Anzara Clark | 2020
Linocut print, hand coloured.
80cmwide x 50cm high (unframed)
In an old family photo (circa 1910) of my young grandmother and her two older sisters, they are all dressed in the same style of white dress with elaborate high-necked collars. They stare straight ahead into the camera lens, no expression on their faces. Photographs like this always leave me wondering – What happened to the subjects? What became of their lives? I know a small part of this story. Like most women of their time, they were absorbed into the domestic sphere, living lives supporting others, with no options to live life as they wanted. Except for my grandmother. Independent and vivacious, she travelled as a single woman in a time when chaperones were required. She pursued a career in nursing and she married late and to a younger man. Of course, she didn’t truly avoid the gilded cage of gendered stereotypes and life possibilities; but she escaped it for a while and lived her life to the full before the social cage caught up with her.
1 August 2020