4:6 is a body of work exploring two themes: conceptually, anxiety and how it affects women. Aesthetically, bridging the gap between digital and physical art, along with rejecting the photographic tradition of the confined shapes of rectangles and squares.
Women are viewed as more emotional and irrational than men—this is a given statement. But in the culture women pass down between ourselves, stoicism is pushed and taught as a symbol of maturity. I learned to be stoic; hiding my anger, tears, and anxieties, from my mother. She learned that from her mother. I can only hope that if I have a daughter, I won’t teach it to her as well. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with clinical anxiety than men, yet we’re told to keep our emotions to ourselves, often to the point of actively evading help.
The title comes from Philippians 4:6, a verse in the Bible which reads “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”. Growing up as a worried child, who developed into a clinically anxious teen, I had those words repeated to me constantly. I was told to be anxious for nothing, leading me to avoid getting the professional help that I needed. I often heard other women reciting the verse among themselves, prompting them to also avoid seeking help.
The formal and aesthetic qualities create images that exist in a world in between digital and physical art. The figures are first manipulated in Photoshop to abstract forms, then physically hand cut into unique and organic shapes. I believe there is a block in photo based media, where everything must exist by the traditional confines of either a rectangle or square. In an age where digital technology can lead to endless creative expression, why should an image be four-sided? Likewise, in an age of post third-wave feminism, why should women still be expected to hide our feelings, put on a brave face, and let our mental illness eat us away?
NOTE: for those with trypophobia, the last two images may be unsettling, they have been placed at the bottom for your discretion.