Ashley Wingrove

The Female Gaze

Bachelor of Visual Arts Photography

The Female Gaze is an installation of hanging and standing 2D life-size images that are surrounded by different shades of blue and green crystals, which originate from the original main images. These crystals are placed on the floor under the objects and are hung throughout the installation to resemble the sky and grass. The life size photographs are of women of different ages, from a thirteen-year-old girl to a woman in her fifties. Each of these photographs are made into cardboard cut-outs, with each pieced together in crystal shapes. There are multiple images of hands holding a camera in different ways hung throughout the installation, as well as a cardboard cut-out of a camera tripod and bag. Each cut-out's backing is made of crystal shapes that are covered in mirrored material to add another angle of exploration to the artworks.

Today we are frequently aware that we are being photographed, either through surveillance or by agreement. My practice looks at how this feels from both sides of the camera, particularly from a women’s perspective.

Through an installation of photographic objects my practice looks at the relationship between female self-perception and how age affects our experience and our relationship with being photographed.

The context in which we encounter photographs of ourselves can be very specific and reductive.

My work explores how photographs might be encountered and experienced differently when they are literally released from two-dimensional form. This process explores how photography can be more interactive for an audience, in which the two sides of the lens are humorously teased out.

Image and object are also explored as a two-side relationship with reflected backs and crystallisation details added to remove brandings, transform environments and allow colour to make image-objects more noticeable. This process enables the audience to see different shades that come together to create that image.

The six life-size images expand the “seeing” and "being seen” aspect of the work with viewers seeing themselves in the reflective surfaces, thereby becoming a part of the work.