feminine purity

PhotographerAthena Carey
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

What does it mean for a woman to be pure? Does she need to be soft, gentle, submissive, untouched, quiet and obedient? Should she be open-minded, loving and tolerant of others? Is a woman pure if she is natural, organic and earth loving? Or is it enough that she is simply herself, whatever that may be? I am exploring this subject - questioning others about their beliefs and challenging my own, listening quietly and accepting what I am told. What I am finding is that what we believe makes a woman pure relies heavily on our upbringing and our individual life experiences. The answers are varied and fabulously interesting. These images contain a combination of visual elements that represent my findings so far – nature, religion, softness, submission, silence, strength, openness, innocence – and my friend from university, Nadia.

Story

Feminine Purity What does it mean for a woman to be pure? Does she need to be soft, gentle, submissive, untouched, quiet and obedient? Should she be open-minded, authentic, compassionate, loving and tolerant of others? Is a woman pure if she is natural, organic and earth loving? Or is it enough that she is simply herself, whatever that may be? The Oxford English Dictionary defines purity as, “freedom from  adulteration or contamination.” This makes sense if you are talking about elements, water or air, but what about women? Why is there such a concept and why is it only applied to one of our genders? I have been exploring this subject - questioning others about their beliefs and challenging my own, listening quietly and accepting what I am told. What I am finding is that what we believe makes a woman pure relies heavily on our upbringing, our social culture, and our individual life experiences. The answers are varied and fabulously interesting. These images contain a combination of visual elements that represent my findings so far – nature, religion, virginity, softness, submission, silence, strength, openness, innocence – and my friend Nadia, from university. I plan to continue pursuing the concept and creating more images as my understanding and experience of others’ beliefs expands.

About Photographer

I feel as if I have been a photographer my whole life. My interest in photography was sparked at age nine, when my parents sent me abroad to visit my godparents. My mother gave me her small point & shoot camera to record my adventure. I was fascinated by that magical, little box with it’s single use flash bulbs, because with it, I could capture my visions. I fell deeply in love with photography that summer and it has been a part of me ever since. Since then, I have worked with many cameras, various photographic genres, and different medias. I have enjoyed it all - from creating artistic portraits, abstract macros and long exposure fantasies, to most recently, minimalist landscapes. Being able to create alternate realities through photography and being able to visually pull other people into those with me brings me great joy and satisfaction.