International Women’s Day
By Laura McIntyre
To celebrate International Women’s Day I’ve picked out a compelling case of the female gaze, which is an influence to Kimba’s aesthetic. Here is a rundown of Julia Margaret Cameron’s women.
Cameron, who took up photography aged forty-eight, is acclaimed for her portraiture via the wet collodian plate process, in which she elevates female subjects as classical allegories and embodiments of serenity, spirituality and omnipotence. Her photographs are strikingly out of time; her subjects are rooted in the past, alluding to classical literature, religious figures, and Pre-Raphaelite paintings.
The soft focus, composition and chiaroscuro lighting diverges from hyperrealism, the zeitgeist of Victorian photography. We’re drawn to the subjects’ translucent, empathetic and highly present eyes. Again this is reinforced by the stark shadows, giving a three-dimensional effect. The blurred lines between their skin and the background root them ambiguously in the photograph.
In a recent shoot for the Europa and Sisters Sweater garments, we took reference from paintings like Fredrick Leighton’s ‘Flaming June’ (1895) and Manet’s ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe’ (1864) and aimed to capture the subtle poetry of the female body. The organic essence within Cameron’s work is something we highly admire at Kimba.
by Laura McIntyre
Laura McIntyre is a freelance editor and writer from London who's written for various publications including Tank magazine.