A new series of photographic portraits by Ophelia King aims to quietly and gently encapsulate some of the subtleties within these women’s relationships, while also operating as quite a rigid visual exploration of shape and movement. “Through my gaze, I look to find both the common and uncommon language of bodies who sometimes share the same physical and emotional discourse.” This series is also accompanied with writing, by Grace Lloyd.
What can be described as a somewhat cosmic force has created a platform of healing for and between important women in my life. My dear ma, sister and cousin; we are all in one home. We have come together after individual periods of physical and mental disintegration, overwhelming loneliness and the all-too-common, ‘womanly’ burden of exhaustion. These reverberating aches across generations and geography is not unusual, what is, is the opportunity to help each other through times of discontent and disconnect.
When we were individually and collectively faced with a trauma we became insular and too busy processing the grief or pain of an event. We could not devote time to our true selves as we were dealing with the broken pieces of a shock. With time there has been space to overcome the raw nature of painful occurrences. Something really wonderful happens when you have a place to usher in the rejuvenating power of femininity.
Women allocate space for others, and this has a valuable feedback loop into one’s well being when you surround yourself with like minded women. Us four women have found a tie through familial tethers, and are learning to crystallise those by promoting healthy ways of being (together and apart). Together we are altering the pernicious past of the home we occupy, offering up our controlling and stoic natures to let in vulnerability and emotion. Apart, we focus on the need for self care and the actualisation of our own ambitions. There has been an allowance for one’s own shortcomings; room for acknowledgement and honest reflection on how to move beyond them.
This has been an exceptional opportunity to heal, and it should not be bypassed as the norm-it has taken an absolutely Amazonian mother and years of grief and tension to be allowed this time together. It’s an absolute privilege that not all women, all people, are afforded.