March is Women's History month. During this time I am contemplating my position as a female artist, creating narrative art.
Part of the enduring fascination we have with noir is the inclusion of powerful female characters. The zenith of film noir was from the 1930’s-1950’s a time of extraordinary change for women, particularly during WWII, when they took up jobs vacated by men who were off at war. The war, plus the changing role of women in society, created nationwide anxiety, much like the anxiety evidenced in our own times.
In my own work I am wrestling with the issues of stereotypes- am I perpetuating them? Does the work I produce actually uphold my values? My use of nostalgia and depictions of a by-gone era seems to give me license to stay in my comfort zones and repeatedly depict figures that are young, slender, and largely white.
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