Claustrophobia is the fear of having no escape of being closed in a small space such elevators, rooms without windows and crowded places. It is classified as a type of anxiety disorder that usually results in a panic attack. It’s usually triggered by a trauma at a young age such as being separated from your parents in a crowd of falling into a pool when you can’t swim. I decided to do a photograph based on claustrophobia and suffocation as the two tend to be interlinked. This psychological portrait focuses on the unconscious mind, an inner feeling of fear that personally affects whoever it’s happening. I, myself, do suffer from this fear and I wanted to capture how I feel in that moment, but in an attractive way. Being in a small room at full capacity is the equivalent of being stuck in a small bag that you can’t seem to get out of. I decided to have the photograph tight to the subject as it gives off the feeling of no escape and lack of air. It makes the viewer feel almost claustrophobic themselves when looking at it. The intention of this piece was to bring awareness to a disorder that not everyone suffers from but is very real and traumatizing for those that do.
Almost everyone is familiar with the story of Cinderella. In the classic version the title character, after losing her father becomes a servant for both her stepmother and stepsisters. When the King invites all eligible maidens to go to the ball where his son will pick a bride Cinderella is forbidden to go. With the help from an unexpected fairy godmother nothing is impossible. Growing up I saw many different versions of this fairytale come to life and it’s a story I’ve come to love. I decided to create a modern version of what I think Cinderella would look like in this day and age while keeping elements from the original Disney version. This includes the blue dress she wore and black chocker around her neck. Pumpkins surround Cinderella because in the story her fairy godmother turns them into the chariot that takes her to and from the Prince’s ball. This photograph is meant to show the moment where she’s beginning to transform into a princess for the night. It’s the part of the story that teaches you to believe and it is important to remember that sometimes the good things come suddenly without warning.
The last couple of month have been crazy school wise. I’ve had the opportunity to learn several historical photography processes such as cyanotypes, silver gelatin, lift and transferring polaroids etc. On top of that I had assignments due for my Photography Production class. Here’s a little bit of everything:
At the beginning of second semester I posted a photograph that was inspired by Rineke Dijkstra. For my classes last blog post the chosen artist was Laura Letinsky who does a lot of still life work with a large format film camera. I liked the simplicity that came with using a white table cloth. I originally had a different picture with a tea cup rather then strawberries but I found it too boring. The red gives it more power and brightens the image as a whole.
One of my first year assignments was to make a mixed media portrait of another person in the class. Meet Morgan, my amazing friend who loves going to concerts and many at that. The idea behind this piece of work … Continue reading
“I don’t know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her.”
– Rory Gilmore
I grew up watching Gilmore Girls on the WB, a television show about two young women who are friends first and mother and daughter second. I’d like to believe that that show is the reason why my mom and I are so close. Every week when a new episode aired we’d sit on the couch together and watch it. I remember when the show ended in 2008 and I was completely crushed because my entire relationship with my mother was built around the close relationship of Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. We’re the same person; I’ve become my mother in the best way possible.
Some people think being their mother’s daughter is the worst compliment they could receive and I would have to disagree politely. I love hearing that I look like my mom because she’s beautiful and I love hearing that we act the same because I love her personality. There is something so special about this bond that we share with each other and I feel sad for those who despise the very person I love the most. The very person I look up more then anyone else in the world.
I decided for my project that I wanted to photograph other mothers and daughters with strong tight-knit relationships. The idea is to showcase their similarities and differences while having them in the same location, the same outfit and the same pose. This series was shot in colour to emphasis the subjects. Although the surroundings are the same in each set the people who were photographed are of importance and I feel that it wouldn’t be conveyed the same way through black and white. This allows everyone else to see what I see exactly how I see it.
I was inspired by graphic-designer Carra Skyes, who did something similar with digital photography. Her uncle used to tease her mother asking if she was wearing her clothing. Their quirky photographs are something that reminded me of the Gilmore Girls and I realized that I wanted to capture different mothers and daughters in a similar element. This would be completed using a 4×5 large format camera.
These portraits can speak more then words and show a lifelong bond between mothers and daughters. Although there’s an age difference between the generations, similarities can always be found and I chose to focus on that.
The Yonge-University-Spadina line first opened in 1954, with extensions in 1963, 1973, 1974 ,1978 and 1996. It is the oldest and busiest subway line in Toronto with 32 stations and operated by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
A Brief History:
1954: The Yonge line opened going from Union north to Eglington
1963: Segment continued north to St. George
1973: Extended to York Mills
1974: Extended to Finch
1978: Spadina segment was expanded north of the University line to Wilson
1987: North York Centre station was build on an existing section of the line
1996: Spadina segment was expanded to Downsview
Construction is currently on it’s way to further expand the Spadina line northwest of Downsview into the City of Vaughan. Subway service is expected to be running in August 2016.
That’s all great, right? But now you’re probably wondering why I chose to do my typology on this subway line. To explain that it would help to know a little bit about me. For those unaware I’m a student at Ryerson University, which can be found in the heart of downtown Toronto. I however, live north of Toronto where the subway doesn’t quite reach, making me a commuter who has to ride the subway to and from school everyday. It doesn’t matter which end I start on, Downsview or Finch because either way I still live north of where the subway ends. I’m in the middle of each. As mentioned before I ride the Yonge-University-Spadina line everyday but never quite paid attention to the stations I passed on the way to my destination. I became intrigued and wanted to see the difference between each and every station. So one Sunday, with my brother I rode the full subway line starting at Downsview station. At each stop I’d get off, take a picture of the sign and wait anywhere from 4-10 minutes for the next train to come along.
Throughout my experience I noticed various similarities and differences between some of the stations. Stations on the original line; Eglington, Davisville, St. Clair, Summerhill, Rosedale, Bloor, Wellesley, College, Dundas, Queen and King are all designed very similar using vitreous marble, the only difference being the colour of the tiles. Union, which was one of the original stations is currently being renovated. The newer stations have art and architecture that differs from the original line.
Other Torontonians who ride the subway may have never taken the time to get to know each and every station on the line but I didn’t want to be one of the many. The subway in a way has become my second home and by taking a photograph of all the station signs i’ve documented a day in the life of me.