The idea my former teacher and collaborator, Lisa Yetz, and I had for this show was Women Wearing Gowns with Long Trains, but we suspected our curator would not think this was a proper name for a serious presentation. The entire show is at its most fundamental level an anti-fashion statement. What helped us choose a title was that I wrote a poem about ideas Lisa and I had been discussing for years relating to the things women do to their bodies in the name of fashion. To illustrate this, I made a wall-hanging book that is about 11 feet wide, using the poem and other photos from the two shoots we made in this tree plantation of Norway spruce that is part of the watershed for the city of Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Unfortunately, there were problems with our curator's ideas about what we were doing and our own, so the show ended up not being hung very well. People didn't see the hanging book until they were well inside the space and had looked at most of the other art first. This problem was mentioned prominently in one of the few reviews we saw of the show.
The show consisted of graphite drawings made by Lisa and me from projections of some digital scans of my negatives of the forest, which I output on an inkjet printer and she copied on transparency sheets using a copy machine; charcoal drawings by Lisa; and Lisa's handmade paper sculptures of gowns. Lisa and I also made kozo paper for use in my hanging book.
I set a high price on this work because I believe it demonstrates everything I learned about photography from my UMass professor Susan Jahoda, to whom I am eternally grateful. It is independent work and was not done for any class I took. It's worth every penny I'm asking for it, as it is beautifully framed and matted and is striking in its subject matter. None of the photographs I took was posed; all were spontaneous, with the exception of those of me, which I set up and Lisa shot.
Lisa is now married and has adopted her husband's last name, Griffith.