Mary Margaret Hansen and Patsy Cravens pulled images from a trove of nude photographs taken of one another in the early 1980s and used them in assemblages and tableaus that conveyed confinement, flight, freedom and moving on.
The goals of their photographic installation was to use their images to provoke conversations on 1) women made visible through photography and 2) women’s issues in Texas during two junctures in time.
The 1980s, when the photographs were taken, reflected the vast cultural upheaval of the second wave of feminism. Women had ‘the pill’ and new opportunities. Houston, Texas, was in the forefront on women’s issues and in 1977, hosted the federally funded National Women’s Conference that drew the wives of three presidents. However, thirty-eight years later, the ‘pill’ is under siege and women still do not receive equal pay for equal work. Texas is again in the lead, though this time, by denying women health care and reproductive rights. The timing could not have been better for Finding Our Way’s public conversations.
Hansen and Cravens collaborated with Rice University’s Center for the Study of Women, Gender and Sexuality and University of Houston’s Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies to create a multi-generational audience.
Built into the photo installation’s concept was the notion that Finding Our Way will continue to grow after its run at FotoFest 2015. ‘Finding Our Way’ has a project blog and is on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter and Vimeo.