THE AWAKENING

2017-2019

“The Awakening” is a celebration of the beauty of black childhood, African American culture, and the delicate intricacies of protecting and raising a black child in today’s world. Loosely inspired by the work of Marianne Stokes whose portraits often showed the fine details of garments that were floor-length and embroidered.

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My camera remains my primary tool of communication, while my constant exploration of diverse ways of expression moves me to add several different layers using a variety of mediums. After a portrait session is complete, I typically digitally manipulate my subjects and unite them with other photographic components to achieve a work that is a new photographic expression (often lending to them the eyes of someone their elder). Thereafter, I may montage repurposed antique patterns and textures, vintage botanical and wildlife illustrations or hand drawn digital illustration. If I feel I am not yet complete, after each portrait is refined and printed, I may combine paint and gilding adding ornamental elements inspired by 19th century artworks. Each layer is meaningful and intentionally placed. 

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© 2017 Tawny Chatmon