their interpretation.
I am fascinated with the inner being, the hidden energy that propels us through life. In each of my self portraits I explore the universal archetypal characters of the “any woman”. I have always been drawn to the darker side of fairytales and folklore. It is the twisted fates of the damsel in distress or the patriarch that I attempt to portray in my photographic work. I delve into magical realism; where my imagination creates alternate worlds. My images are a walk into a surreal dreamland where anything can occur. I use vintage wardrobe and objects thus encapsulating the spirit of a bygone era. My images take the ordinary and turn it into the extraordinary creating a thought provoking story as unique as the individual piece. My subject mater is ridden with symbols, myths and legends, each with it’s own primordial force. I seek to use these forces to represent my deepest thoughts and dreams. I use the confines of a square to draw the viewer in to an alternate space in time. My goal is to create a link between the viewer’s subconscious and each image. I hope that the viewer will forget that they are looking at a photograph and instead get lost in their interpretation.
— Crystal Dickerson-Hancock
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