What Binds Us is a series of self-portraits taken in professional settings in which I am veiled with a scold’s bridle. This medieval device was used to shame and punish women who were deemed gossips, too outspoken, or troublesome. It resembles a metal cage, which would be fastened around a woman’s head with a piece inserted into her mouth, often sharpened or covered with spikes to inflict pain if she attempted to speak. An officer would then lead her around town on a chain so she could be publicly humiliated. This photographic series links the present and the past by bringing the scold’s bridle into contemporary work spaces to create a comparison between medieval ideals and modern societal expectations for women in the workplace.
The entire thesis paper written for this project can be seen at kelseyhigley.com.
This series of self-portraits provide a gateway into the mind of a self-conscious, questioning artist. The body of work features twelve intimate 4”X6” silver gelatin prints overlaid with handwritten excerpts from my personal journal. The selected passages are from specific moments in my life when I felt overcome with emotion. The best way for me to cope with these feelings were to let them escape from my mind and write them down. All of the images are straightforward portraits in ordinary settings, showing that these thoughts are constantly racing through my mind at every time of the day. These selections from my journal range from encounters with death to recounting moments of my childhood and discuss the emotional search for my self-identity and beliefs.
The entire collection can be seen at kelseyhigley.com