Laura Dodsworth’s portrait of ‘Debbie’ (below) was selected for the first Portrait Salon in 2011 and is part of Laura’s photographic series ‘Marriage’ about the significance of the wedding dress.
‘Marriage is a series of portraits of women in their wedding dresses in their homes. Women are to some extent defined by marriage, as wives, homemakers and mothers. The portraits are taken in their homes to contrast the ‘fairytale’ of a wedding day, epitomised by the dress, with the domestic reality of marriage.’
‘A wedding day is romantic, full of optimism and the bride and groom are poised on the brink of their journey through life together. The wedding dress is the single most significant item of clothing a woman will ever wear – it’s more than a dress, it says so much about the wearer, and evokes ‘forever’, ‘love’ and your hopes for the rest of your life. Dreams, expense, effort, time are invested in a wedding day. Yet all this is for one day, and bears little relation to the day to day domestic reality of marriage.’
‘What does marriage mean for women? There are so many answers. The series as a whole de-romanticises the dress, raises questions about the wedding day as fairytale and imparts a common experience married women can relate to. At the same time each photograph in Marriage tells a story unique to the subject and provides a window into their domestic world.’
‘Marriage prompted me to take a longer more intimate view through the window of women’s lives, and I went on to spend two years photographing and interviewing women about their breasts, bodies and lives for my first book, ‘Bare Reality: 100 women, their breasts, their stories’.’
Laura Dodsworth is an award-winning people photographer and her work is a personal enquiry as much as it is an exploration of people, their loves, their lives and their place in the world. While the human body and human relationships are important current inspirations, her art/social projects are often driven by deeper socio-political as well as spiritual questions.
Laura has just published her first book, ‘Bare Reality: 100 women, their breasts, their stories’. See more at barereality.net
James O Jenkins