Skin Deep: Photographs by Sara Risley
A different view of a “heavenly” body
September 28 – October 22, 2017
Curated by James Toth
In SILENT SKY, Henrietta Leavitt faces a patriarchal world that defines a woman’s role in confining and restrictive ways. It is a world that devalues and underestimates her intellect and potential over which she ultimately prevails. One hundred years later, vestiges of that same chauvinism are still with us. This is especially true when it comes to conventional, male-centric notions of beauty and the female body. Sara Risley, our featured artist, explores and challenges these notions in her photographic series of self-figure studies.
As a self-described “fat, 62-year old, post-menopausal” woman, Sara doesn’t fit the American media standards of beauty. Yet through layering, saturating and manipulating her photographic images, she creates abstracted expressions of her physical form, rich in color and texture, that transcend those standards. Her work celebrates color, energy and vibrancy and reflects inner qualities of the human spirit usually not appreciated in our impulsive, swipe-left response to the unconventional; the less-than-perfect.
Sara’s photographs and Henrietta’s story remind us that the beauty of a woman’s life is much more than “skin deep.” There are rich layers and hidden forces with which to be reckoned, and the world becomes more beautiful and exciting in that reckoning.
The art exhibit opens Thursday, September 28, and is open to the public Monday through Friday, noon to 5 pm, and through the start of any performance.