The series Ella (She in Spanish) explores the women's experience from the perspective of the mother-daughter relationship. Throughout the series, I assume the role of self and mother to create self – portraits of our experiences as women. By exploring the mother-daughter relationship, I am able to reflect upon how my mother’s experiences and identity affect my own sense of self and idiosyncrasies.Inspiration for this series stems from my mother who often reminisces of her youth and familial relationships in Bolivia. To re-create these stories I take a directorial approach to stage scenes from past memories and family photographs, and I strengthen the visual narrative by using gender specific and personal objects that possess sentimental value to create photographs with layers of symbolism. Performing the role of self and mother blurs the line between our similarities and difference to manifest Ella, the coalescence of dual narratives. The series ranges from formal to environmental self-portraiture giving the series a vernacular feel of an intimate visual diary.
Conceptually the Ella series is an examination of how relationship dynamics can affect identity and gender roles within relationships. I invite the viewer to consider how their personal relationships and environment may have an effect on their self-identity.
Helen's artwork will be paired with Tread Softly by Benjamin Bolden.