Anna Gaskell: The Struggle For Identity

1396 Words6 Pages
Anna Gaskell: The Struggle For Identity “It’s about the suspension of disbelief, the possibility of the impossible, the absence of doubt, and the completeness of faith” –Anna Gaskell. Anna Gaskell is a profound artist that is part of the generation who is passionate about feminist conceptual photography. Each body of work appears to narrate, but hinders one’s ability to draw clear connections among the images. Gaskell’s work is distinct, in a way that most of her series’ are of adolescent girls that reference mind games, literature, and psychology. Her art pertains to surrealism, and relates to fantasy, horror, female sexuality, and the subconscious. Gaskell’s work fixates in the mind somewhere between our dreams and our child-hood memories. Although each of her photo series contains a reoccurring story, she confuses the viewer by simultaneously taking the photographs. The narrative events resemble a journey without a beginning or end, which is what sparks many interpretations. Unlike many photographers, Gaskell’s work is a metaphor for something else and instead illustrates the manipulation, and dark side of adolescent girls by using ongoing themes of identity, sexuality, and curiosity. Anna Gaskell’s first show of color photographs, titled “Wonder” (1997), is extremely intriguing because it acts as some form of a mind game. It is based on a re-interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and photographed in this series are young adolescent twins, playing the part of Alice. The girls are dressed in blue pinafores, white tights and black Mary Jane shoes, and are staged playing outdoors. Alice’s blue and white dress suggests innocence, but this particular series explores the theory that children are not always innocent, and when they’re not led by an adult’s love and guidance, they can become ornery. This is where the reoccurring theme of identity
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