A new exhibition which features a series of photographic portraits of girls ages between ten and twelve, exploring the complex transition between childhood and young adulthood. Made over a period of 6 years with many portraits never-before exhibited, this is most extensive exhibition of the travelling series to date.
At Impressions gallery from the 18th May - 24th July 2021
Driven by personal experience, award-winning photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn has worked collaboratively with 90 girls who are in the midst of navigating this complex, and potentially defining, period in their lives. Too often the target of relentless marketing campaigns and victims of social media pressures, girls at this age are often placed into an amorphous group described as ‘tweens’. Through her photography and accompanying interviews, Mendelsohn allows each individual an opportunity to reclaim their identity, encouraging a dialogue on ambitions and aspirations, hopes and fears.
The girls are both creative participants and collaborators. Invited by Mendelsohn to select their own clothing and stance for the portrait, each girl’s features and gestures are recorded against the same grey hand-painted backdrop. In these three-quarter length portraits, each girl looks directly into the camera. This careful and measured photographic approach bestows the girls with authority, granting them a certain power held within their gaze.
Featuring girls from a spectrum of cultural and ethnic backgrounds; disabled girls as well as able-bodied; and girls from a range of socio- economic circumstances, Being Inbetween offers an inclusive insight into this generation of girls. A personal narrative accompanies each photograph, with Mendelsohn asking the same set of questions to each of her collaborators: What is your full name? How old are you?, followed by more in-depth and emotionally- charged questions: What do you love? What is your ambition? What do you really dislike? What are your hopes for the future?
Taken as a whole, the portraits offer a highly personal insight into the dreams, desires, hopes and fears of this group of unique young women, with each girl the author of her own look and artist of her own image.
Anne McNeill, exhibition curator and Director of Impressions Gallery says, “Being Inbetween is a significant and inclusive portrait of our times. These remarkable photographs are playful, yet serious; and while they are a record of our uncertain times, they are, in another way, timeless. If these ninety young girls are permitted to be who they are and what they want to be, then society and humanity will be their safe in their hands.”
An Impressions Gallery touring exhibition curated by Anne McNeill.