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NomadHer Female Globetrotter Festival 2021
© lois conner

FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHERS AND FEMINISM

PART FORTY

Irene Stylianou
Irene Stylianou
+May 14, 2022
quote Looking at my lotuses, I want to cry and photograph them until I don't have any film. It's like being in love. I don't want it to stop.
Ever since its invention back in the 18th century, photography has been documenting life. At the same time it focuses on inviting audiences to a rather subjective world, while trying to be taken serious as an art form. Photography has always been considered a male dominated profession, but luckily things are changing. Scholars, writers, bloggers, photography students and enthusiasts have been giving due to the female pioneers of the field. Most of them were always standing and/or hiding in the shadows, oblivious to how much they could acclaim and accomplish. Arguably, the technique, concepts and thematic female photographers use differ from those of a male photographer. At a time when most women were convinced that their place was in the kitchen and certainly not in the dark room, there were those who were struggling to surpass their male counterparts and work towards gaining respect and recognition for their work.
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© LOIS CONNER
Lois Conner (American photographer, 1951-) started learning about photography from her father at the age of 9. Her interest in the arts was fairly obvious; as a teenager she did an apprenticeship with a painter, and later studied fashion design and even took dance, art, and photography classes in New York City. She received her MFS in Photography from Yale University and her BFA in Photography from Pratt Institute. The New York-based photographer has been traveling the world with a 7"x17" banquet camera for nearly half a century. That type of camera dates back to the 19th-century and results in large negatives from which Conner produces her own platinum prints. Her body of work is a true testament to the landscape and temper of our times and her vision captures the permanence of the moment. Conner's long portfolio includes working for the United Nations for many years, teaching in numerous universities, academies and foundations all over the United States and China, and exhibiting her work in solo and group exhibitions around the world. Lois' work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the British Library. Throughout the years, Conner has earned many grants and fellowships, including the most recent Pollock-Krasner Artist Fellowship, in 2020. She has been publishing photography books since the age of 26, and her pictures are characterized by their narrative sweep, a sense of place, and their implicit attention to history and culture.
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© JANE FULTON ALT
Jane Fulton Alt (American photographer, 1951-) has been active in the arts much of her lifetime. She began exploring the visual arts while pursuing her career as a clinical social worker. She received her BA from the University of Michigan and her MA from the University of Chicago. After Hurricane Katrina, Alt accompanied residents of the Lower Ninth Ward to examine the damage to their houses, as part of the Look and Leave program organized by the City of New Orleans and the American Red Cross. Her exhibition Look and Leave: New Orleans in the Wake of Katrina at the DePaul University Art Museum was recognized as one of the Top 5 Photography Museum Shows in Chicago in 2006. Her work is published in the books Katrina Exposed, New Orleans: The Making of an Urban Landscape and American Tragedy: New Orleans Under Water. The same body of work was later culminated with the publication of Alt's own book Look and Leave: Photographs and Stories from New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward in 2009. The book received critical acclaim and was featured on 89.9 WWNO, NPR's New Orleans affiliate, NPR's Chicago station, and Chicago Tonight's Arts Across Illinois segment. The Chicago-born photographer has also exhibited her work in museums and galleries in the USA, Europe and China and her work can be found in many permanent collections (Smithsonian Photographic History Collection at the National Museum of American History, Southeast Museum of Photography in Daytona, Florida and many more). Through her photography, Alt explores issues of love, loss and spirituality. She was the recipient of the 2007 Illinois Art Council Fellowship Award and the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Ragdale Fellowship Award. Her most recent work The Burn was nominated for the 2019 and 2021 Prix Pictet Photography Award. The photographs in The Burn are part of a series begun in 2007 when Alt herself first witnessed a controlled prairie burn.
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© JANE FULTON ALT
quote It is vital for artists to nurture and protect that which will make their vision unique.
We will continue talking about female names that left their mark in photography and about contemporary female photographers who are still to emerge. There are a lot of female photographers out there deserving of praise and we can only hope to cover as many of them as we can. Please, follow this space to find out more.
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© JANE FULTON ALT
Irene Stylianou
Irene Stylianou
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Irene Stylianou was born and raised in Larnaca, Cyprus. She studied Audio Visual Arts in Cyprus and ...

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