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PHOTOGRAPHY 



SPRING/SUMMER 1989 




Volume 9, No. 4 Summer 19 



The 
C realise 
^oman Governors State University, University Park, IL 60466 - 3193 



PUBLISI IED UNDER TI IE AUSPICES OF TI IE PROVOST'S OFFICE, 
© 1989 GOVERNORS STATE UNIVERSITY AND HELEN HUGHES 



ISSN 0736 - 4733 



STAFF 

1 lelen E. Hughes, Editor 
Su/anne Oliver, Art Director 
Claudia Snow, Development 
Barbara Conanl, Library Resources 
Lillie Pearson, Editorial Assistant 
Pnscilla Rockwell, Editorial Consultant 
Lynne I Iostetter, Word Processing 
Linda Kuester, Word Processing 
Patricia Cardner, Guest Editor 



EDITORIAL BOARD 

Glenda Baily-Mershon, Illinois NOW/National Organization for Women, Oak Park, IL 

Donna Bandstra, Healthgroup International, Sherman Oaks, CA 

Margaret Brady, Social Sciences, Homewood, IL 

Rev. Ellen Dohner Livingston, Religion, Unitarian Society of Ponoma Valley, CA 

Rita Durrant, League of American Penwomen, Doylestown, PA 

Deborah Garretson, Counseling, Muncie, IN 

Temmie Gilbert, Theatre/Media, Governors State University 

Linda Grace-Kobas, journalism, University of Buffalo, N.Y. 

Harriet Gross, Sociology/ Women's Studies, Governors State Unive»siy 

Helene N. Guttman, Biological Sciences, Bethesda, M.D. 

Bethe Hagens, Anthropolgy, Governors State University 

Barbara Jenkins, Psychology, Governors State University 

Young Kim, Communication Science, Governors State University 

Joan Lewis, Poetry, Barrington, IL 

Betye Saar, Fine Arts, Hollywood, CA 

Terri Schwartz, Psychology, Governors State University 

Sara Shumer, Political Theory, Haverford College, PA 

Lynn Thomas Strauss, Women's Studies/Parenting, Oak Park, IL 

Emily Wasiolek, Literature, Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL 



PAGE 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



3 The Greats: Women in 150 Years of Photography by Patricia Gardner 

7 Introduction: Fifteen Contemporary Photographers by Patricia Gardner 

8 Patricia Gardner 
10 Linda Griffith 
12 Anne Savedge 

14 Nancy Lensen-Tomasson 

16 Helen Nestor 

18 Evelyn Eisen 

20 Edna Bullock 

22 Merry Moor Winnett 

24 Judy Gelles 

26 Larkin Maureen Higgins 

28 Susan Landgraf 

30 Judy Dater 

31 Judith Lermer Crawley 

32 Tamarra Kaida 
34 Deidre M. Monk 

37 Women in Photography: A Selected Bibliography by Barbara Conant 

38 Book Review: Lunacy of Light: Emily Dickinson and the Experience of Metaphor by Wendy Barker, Reviewed 

Elizabeth Kane Buzzclli 

40 Book Review: Roe v. Wade: The Untold Story of the Landmark Supreme Court Decision that Made Abortion 

Legal by Marian Faux, Reviewed by Sandra Schwayder 

41 Four Who Marched - A Report by Judith Lewis, Elise G. LeGrand, Christina M. Barry, and Ellen Moaney 
44 Peace Spirits: Mending the Web of Life by Marty Walton 

46 Editor's Column 



by 



The Creative Woman is published three times a year by Governors 
State University. We focus on a special topic in each issue, presented 
from a feminist perspective. We celebrate the creative achievements of 
women in many fields and appeal to inquiring minds. We publish 
fiction, poetry, book reviews, articles, photography and original graphics. 



Cover photograph by Patricia Gardner 



HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE 



HE GREATS: WOMEN IN 150 YEARS OF PHOTOGRAPHY 

atricia Gardner 




Migrant Mother, Dorothea Lange 



Library of Congress 3 



nsider art to be an extension of life and the 
^wledge of an artist's life to be an added dimen- 
sion that adds to our understanding. By learning 
about the childhood, schooling, personal philoso- 
phies and life experiences of people who create, we 
can begin to peer into their worlds and see, if only 
briefly, what types of events sharpened their 
creativity. 

This magazine is particularly timely in celebrating 
the contributions of women in photography, as this 
is the 150th anniversary of the medium. Although 
this issue deals primarily with the work of contem- 
porary women photographers, I believe it impor- 
tant to give tribute to several of the determined 
women who cleared the path for others to follow. 
Photography, like the other arts, had many pio- 
neers, but even the most recent history books 
devote little space to the achievements of women 
in the medium. The women written about here are 
familiar names to those involved in photography, 
but to many they are names without faces, names 
without a knowledge of their contributions. These 
are but a few in a long line of women who will 
mostly remain anonymous, waiting for a more 
comprehensive history of photography to be 
written. 



JULIA MARGARET CAMERON 

It is interesting to note that even though history 
books have paid minimal attention to women as 
major contributors to the medium, most major 
movements or genre have had at least one woman 
affiliated with its inception. 

Within twenty-four years of the invention of 
photography Julia Margaret Cameron became 
recognized as a leading contributor in the field of 
portrait photography. Like most women of her 
time, she married and raised a family, but at the 
age of 48 one of her children gave her a camera 
which became her ever present companion until 
her death sixteen years later. 

Apparently life in England had taken its toll on the 
family finances. Mrs. Cameron's gregarious per- 
sonality, which led to the frequent entertaining of 
guests, the failure of a family business, and her 
rising photographic costs eventually led to a move 
to Ceylon where life was quieter and financially 
less taxing. 

Prior to her involvement in photography, 
Cameron's interests were literary, so it is logical 
that her work took on this flavor — allegory was 
also frequently employed. 

She used friends and relatives as her subject mat- 
ter, but only with the photographs of women and 
children did she open up and use anything more 
than harsh, authoritative, single portraits. With 



very few exceptions, all the portraits of men 
seemed to show them as heroic head shots again 
a stark black background, a common treatment i 
art; some of her subjects were Alfred Tennyson, 
Robert Browning, Charles Darwin, and Henry 
Wadsworth Longfellow — a rather impressive 
group. Considering the time — 1860s and 1870s- 
even intelligent, forceful women were probably i 
in the habit of treating men as their equals. The 
woman was obviously an independent spirit to 
engage herself in a profession filled with men. 

Viewing her photographs you can imagine her 
directing the poses — enforcing her ideas of the 
spiritual and the beautiful into her images. Her 
work expressed more about herself than about tl 
people she photographed. 

GERTRUDE KASEBIER 

A photographer seldom mentioned is Gertrude 
Kasebier. Very little was written about her from 
1929 until the 70's, and although relatively un- 
known for many years, she was part of one of 
photography's most influential movements — the 
Photo-Secession, which fostered serious aesthetic 
consideration for pictorialist (soft-focus) imagery 
Along with Alfred Stieglitz, another founding 
member, she worked in this vein for about 15 yes 
even when Stieglitz and his followers abandonee 
the movement for sharp, non-pictorialist imager 

Like Cameron, she came to the medium later in 
life. At the age of 36, while her children were sti 
young, she entered art school and took up photo 
graphs but was discouraged by her instructors 
against its use as an art form. After five years sh 
found herself once again involved in photograph 
and comfortable enough to open a portrait studid 

Although she made portraits in the tradition of t| 
time her most memorable images are those depic 
ing motherhood, not just the fact of childbearing,! 
but the feeling, the sentiment. 

The images seem not be be contrived, but rather 
glimpses of private moments. Some may call thei 
overly sentimental, but luckily today's women ar 
reaching the point of accepting all the facets of 
being female without feeling the need to abandoi 
certain characteristics to fit into the traditional 
"man's world." 



IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM 

Imogen Cunningham, although born in the nine- 
teenth century, was a twentieth century woman t 
many standards. Accounts suggest that as her 
children got older her sense of independence in- 
creased, so much so that a trip to the East coast ti 
photograph for Vanity Fair precipitated a divorce 
She had spent twenty years married to a fellow a 






ist, but seemed to blossom into quite an individual 
after the split. 

In her early years she formed friendships with 
other photographers. She served as an apprentice, 
did commercial portraits and was the Mills College 
photographer — all of this while raising three 
children. In 1930, along with Ansel Adams, Ed- 
ward Weston and others, she helped found one of 
photography's great movements — Group F/64. 
This group was devoted to defining straight crea- 
tive photography and stopping the spread of the 
ideals of pictorialism. In Ansel Adams' autobiog- 
raphy he stated the Cunningham was "fearless, 
acrid, opinionated, capable, and, in her particular 
way, affectionate and loyal." 

In addition to always saying what was on her 
mind, she was known for not being a feminist. She 
wanted to be recognized as being a good photogra- 
pher regardless of her sex. Apparently her person- 
ality and straightforward ways were such that her 
gender never became a hindrance. 

BERNICE ABBOTT 

About a decade before F/64 was formed on the 
West coast, Precisionism was becoming the new 
school of photography on the East coast. Their 
philosophies were similar, but closer proximity to 
movements in Europe influenced the East first. 
Precisionism, i.e. Dada, New Objectivity, The 
Bauhaus, was where Bemice Abbott fit into pho- 
tography's short history. She was born in Ohio 
and tried formal learning at several universities, 
but each time abandoned the attempt stating that 
the classes were boring and her instructors uninter- 
ested. 

Her friends in this country and in France were 
other artists, mainly those involved in Surrealism. 
While living in France, she enjoyed success as a 
portrait photographer and as Eugene Atget's 
assistant. After his death, she became involved in 
a lifelong attempt to preserve his work and present 
it to the public. This, however, unfortunately took 
time away from furthering her own work and her 
place in history. 

Acceptance of her work in America was not the 
problem, it was financial backing. In keeping with 
Precisionism, she proposed to photograph New 
York City the way she saw it, by documenting its 
ever-changing skyline, by showing the unadorned 
reality. She chose not to fictionalize her views of 
the city, but to record what she saw as a beautiful 
place, without the dirt and grit. Certainly others 
could have argued that her reality was not theirs. 
Nevertheless, they were photographs of beauty 
from a woman who, at that time, knew little else of 
America than the difficulties of photographing 
with limited finances. 



Her other major body of work came out of a desire 
to understand science in everyday life. This led to 
the creation of images illustrating various scientific 
phenomena which represented again her use of 
traditionally "non-female" subject matter. 

There are many unpublished works by this 
woman, in spite of the fact she had no outside 
help, either financial or otherwise, no system of 
networking among contemporaries in the way that 
is so common today. Her success in Europe did 
not transfer to this country. Her isolation and lack 
of any business acumen, linked with no support 
system, kept her fairly obscure. 

BARBARA MORGAN 

Barbara Morgan was born in 1900, had a happy 
childhood, graduated from college, taught art at 
U.C.L.A., got married and raised a family. All of 
this sounds like so many other stories, except for 
an inner desire to convey what she called "rhyth- 
mic vitality," a concept developed in childhood 
when told by her father that everything contains 
atoms and they are continually in motion. From 
that time on she had an interest in movement. 

As a young artist her medium was painting, but 
with influence from her husband along with the 
need to have an artistic outlet that allowed her to 
devote much time to her children, as well as the 
realization that the camera portrayed motion better 
than any other medium, she turned exclusively to 
photography. 

Initially she turned to photomontage because her 
painting background led her to believe that the 
only way photography could be creatively used 
was in this manner. Over time she came to realize 
that it was the idea that expressed a creative 
thought, not the medium. She blazed new ground 
and presented the essence of fluid movement in 
her famous series of photographs of Martha Gra- 
ham. The photographs were not static, but rather 
showed within a still image the grace of movement 
through dance. Like others, her work encom- 
passed other areas, but in all instances she stressed 
rhythm and movement. 

DOROTHEA LANGE 

A photographer whose influence was strongly felt 
was Dorothea Lange. After her first marriage 
dissolved she married social economist Paul Tay- 
lor, and their family unit consisted of children from 
both their prior marriages. One fact that contrib- 
uted to a sense of guilt was her inability to equally 
care for her children and devote the time necessary 
to her work. This guilt manifested itself in ulcers 
which grounded her for almost eight years. 

As a young woman she was plagued with worries 



r what she should choose to photograph. She 
felt she had no direction. One day as she stood in 
r portrait gallery in San Francisco staring down 
into the street it came to her that she would con- 
centrate on people. On her studio door she kept a 
statement by Francis Bacon which summed up her 
feelings, "The contemplation of things as they are, 
without substitution or imposture, without error or 
confusion, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole 
harvest of invention." 

She was friends with, but was never asked to join 
group F/64. One of their tenets was technical 
excellence, and Dorothea did not care for working 
in the darkroom. Her excellence stemmed from 
her ability to take a situation, see the human 
drama, and photograph those moments, both 
private and public. She did, however, pride herself 
in never photographing anyone who did not wish 
to be photographed, nor did she intrude on any- 
one's acute sense of grief. Those moments, accord- 
ing to Lange, were best left private. 

One of photography's most famous depression era 
photographs, "Migrant Mother", came to be 
through her ability to empathize with others and 
share their problems without exploiting them. At 
the age of seven she had contracted polio; thus, she 
felt that when she photographed those whose lives 
had been destroyed they were able to view her as a 
survivor of a tragedy, that they shared some 
common ground. 

Although recurrent arguments with the head of the 
F.S.A. (Farm Security Administration) caused her 
to be fired, she stopped working only when health 
restricted her movements. She had a limp from 
polio, had frequent problems with ulcers, 
contracted malaria, and ultimately died of cancer, 
but her spirit remains with her work. 

MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE 

Another woman working to bring information to 
the public was Margaret Bourke-White. As a child 
she was taught to be inquisitive and always strive 
for the best, a quality she maintained throughout 
her life. 

After college her first jobs were in architectural 
photography. Quickly they expanded into indus- 
trial work which appealed to her because of the 
power of the subjects. At job interviews she care- 
fully calculated her wardrobe keeping copious 
notes on which of her outfits she wore where so as 
not to repeat her choice on two consecutive occa- 
sions. Proper attire was so important to her that 
she made view camera dark cloths to match her 
clothing. 

Blessed with a knack of always being in the right 
place at the right time, her work spread into maga- 



zine photography. She was with both Fortune and 
Life from their inception and on assignments 
photographed everything from steel mills to orchic' 
farms. Fortune was the first of the magazines to 
abandon illustrations for the use of actual photo- 
graphs and Bourke-White was astounded that she ;| 
was being consulted about the new role for the 
medium. 

Her job as a photo-journalist expanded during waii 
time as she took to the battlefield, whether on a 
ship, in a cockpit, or under a bed during a bomb- j 
ing raid in Moscow, she refused to stay behind, j 
She had the good fortune to be the very first 
foreign photographer allowed into the Soviet 
Union to make photographs. While on a subse- 
quent trip to Russia she was granted time to photo 
graph Stalin. 

Margaret Bourke-White died in 1971 at the age of I 
67 after a twenty year battle with Parkinsons 
disease. During her life she photographed facto- | 
ries, South African mine workers, Gandhi in Indiaj 
concentration camps, the years of depression, and 
exploding bombs and did all of this with dedica- 
tion and enthusiasm unmatched by anyone, male 
or female. 

In digesting the stories and work of these seven 
women, I hoped to find a common thread of 
creativity that ran through all of them. Factually 
there is none. Not all had children, not all were 
married, not all photographed the same subjects o 
in the same manner. But in every instance each 
woman possessed certain qualities; an inner 
strength and dedication, a drive to do more, be 
better, try harder, and work longer than necessary 
These were not 9 to 5 women. Their greatness 
cannot be measured by their earnings or by how 
many people recognized their names or were 
familiar with their work. They found the inner 
satisfaction in doing something that pleases the 
soul, even though others disagree. It was a dedica 
tion to fulfill one's own sense of being that enablec 
them to achieve their goals. 



NTRODUCTION 

atricia Gardner 

iompiling the material for this issue has convinced 
ie that there is a type of imagery that is specific to 
?males. I do not mean that we all photograph the 
3me type of subject matter, but rather that, more 
ften than not, we have an approach that is differ- 
nt from that of males. One is not better or worse 
~ian the other, nor do all photographers fit neatly 
ito my theory. 

ast summer I sent out letters to all the female 
Members of the Society of Photographic Education, 
Vie most comprehensive list available. Pessimistic 
y nature, I was elated to receive the first set of 
•hotographs about a week after the call went out 
nd anxiously watched the mail for the next sev- 
ral months as replies trickled in. 

f/Iy own experiences have been sending my work 
p be judged by people I did not know. Being on 
he receiving end for once had a completely differ- 
nt feel. After the first few submissions arrived, I 
[uickly realized that one of my largest problems 
vould be learning how to tell people their work 
vas not accepted. For the first time I found myself 
tot envying those faceless people to whom so 
nany of us send our photographs and slides for 
cceptance. It has not been easy to send letters of 
ejection to people whose work I enjoyed but for 
me reason or another, could not use. Generally I 
an find some merit with most images. It makes 
>eing a teacher a joy, but editing, a real trial. 

nis process has enabled me to correspond, and in 
nany instances, speak with many interesting 
vomen. It seems that after listening to so many 
omments, one of the biggest obstacles facing 
oday's women photographers is lack of time. One 
voman told me she had considerable difficulty 
;eeping up with the art world when her teaching 
esponsibilities left her little time to do her laun- 
Iry. Few had the luxury of extra time on their 
lands. One woman, however, was courageous 
nough to take time away from her teaching 
luties, an entire year, and spend it working on a 
>ody of work without outside restraints. 

ne majority of those who responded felt that 
•eing a woman had a great deal to do with the 
vay in which they photographed. I must empha- 
ize that not all had this opinion. There were some 
vho stated they were photographers regardless of 
;ender and felt no desire to be designated as a 
roman photographer. Internal explorations and 
elationships appeared to dominate — motherhood, 
amily, loneliness, lack of identity, changing roles, 
ging, and dating were issues dealt with by the 
vomen who responded. 



So much of what we are and how we react to 
various events in our lives has to do with our past 
experiences. For whatever reason, those who had 
problems in their younger years may gain a feeling 
of support and kinship by aligning themselves as 
"women photographers," for there is great comfort 
in this type of support group. 

However, acceptance at exhibitions is frequently 
determined by current trends. Artists are then 
faced with a question of artistic integrity — 
whether to produce (photographs, paintings, 
sculpture, etc.) for mass appeal or to create art for 
themselves, whether it is accepted by others or not. 

I believe cultural conditioning over the past several 
decades has begun to change the way women face 
these and other problems. Although in many cases 
women still do not receive equal pay, we are 
placing ourselves in situations that fifty years ago 
would have been rare. Women are expanding into 
and gaining respect in areas once thought of as 
being exclusively male dominated. With this 
respect, as artists, photographers, as women we 
need to show the world that art, whether by men 
or women, does not need to fit into trends. Trends 
seem reasonable in history books, but only as a 
means to examine and study what has gone before, 
not to dictate or determine what any body of 
people should create. It is difficult to conceive that 
25 years ago artists and dealers got together and 
decided that Abstract Expressionism was what 
painters "should" be creating and exhibiting. In 
retrospect, it was a movement in art that evolved 
as a reaction against a prior way of painting, not 
from the dictates of dealers or galleries. 

The women's movement has given us a family of 
sorts through which we can better understand 
ourselves and gain strength. Most women would 
agree that it is easier and more comfortable to 
disclose feelings to someone of the same sex be- 
cause the risks involved are less. 

Ideally, in a perfect world, all of this would evolve 
into a shared understanding between the sexes. 
But, judging the way the world is heading, the 
chance that this will occur before the turn of the 
century is slim at best. However, as time continues 
and we all try to live our lives in a more humane 
manner, the climate for change should improve. 
All the time and sacrifice women have devoted 
will bear the fruit of their labors. 



In this issue, we present fifteen contemporary 
artists. 



Patricia Gardner 



Dver the last ten years my life has undergone 
many changes, both internal and external. These 
alterations created within me a great deal of doubt, 
and this in turn caused me to begin an extensive 
self-exploration. The result was a body of twenty 
hand-colored diptychs showing visually what I 
was unable to express verbally. Each diptych deals 
with change over a period of time, presenting the 
viewer with a "before" and "after" version. 
Choosing symbols such as flowers, foods, and 
domestic items from home, I constructed arrange- 
ments to photograph which function as condensed 
time/space relationships. Throughout this work 
there are many personal issues raised; the fear of 
aging, miscarriage, divorce, sexuality, anger, guilt, 
frustration, disappointment, etc. Each photograph 
is based on remembrance of a real event or situ- 
ation. 



The images are hand-colored black and white 
photographic diptychs showing the changes in r 
life. The living things in the still life represent lif 
itself, while the inanimate objects — artifacts whin 
I have accumulated — represent facts and events 
which make up my life. Hand coloring lends its< 
perfectly to this work. Since photographs are 
traditionally either black or white or color, the u 
of hand applied color enabled me to break away 
from the traditional and gave me greater control 
over the final effect. I photographed my reaction 
to my experiences and wanted to interpret the 
colors, more by my emotional/fantasy resonse tt 
the subject matter and its intuitive feeling, than 
being limited to the photographic palette. 




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Buyer's market, 1987 



Linda Griffith 



We all have a variety of faces which we present to 
the world. Underneath those faces are many 
layers. It has been my experience, based on per- 
sonal and professional relationships, that women 
seem more open to exposing and exploring the 
layers below the facade. 

A large part of my work has been multiple expo- 
sures, which has been a way to acknowledge and 
explore the varied dimensions in our lives, reveal- 
ing layers of mood and textures of place. 

My first series of multiple exposures, photo- 
graphed in my studio, emerges quite clearly from a 
feminine perspective.. .touching on emotions expe- 
rienced by many women.. .evoking my own inter- 
pretation of an ethereal "feminine mystique." 

The "Hotel Room Series," made possible by my 
husband's many business trips, takes us on a 
journey to places far from home. A feminine, 
almost mystical spirit is the focus of the series. She 
appears to be searching, waiting, and imparts 
complex emotions of loneliness and transience. 

I believe that my many roles in life — mother, wife, 
lover, daughter, sister, friend — have impacted on 
my work. My photography has given me the op- 
portunity for personal introspection and a voice 
with which to express the complexities of being a 
contemporary woman. 

719 Meeting House Road, Elkins Park, PA 19117 



Self Portrait, 1986 




10 




Hotel room series: Philadelphia 



11 



Anne Savedge 



Tie question of whether or not my work, or any- 
one's work, is unique because of gender is a hard 
issue to resolve. Since art is a personal vision, 
hopefully shared with others who appreciate that 
vision, how can being female specifically affect that 
vision? Never having been a male, I have a hard 
time answering that question. 

My work comes from within myself — it is some- 
thing germinated in much the same way as a child 
and with much the same sense of excitement when 
it comes to fruition. Luckily it does not then 
require 18 years of care — or does it? Actually, 
since it seems to constantly change and grow and 
evolve, that statement also applies to my art. Our 
children are always with us, I'm told by my friends 
with grandchildren — and if the creative process is 
happening, then so is my art. The feelings of joy 
and frustration are there. As soon as one phase is 
over a new, perhaps better, perhaps worse, stage 
begins — but it grows and matures and constantly 
changes. Just like a child. 

Would a man compare the creative process with 
raising children? Some have. As a young art 
student, in the 60s, I was told women could not 
become great artists (there were none in the art 
history books, were there?) because they could 
create children and therefore used up all of their 
creative energy in that process. As an older artist, I 
have had male curators write about my "female 
type" subjects as if men never used the female 
form. 

As far as I'm concerned, however, what makes my 
work unique is that I am unique. How my being 
female affects my work is shown by the types of 
subjects and objects which I choose to explore in 
my work. Because I am a history buff, and am 
interested in how different people lived in different 
times, I have become aware of the women who 
stand out in those times. These women have an 
allure for me that I doubt a man would feel. 
Eleanor of Aquataine, The Empress Theodora, Ne- 
fertiti and others are the kinds of women who 
caused things to happen. They were strong and 
able to accomplish great things in times when 
women were looked upon as little more than 
property. The idea that they, and many others we 
have never heard of, were able to do the things 
they did in the times during which they lived is 
encouraging me! That is why they are the subjects 
of my work, not because of their beauty, but 
because of their brains, a quality few men openly 
admire when they create art work with female 
subjects. 

My work is about myself and my relationship to 
12 



the ideas which these women generate. After thi 
statement my painting professor made about 
women not becoming great artists, I began to loo 
for women and found them in my photo history 
book. They were there from the beginning — so 
that is where I decided to begin. Photography h 
always been more open to women artists than th 
more traditional arts of painting or sculpture. In 
later years I have heard complaints about female 
photographers being wrongly treated because of 
their gender, but look at the sheer number of we 
known female photographers as opposed to 
women in other art disciplines. When I take or 
send my work to be considered, I feel it is first 
considered on its own merits instead of gender. 
But occasionally when that little card returns in t 
mail with "rejected" on it, I think "Somebody sa 
'Oh dear, she's still playing with dolls,' " even if 
juror is a woman! 



5318 Verlinda Drive, Richmond, VA 23237 




White glove fantasy 




The Queens of England have tea with the future Monarchs 



13 



Fancy Lensen-Tomasson 



my work I use construction and perception. The 
creation of still life photographs is a process of con- 
struction. Documentary images, observation, and 
placing myself in a relationship with social and 
natural aspects of the world are all part of the 
artist's perception. These different approaches are 
less antithetical when I consider the broader subject 
of concern: self identity, female identity and curios- 
ity about the lives of women. 

Fabricating arrangements is a controlled method of 
working, but my images have been generated from 
reflections, memories, intuitions, obsessions, and ac- 
cumulated personal objects and their associations 
melding at a particular time. A catalyst, usually 
something seen, may initiate the process. These still 
life images are psychological investigations ex- 
pressed through objects. 



The Tuscany series began as a more general expl> 
tion of rural and village areas. Living on a farm 
gave me a special viewpoint. The physicality of t 
ditional farm work that is nonmechanized desen 
attention and respect; and the equal participation 
women and men in two farming rituals made be; 
threshing and burning the wheat at the end of 
harvest my choices for documentation. Photogra} 
ing women working, I discovered an empathetic 
identity. I noticed the presence of women's work 
the landscape. In small towns I photographed 
women in front of their homes, or selling in the 
markets. At the end of each summer, the film wa 
developed after returning home; my method did 
involve analysis of my contact sheets, but involv< 
ment with my subject. 



14 




Tuscan landscape: burning the wheatfield, 1987 




The Victorian Lady's still life, 1982 



15 



Helen Nestor 



Dver thirty years of photographing, marriage, and 
raising three children while using crutches to walk 
and stand (as a result of polio when I was 27) my 
subject matter has necessarily been what is at hand. 
Friend and mentor, Dorothea Lange, had said to 
me many years ago in response to my question 
about how one manages to raise a family and 
photograph, "You've got to do what comes along." 
Now I must use a motorized scooter wheelchair 
because of post-polio syndrome and further weak- 
ening of my arms and legs. My current project is 
View from my Chair. 

So what makes my work unique are my limita- 
tions, both as a woman and as a "crip", which I 
now believe are both positive and valuable, forcing 
me to deal in-depth with the immediate. I see this 



as a general part of women's work. We value th< 
details and our perceptions of our everyday life , 
the early days I photographed the Free Speech 
Movement, Vietnam War protests, the Peoples 
Park confrontation in Berkeley, and the flower 
child era in Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco as 
very personal documentary. I photographed my 
children, my home and friends and colleagues as 
they sat across my kitchen table. Now 64, 1 am ii 
creasingly attracted to and working with simple 
quality of light. My newer work is far softer and 
higher scale than in the past, qualities I somehow 
regard as "feminine" although I can't say why. 

3120 Lewiston Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705 




Tied together /ever, 1975 



16 






My studio, the McDowell Colony, 1987 



17 



Evelyn Eisen 



live in a rural area of California which is just 
north of San Francisco. I have been photographing 
women — alone or with their children — in this area 
and in the small Eastern Oklahoma town in which 
my in-laws live. I photograph my subjects in or 
around their own homes. The front porch or yards 
often tell as much about the women as do their 
posture, clothing or expression. 

The subjects are always women I know. They have 
agreed to be photographed and are participants in 
creating the portrait. I feel that I have enabled 
them to reveal themselves in a familiar environ- 
ment in a comfortable, though somewhat formal, 
way. 



P.O. Box 460, Pt. Reyes Station, CA 94956 




► ♦ ♦ ♦'♦ M * ♦ $H ♦ ♦ « ,ri ♦ 



n 






Mina at home 



18 







JL/ 



Aunt 
Margie Belle 




Flags, Memorial Day 



L9 



Edna Bullock 

After years of hearing my late husband, Wynn 

Bullock, talk about his concepts and principles of 

photography I know these basic ideas became a 

part of me mainly through "osmosis." Wynn's 155 Mar Vista Dr ' Montere y' CA 93940 

death made me come to a decision of what to do 

with my life. Since viewing photography, hearing 
about it and knowing many well-known photogra- 
phers, I decided I, too, would like to become one. 
And so at 60 years of age I entered the field. I 
went to the local junior college and took their 
courses and studied at workshops under Ansel 
Adams, Eikoh Hose, Morley Baer, Al Weber and 
others. 

But what kind of photography should I do after I 
became more or less technically proficient. I 
wanted to photograph something that Wynn had 
not done — a subject that would be mine — and so I 
photographed wood knots and knot holes. Then I 
branched out to portray items sold in flea markets. 
Finally I started photographing nudes — at first I 
only did the female nude because that's all the 
models there were in the workshops I attended. 

A friend was giving a nude workshop and asked 
me to be a co-instructor. I agreed and lo and 
behold there were two male models. The co- 
instructor was uncomfortable working with an- 
other male and so I took over that aspect of the 
workshop. 

Since I've always enjoyed the male form, the 
photographing of males was intriguing. I didn't 
wish to photograph the male as "macho" symbol 
but as a natural part of an outdoor environment. 
How would the male react to nudity out-of-doors? 
Would he feel at ease without clothes on sand- 
dunes, in the forest, or along the rocky shores of 
the Big Sur in California? 

In my photographs I believe the male has enjoyed 
nudity and has responded to his immediate sur- 
roundings as well as the female. I wanted him to 
respond and react to his environment without too 
much direction from me — I wanted the male 
response uninfluenced by my, the female, reaction 
being superimposed upon him. I want him to 
study the surroundings then pose himself either in 
opposition to the environmental lines or comple- 
mentary to them. 

And since our world is made up of males and 
females, I also like to use them together in photo- 
graphs. I do not want erotic or pornographic pho- 
tographs, but rather, that the couples show a 
natural attraction to each other, a quiet expression 
of sexual attraction to each other. 



20 








21 



Merry Moor Winnett 



Long ago and far away, I pondered a question both 
technical and aesthetic: How to outline a photo- 
graphic object to create the illusion of bas-relief on 
a flat plane? I wanted to both accentuate the 
subject's outer shape and bring it nearer to the 
viewer visually, without merely drawing or paint- 
ing a line around it. The result, and a springboard 
for what became a personal trademark, was hand 
stitching. Used as a textural augment, stitching 
directly into the photographic paper was joined 
(inevitably, it seemed) by collage of ribbons, star 
sequins, fabrics, dried flowers and plants, candles 
and other objects. By this time, nearly all of my 
work had previously been chemically toned and/ 
or hand tinted with water-color dyes as well. 

What is perhaps more relevant to the issue at hand 
here is how I came to work this way and espe- 
cially, why. I came to photography late in my 
artistic training, having already explored design, 
drawing, painting, and sculpture (particularly 
ceramics). When apropos to the image content/ 
concept, I have considered the planar surface of a 
photograph to present a possible canvas which 
could ultimately receive further alterations. My 
images are far more involved with evoking an 
emotional response than a documentary view. 
However, I strongly feel that the manner in which I 
worked out the solution to the dilemma with 
outlining is directly related to my gender and the 
possession of a societally-trained skill: sewing. 
Artists of any medium are generally advised to 
work within areas about which they know the 
most, and the direction I selected makes far more 
sense to me now in retrospect than it did before. 
Courses taken in secondary and high school in- 
structed me in the domestic arts of sewing and 
cooking. (Would I have been a sculptor if I had 
been able to take "shop" instead? The fact that I 
own many power tools not used for aesthetic 
purposes seems to indicate otherwise.) For me, the 
succumbed-to desire to utilize any skill I may have 
at my disposal helped me to fulfill my latent 
impulse to combine a very technical medium 
(photography) with a far more spontaneous one 
(collage); and yet, I find that I am just as meticu- 
lous in the latter as in the former. 

Resistance to this sacrilege upon the pristine photo- 
graphic surface was considerable initially, but 
lessened when artists such as Miriam Shapiro, Bea 
Nettles and Betty Hahn, among others, validated 
decorativism in their seemingly meteoric rise to 
fame (after years of hard work ). Nearly overnight, 
it was "OK," among the cognoscenti at least, to 
stitch, paste, fold, spindle and mutilate works of 



art. I discovered with private chagrin that I was 
not the first, nor the last photographer to do so. 

While many male artists are manipulating the 
photographic surface and "breaking the rules" (i.e 
the Starne twins and their flagrant havoc with 
archival concerns) there is still an intrinsic differ- 
ence between most of the art made by men and 
most of the art made by women. 

I would be most fascinated to see the issue of 
women's photography investigated again after 
such time as youngsters are required to take BOT? 
Home Ec. and Shop. 

518 Fifth Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27405 







Le Tropique 



22 




Dance hall Mona, 1980 



23 



Judy Gelles 



Since 1977, just after my second son David was 
born, I have been photographing and writing about 
myself and my family. By combining photographs 
and diary entries, I explore my own feelings about 
family life. The work theatricalizes the mundane, 
finding humor and irony in the most commonplace 
activities. The series of images and commentary 
captures the changing nature of family relations 
over the segment of the family life cycle that goes 
from the birth of a child to early adolescence. A 
central theme of the images is the challenge of the 
myth that describes women as obedient nurturers. 
These photographs dispel the myth of the perfect 
nuclear family. These are not media images like 
Ozzie and Harriet. These images deal more with 
things that people don't necessarily want to re- 
member: the backstage nature of marital and 
family relations. 



What emerges is a more intimate and accurate 
examination of life and tension in the modern 
family than has been captured either in the typic 
family album or by most social science research < 
family relations. 

155 Stonehenge Rd., Kingston, RI 02881 




24 







Fcru -tft/ueJL UfL-AAA-* 



\OJUcXuaJ-' 






23 



La 



Maureen Higgins 



To attempt to draw a dividing line between art 
made by women and art made by men is to propa- 
gate stereotypes. We risk reenforcing these stere- 
otypes rather than encouraging creative choices. 
However, we cannot deny the effects of history in 
shaping our reactions. Women's major roles in the 
past have been wife, mother, caretaker of the home 
and nurturer. Women did their chores out of 
"love." I cannot assume for certain if this long 
"herstory" is the direct cause for the way in which 
I deal with my own work. All I know is, I have 
always had an idealistic approach to 
artmaking... idealistic in that it is very difficult for 
me to attach the concept of "money" to "art" — 
similar to the dilemma of connecting appropriate 
wages to the responsibilities of motherhood. This 
comparison is powerful to me. I realize others 
have used the "birth" experience to mirror their 



feelings about artistic creativity. For good reasor 
the apprehension and excitement of beginning 
something brand new; the pangs of pain in the 
process; the explosive delivery of the jelled idea; 
continually analyzing the progress of the creatior 
and eventually, the receiving of "report cards" 
from strangers judg in g your "child" — knowing tl 
"written" outcome does not affect the original lo^ 
you felt for it. This may sound like Pollyanna 
given to today's emphasis on "success" being 
monetary and materialistic, but it is the truth as I 
know and live it. 



P.O. Box 3533, Santa Monica, CA 90403 





2b 



., 






\\\Vl\4 11 /////A 





n 







Couple #3 



27 



Susan Landgraf 

My photographs are about women, the relation- 
ships that form them and are formed by them. 
They speak from the belief in the equality of 
women and for women's contribution to our 
society, for their valuing of human relationship. 
Social and political forces have denied the impor- 
tance of these contributions by women. 

With my work I am asking women to consider self, 
to understand and know themselves so that they 
can act from the place of strength that self knowl- 
edge builds. We cannot know ourselves until we 
have faced our past and brought it into the present 
with understanding and acceptance. 

Although consciousness of what is uniquely female 
has grown tremendously in the past twenty years, 
American society has still not fully recognized the 
contributions made to it by women. A very basic, 
and I believe not fully appreciated contribution is 
what women give of themselves to allow and help 
others to grow and develop as human beings. 
Although men and women both strive to satisfy 
the powerful need for relationship, I think of 
women as the guardians of human relationship. 

My images are also about remembering - the time 
line of a woman's life from birth to death, moving 
through childhood, the teenage years, young adult- 
hood to middle and old age. With the movement 
forward through life the images are governed by 



the human relationships the woman enters into 
not time. Chronological time is sacrificed to tlv 
importance of the sense of relationship and to 
flights of imagination brought on by memory, 
asking the viewers to remember their relations! 
with others I am remembering mine. The imag 
speak to our need for relationship with others, 
need to remember our past, where we came fro 
what we believe in, and the relationships that vi 
and are part of all that. Beyond these they spec 
to the relationships of the future. 

John Berger writes, "Memory implies a certain j 
of redemption. What is remembered is saved n 
nothingness. What is forgotten has been aban- 
doned." My work is a tribute to my mother an! 
a vision of the world she helped me to form. Iii 
less personal way, my work is an affirmation oi 
women's contribution to human society througl 
their relationships — the photographs exploring 
human need for relationship and woman's unici 
role in satisfying these needs for herself and for 
others. 

Perhaps the photographs will help us not to for 
the power of women in our lives and help us n< 
to abandon the importance of human values in 
society. 



9 Minetta St., New York, NY 10012 




Mystic Lakes, 1985 



28 




Jo and her three sisters, 1989 




Mother and son I: Paul and M^ylu, 1989 



2 g 



Tudy Dater 



.;, 



Born 1941, Hollywood, California, raised in south- 
ern California. White, Jewish, heterosexual female, 
dark hair, attractive, looks ten years younger. 
Married and divorced twice, no children. Warm 
and loving, striving for inner peace. Has been in 
both Jungian and Freudian analysis. Likes cook- 
ing, fine wines, hiking, movies, the beach, black 
lingerie, dogs, my work, the mountains, reading, 
jogging, friends, art, jazz and classical music, not 
necessarily in that order. Looking for white, 
heterosexual male, 45-60, with compatible tastes 
and temperament. 



120 E, 19th St., #3r, New York, NY 10003 



{ 




I 



30 



Stcphania, 1988 



JDITH Lermer Crawley 

1978, the father of my two children, who were 
en 3 and 4, was killed in a motorcycle accident, 
rice then, while working at Vanier College in 
ontreal I have been raising them my own. 

: the same time I have been photographing my 
ends with their children, usually during times of 
ared parenting — a visit, a meal together, a birth- 
ly party, a picnic. Our talk is often about mother- 
g. We share experiences and advice, as well as 
oblems of raising children in a society not organ- 
ed around raising its young, our most important 
source. Mothers are expected to be at home, yet 
e reality is that we must be on our way to work 
fore the kids leave for school in the morning and 
n't be home at 3:30 when the school bell rings. 

>r 3 months in 1985, during a leave of absence 
Dm my paid work, I interviewed the women of 
y photographs about mothering. The memories 
\d the innuendoes touched off by many years of 
lotographs were the springboard for our discus- 
3ns. Only rarely would I consult the list of ques- 
ts which I had prepared beforehand. 



Our conversations always began with the photo- 
graphs; we moved from what was included to 
what was missing in terms of our (often hidden) 
work as mothers. We were examining the joys and 
struggles of our lives within the larger political and 
social context. 

From each transcribed tape, I selected text to pair 
with a visual image — not to illustrate it, but to 
expand on the often joyous and loving frozen 
moments by pointing to complex issues not ad- 
dressed by the still photograph. 




31 



Tamarra Kaida 



5ched to my refrigerator door by a banana 
magnet is a piece of paper with a quote from Henry 
James. I read this whenever I need nourishment. 
This yellowed scrap of paper has managed to cling 
to the corner of the smooth white door like a bar-, 
nacle, while the other objects - post cards, exhibition 
announcements, snapshots of friends' new babies, 
reminders to call the dentist - come and go like the 
events themselves. But the worlds remain, a testa- 
ment of sorts. "A writer is someone upon whom 
nothing is wasted." 

Occasionally I have wondered why a statement 
more pertinent to photography hasn't found its way 
to that kitchen journal. After all, isn't a picture 
somehow superior, "worth a thousand words"? 
Perhaps not; perhaps only sometimes. Pictures, es- 
pecially photographs, often require some kind of 
verbal or written clarification. 

We are all dutifully performing for the camera 
which belongs to my Russian immigrant stepfather. 
Klim is a consummate collector of precious mo- 
ments, the family's self-elected archivist. For him the 
family snapshot albums, twenty-five volumes so far, 
are physical traces of time itself. They are the evi- 
dence that something happened. Yet even Klim 
needs the assistance of words penned across the 
backs of these little pictures to recall when and 
where something took place, and who was there. 

I remember one time when Klim and my mother 
couldn't agree on the identity of a certain man in 
one of the photographs. Neither of them was sure 
from his appearance alone who he was. He needed 
a name to fully exist. "Well, if we don't know who 
he is, throw him away. We don't need him taking 
up room in the book," my mother said, blithely ban- 
ishing him from family history. 

This is more than a casual incident. For those of us 
who fear oblivion, time and her handmaiden, 
change, are our nemeses. Feeling powerless we 
watch life run through our fingers like water. 
People, places, experiences turn into memories, and 
then become stories. "If only I could write, what a 
tale I could tell you about my life," says Klim who 
is seventy-four years old. From what I already know 
about him, it is regrettable that his story, so inter- 
woven with this century's major historical events, 
will be lost. 

And I think about my deceased father's remarkable 
life, realizing that in the end he too wanted some 
way to save his story, some way to honor the story 
he had spent a lifetime creating. 

Isn't this in part what we all want? Doesn't it have 
something to do with why artists make art, why we 

32 



; 



t 
bother to preserve and cherish it? 

Although I subscribe to the view that art is mon ty 
than therapy, I think the creative interpretation ( 
one artist's personal issues echoes the voice of sc 
ciety as a whole. 

Private and public politics interweave in small b 
significant ways. That is what makes history inte 
esting. 

It is human to want to make sense of things. 
Throughout time artists have brought back specij 
mens from the darker side of our collective un- 
conscious experience. For this they have been 
treated with awe and suspicion. 

Joan Didion once said, "We tell ourselves stories 
in order to live." I agree with her. It was this stos 
rytelling impulse which pushed me toward 
making narrative imagery and, when that wasn't 
enough, to writing. 

Everywhere I went I met people who sooner or I 
later got around to telling me their stories. I was 
always intrigued. I began to see the world as an 
enormous classroom where we all have come to 
learn certain things, with life as our teacher. I 
wanted to make pictures that addressed these 
issues directly, rather than take pictures that onh 
referred to them. I decided to invent rather than 
find them. 

After photographing several tableaux which sug- 
gested narrative tales, I showed the prints to a va 
riety of viewers and asked each of them to tell m 
a story based on a photograph. To my disappoin 
ment, the stories others made up were never as 
interesting or satisfying to me as the ones which 
ran through my imagination. It became clear thai 
I had to write my own texts to accompany the 
photographs. The Stories series began. 

It felt as if I had reconnected with another conti- 
nent of creative expression, but I was uncertain c 
how to join the stories to the photographs. I 
didn't like the idea of writing directly on the phc 
tographic prints, as a number of other photogra- 
phers have done. Handwriting seemed too per- 
sonal a mark to use, for my stories were written 
in the third person. 

After seeing my first completed story piece I was 
impressed by the authoritative look of press type 
It conveyed the sense of distance I desired for the 
stories. I also liked the way the photographic 
image and the texts each held equal aesthetic 
weight on the page. But the real pleasure was 
knowing that the visual and written information 



vould interweave in a viewer's mind to create new 
|nd sometimes surprise meanings. That third inte- 
ior image made with the viewer's cooperation 
equired that he/she slow down long enough to 
>onder the story rather than just glance at the 
mage. 

■)n a limited level I became the writer, director, 
ameraperson and producer of my own mini- 
eries, which gradually evolved into a book, Trem- 
ors from the Fault Line. 

! Tie creative juices were flowing. And as everyone 
mows, this is a good time for an artist no matter 
tow bad other things may be. It was all grist for 
he mill. "Nothing is wasted." 



amarra Kaida is Associate Professor at Arizona State University 




Photo from "Awakening" 



33 



>eirdre M. Monk 



s through the medium of photography and the 
process of hand coloring that I am able to discover 
my world view, my place within a culture, and 
many of the intricate details that make these things 
connect to one another. The content of my im- 
agery is generally concerned with the mundane, 
whether the subject is some person or object that 
one would not take any special notice of, or an 
activity involving a daily chore of no particular 
aesthetic relevance. As a photographer and hand 
colorist I am afforded the tools needed to trans- 
form the literal to another level of interpretation 
involving a wider array of thought processes. 
Through visual response and application of the 
medium at hand, the mundane object is glorified 
and the daily regimen becomes a visual treat. We 
are given that extra momentary glimpse that 
allows us to study and appreciate the stimuli in 
our lives not readily appreciated during the initial 
glance. 

Photography is a medium unique in its ability to 
invite a dialogue between author, subject and, 
eventually, the audience. The first communication 
happens between the photographer and the sub- 
ject. It would be erroneous to assume that the 
actual subject does not play a significant part in 
our choices as image-makers. One of the most 
inviting aspects of photography is the opportunity 
it offers to take something that exists (at least to the 
extent to which it is perceived) and transform this 
into something which transcends representation. 
Through the choices we make as users of the 
medium, the literal takes on some essence of the 
author whether conscious or otherwise. For every- 
thing we, as human beings, have experienced or 
felt in our lives, there is a little storage vault in our 
hearts and minds retaining the emotional content 
of our development. The subconscious mind will 
house impressions of all the people, places, and 
things that we have come into contact with. For 
each of these contacts one will associate certain 
feelings. Even when we are not aware of why 
something photographed in a particular way 
moves us as it does, I believe that for every object, 
animate or inanimate, there is some "baggage" that 
will be taken into the creative process by the 
image-maker. Therefore, when an image is made it 
would be impossible for the author of that image 
to be completely divorced from herself in the 
creative process. We can never be truly non- 
subjective. One of the reasons that I make photo- 
graphs is to actuate the discovery of self. 

The manner in which I explore my own essence 
and world view allows for an intuitive response to 

34 






I 



I 






the subject and the surrounding environment. It J f 
without critical analysis that I make my marks 01 
film. For me, too much mental scrutiny tends to 
block the power of free association coming from f 
the deepest parts of the intellect. I simply know 
that I am moved. Speculation as to why an emo- 
tive response has occurred is an afterthought. 
Although I photograph people, the images I mak 
are not portraits since I am not interested in im- 
parting information about a particular individual 
appearing within the frame. Rather, these photo 
graphs are reflections of attitudes about situation 
in which people find themselves. In "Kathy and 
Zach" the viewer is taken into the bathroom whe 
a mother oversees her child taking a bath. The 
image is primarily concerned with the visual expi 
rience of the moment. The mother's skin, blouse, 
and irregularly layered hair give relevance to all 
those smaller visual components comprising an 
overall impression of the experience. The viewer 
allowed to walk into the bathroom and watch thef 
mother and child interact without interruption or 
confrontation. The simple act of bathing a child 
becomes an aesthetic statement in which the 
viewer can participate from a distance and share 
the moment through memory and association. 

The base from which we create visual informatioi 
comes not only from how we associate the conten 
of our environment but also who we are. This is 
where such things as gender, marital status, race, 
and class come into play. Our life experiences, 
formed out of these things which are often beyon 
individual control, will most certainly affect the 
manner in which we interpret the physical world. 
Through the photograph called "Family" I have 
discovered a certain cynical and somewhat capri- 
cious attitude about the notion of family relation-! 
ships and the idea of parenting. Here, the viewer 1 
is left to deal with the child's direct stare and 
tongue maneuvers, while the mother and father 
remain distant and unconcerned with the antics oi 
their child. This photograph reminds me of the 
many times I have sat in restaurants watching 
parents relate to (ignore?) their children in an 
almost numb fashion. I feel confident in conclud- 1 
ing that my feelings about parent/child relation- 
ships have evolved out of my own situation as an 
unmarried, childless woman in the age group of 
"thirty-something." Were I married and raising 
children any image using the family as subject 
most likely would have taken a different direction 

The photograph entitled "No Clothes, No Head" i 
different from the two aforementioned pieces in it 
approach to sexuality within the context of inno- 
cence. Here, the child character lovingly handles 



ir little naked friends while grinning as though 
|ie knows something that we do not. On the other 
fand, she may be smiling out of pure innocence in 
?r ignorance of the more adult implications 
jnposed on her toys by older observers. The dolls 
jiemselves become icons of past values and aspira- 
;ons particularly relevant to little girls in this 
llture. The image is laden with the female experi- 
ice not only as a remembrance of childhood but 
so as an interpretation of adult sexuality. One is 
ft with enough space to interpret the essence of 
\e image according to one's own experiences and 
titudes. Why are the dolls without clothes? 
/here is the male doll's head? Does this mean 
|iat we all "lose our heads" when naked? Perhaps 
le male doll has been beheaded, or maybe the 
ck of clothing and body parts is just an odd 
■(incidence. The image can be all of these things, 
he great thing about the visual arts, in general, is 
iS ability to take something from the creator, put it 
n paper, and still leave room for the viewers to 
raw their own conclusions from the image. The 
ommunication becomes a dialogue between artist, 
abject, and audience if enough initial information 
, given. When "No Clothes, No Head" was made 
did not consciously set out to make a statement 
bout sexuality or gender. These concerns were, 
owever, evident after the completion of this 
nage. I can only assume that this happened 
ecause of my own feelings about the roles of men 
rtd women in our culture coupled with my per- 
3nal experiences as a female. These experiences 
o beyond the present, adult point of view. In 
rder to make this piece, I had to dip down into 
le subconscious and tap the child long since 
lcked away in the back of my mind. 

leavy hand coloring interfaced with an obvious 
hotographic surface adds strength to the idea that 
sality and fantasy not only overlap but define one 
nother. My photographs are about the momen- 
iry glimpses of daily life that make up our visual 
erception. It is my concern to merge these iso- 
ited pieces of reality with fantasy. This is one of 
he reasons I hand color my photographs in the 
nanner that I do. I juxtapose the drawn image 
rith the photograph in such a way as to set up an 
bvious visual tension due to the contradiction 
Tiplied by placing the "real" and the "imagined" 
n the same space. I say "real" and "imagined" 
>ased on what I know to be popular belief with 
egard to the mediums of photography and draw- 
rig. Historically, the photograph has been re- 
arded as the conveyor of truth, whereas the 
irawn image has been considered, for the most 
>art, to be a product of fantasy. I believe that 
nowledge is derived from contradiction as it 
xists in nature. After all, white is known because 
if black, and hard because of soft. This notion of 



contradiction is extended onto the paper by the 
mere application of process. This serves to set the 
stage, inviting participation by the observer. Once 
the audience is involved the more emotive content 
of an image begins to come alive. I have also had 
an interest in the psychological impact of opposing 
elements. In "Child With a Brown Eye," one can 
get caught up in the delicate balance between 
childlike innocence and uneasy apprehension. The 
image seems to embody the opposing emotions 
that bring us joy and intrigue, with those that prick 
our minds in such a way that makes us anxious 
without obvious cause. This kind of dichotomy 
furthers the interaction between author, audience, 
and content. 

In summary, I use the medium of photography as 
a tool for discovering my own essence. Intuitive 
response is critical in order to allow information to 
escape from the subconscious and become active in 
the creative process. Dealing precisely with the 
world will mean an exploration of the apparently 
mundane, and understanding that who we are will 
affect the outcome of our visual efforts. Knowl- 
edge is enhanced through the nature of contradic- 
tion, and the fantastic will ultimately give defini- 
tion to the real. 



Deirdre Monk is an Assistant Professor of Photography at 
Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She has a Master of 
Fine Arts Degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbon- 
dale in Photography. Ms. Monk has worked as a photographer 
in Chicago and Cincinnati, and has had numerous exhibitions 
and publications of her work. Deirdre Monk's photographs 
are included in such collections as the Library of Congress and 
the International Center for Photography. 




Family 



35 




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36 



WOMEN IN PHOTOGRAPHY: A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 
Jarbara M. Conant 

iourke-White, Margaret. Halfway to freedom; a report on the new India in the words and photographs of Margaret Bourke- White. New York, Simon and 
Schuster, 1949. Documents the early days, 1946-1948, in the separation of Pakistan from India. 

lourke- White, Margaret. Portrait of myself. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1963. An autobiographical account of Bourkc-White's life from birth 
through her second operation for Parkinson's disease. 

Irown, Theodore M. Margaret Bourke-White; photojournalism Ithaca, NY, Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Cornell University, 1972. A 

comprehensive look at her role as a photojournalism illustrated with fresh prints from existing negatives of published photographs. Two articles 
written by Bourke-White follow the bibliography. 

Cameron, Julia Margaret Pattle. Victorian photographs of famous men and fair women. Boston, D.R. Godine, 1973. Contains forty-four plates and a bio- 
graphical sketch by Virginia Woolf, a great-niece. The famous men include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Alfred Tennyson and Robert 
Browning. 

'unningham, Imogen. Imogen! Imogen Cunningham photographs, 1910-1973. Seattle, Published for the Henry Art Gallery by the University of Wash- 
ington Press, 1974. In the "Introduction", Margery Mann identifies Imogen as the "twentieth-century photographer". These prints were 
"published in connection with an exhibition shown at the Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, March 23 - April 21, 1974." They reflect 
the development of the medium in the twentieth century, from glass plate images to pragmatic sheet film views of the early 1970's. 

)ater, Judy. Imogen Cunningham: A portrait. Boston, New York Graphic Society, 1979. Judy Dater's interviews with family members, friends 
colleagues and business associates reveals Imogen as an individual and an artist. Thirty plates reflect Imogen's work of more than sixty years. 

lomer, William Innes. A pictorial heritage: The photographs of Gertrude Kasebier. Wilmington, DL, Delaware Art Museum, 1979. A catalogue from the 
exhibition held at the Delaware Art Museum, March 2 - April 22, 1979. The notes include biographical and professional information. 

.ange, Dorothea. Dorothea Lange. Millerton, NY, Aperture, 1981. Includes a brief overview of her personal and professional life by Christopher Cox, 
a short bibliography and a chronology of significant dates. The photographs cover the years 1933-1958. 

.ukitsh, Joanne. Cameron, her work and career. Rochester, NY, International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, 1986. 

An exhibition of Cameron's work held at the "International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York, April 11, 
1986 -May 25, 1986." 

vlorgan, Barbara Brooks. Barbara Morgan. Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, Morgan & Morgan, 1972. Her subjects and techniques were varied: Nature, 
man-made objects, people, the dance, light drawings and photomontage. The more than one hundred thirty photographs contained in this 
volume illustrate her talent. 

Dhrn, Karin Becker. Dorothea Lange and the documentary tradition. Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, 1980. Principally an evaluative 
biography, with numerous photographs illustrating the phases of Lange's professional life. The final chapter considers "Dorothea Lange in 
Retrospect." 

^collections: Ten women of photography. New York, Viking Press, 1979. Berenice Abbott is included in this collection of biographical sketches. There 
is a selection from each photographer's work, as well as a bibliography. 

Tucker, Anne. The woman's eye. New York, Knopf, 1976. Includes selections from the work of Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke- 
White, Gertrude Kasebier, Dorothea Lange, and Barbara Morgan. Diane Arbus, Judy Dater, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Bea Nettles, and 
Alisa Wells are also included. 

Women look at women: Feminist art for the '80s. Allentown, PA, The Center, 1981. Photographs from an exhibition held by the Center for the Arts, 
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, March 15-26, 1981. 

Women of vision: Photographic statements. Verona, NJ, Unicorn Publishing House, 1982. Over a hundred photographs by twenty women photogra- 
phers. 

Women photographers in America, 1985. Los Angeles, CA: Woman's Building; Women in Photography, 1985. An exhibition catalog of a national 
juried competition of women fine art photographers. This event is sponsored by Women in Photography, Woman's Building, and the Los 
Angeles Photography Center. 

OTHER SOURCES 

Barbara Morgan. Cincinnati, Images Productions, 1983. 

In a thirty minute videocassette interview, Paul Schranz and Barbara Morgan discuss her childhood, some early influences upon her work and 
how she became a photographer. They examine both her past and present work. 

The blatant image. Sunny Valley, OR, The Blatant Image, 1981- 

A magazine, established in 1981, dedicated to the publication of feminist photography. 

McCaddon, Wanda. Imogen Cunningham, a sound recording. San Francisco, Jabberwocky, 1981. 

In an interview with Wanda McCaddon, Imogen looks back on her long career from the vantage point of her ninetieth year. This is a thirty-two 
minute audio cassette. 

37 



Book Review: 

■NACY OF LIGHT: EMILY 
DICKINSON AND THE EXPERIENCE 
OF METAPHOR 

By Wendy Barker 

Southern Illinois University Press, 

Carbondale and Edwardsville, 1987 

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli 



Within Emily Dickinson's poetry there are embed- 
ded enough images to keep reviewers happily cir- 
cling for years, isolating her metaphors, scrambling 
them, and putting them into various orders. Al- 
most anything, until now, has seemed possible in 
Dickinson — all manner of imagery related to time 
and space and circumference; to a nineteenth 
century woman's life, agonies, and place in the 
world; to nature, God, and to love, both erotic and 
Platonic. Some critics have seen this myriad of 
imagery as diffusion of vision. They have con- 
demned Dickinson's work as being slight; being 
only a "piecemeal canon." 

With Lunacy of Light: Emily Dickinson and the Expe- 
rience of Metaphor, Wendy Barker has taken her 
place at the wheel and given it a mighty turn. 
What she has found is an order and cohesiveness 
of metaphor which makes of Dickinson's work not 
only a unity in itself but places it firmly within the 
mainstream of imagery found in women's poetry 
and prose from the Brontes right up to Marge 
Piercy. 

Barker, a poet and an assistant professor of English 
at the University of Texas at San Antonio, claims, 
in the introduction, that she will "show . . . that her 
poetry is shaped by metaphoric clusters as signifi- 
cant — and as essential to an understanding of her 
work — as such clusters are in the poetry of some- 
one like Yeats." Barker's claim, to be able to 
demonstrate that Dickinson's "canon of nearly 
eighteen hundred poems is neither piecemeal nor 
contradictory," is a large one. To accomplish this 
feat, Barker examines light and dark, in different 
forms, within Dickinson's work and compares 
these clusters of images with the work of both 
nineteenth and twentieth century women writers. 

The metaphoric images which Barker chooses to 
consider are: daylight, the sun, God, and finally, 
their antithesis— darkness. 

Daylight was seen by Dickinson as a time of con- 
straint and duty. The daylight hours were filled 
with cooking, baking her black cakes, caring for 
visiting relatives, for her sick mother, and keeping 

38 




Emily Dickinson 



to her father's schedule. Dickinson says, in a lett 
to her friends, Dr. and Mrs. Holland, "If it wasn'ljo 
broad daylight, and cooking stoves, and roosters I 
afraid you would have occasion to smile at my 
letters often," thus explaining why she didn't ha\ 
time to write. 

Dickinson posited God as light, as a force workin 
against her. He was a patriarchal Calvinist God 
who would force a woman to attend to duty ovei 
poetry. In Dickinson God became a force to deal 
with, a force living in "Handsome Skies." 

The sun, then, became anthropomorphized into a 
sexual image — Dickinson's "Man of Noon." But : 
also stands for the warmth of female friendship, i 
least for a woman at home in daylight (at ease wi 
her role as wife and mother) such as her sister-in- 
law, Susan Dickinson, whom Dickinson referred t 
in a poem as "an Avalanche of Sun." 

Many of Dickinson's references to the sun become 
cynical in tone; her images change, moving from > 
stasy to complaints of superfluousness and insub- 
stantiality: "But Truth, outlasts the sun." 



nese images of light stretch, then, from the benign 
Susan and safety) to the violent: 

A full fed Rose on meals of Tint 

A Dinner for a Bee 

In process of the Noon became — 

Each bright Mortality 

The Forfeit is of Creature fair 

Itself, adored before 

Submitting for our unknown sake 

To be esteemed no more — 

(Poems, 1154) 



Jarker points out that, to Dickinson, the opposite of 
ight (threat and denial) became dark (rest, creativ- 
ty, and freedom). The time alone in the dark is for 
Dickinson, Barker says, akin to Virginia Woolf's 
noments of "being" versus moments of "non-being" 
life in daylight). 

3arker argues further that "Dickinson's metaphoric 
dentification with darkness reveals not only a poli- 
ics of refusal to engage in a world dominated by a 
?rosaic, patriarchal, and prescriptive sun but also a 
poetics of acceptance, even assertion, of her position 
is a woman writer." 

Within this darkness where Dickinson chose to live, 
3arker has discovered a new "Light" — a brilliance 
:reated only in the mind — Dickinson's "another sun- 
shine." It is the achievement of writing poetry. 

From this cave-blaze of creativity come many 
simple poems, dismissed by many ED critics. 

'I am convinced," Barker says, "that much of the 
transformative power of many of Dickinson's 
seemingly simple 'Nature' poems derives from . . . 
i mystical union with a silent and female dark- 
ness." 

"In the twentieth century, a heightened awareness 
3f the tradition of literature by women, of the fact 
:hat women writers have indeed comprised a com- 
munity, a nation, for centuries, has begun to affect 
:he entire literary landscape," Barker says. She 
:hen goes on to list feminist critics who have 
nelped to create this awareness : Elaine Showalter, 
Ellen Moers, Gilbert and Gubar, Nina Baym, 
Annette Kolodny, Carolyn Heilbrun, and Alicia 
Dstriker. 

lb prove Dickinson's place in this well established 
:ommunity, Barker extends the images of light ver- 
sus dark and connects them to those of Dickinson's 
writer-sisters, suggesting, as Amy Lowell had, that 
"a tradition of women's poetry (does) in fact exist." 



This tradition, Barker says, relies heavily on im- 
ages of light and dark, expressions of opposition to 
a male dominated culture. 

Dickinson, according to Barker, takes her place 
firmly in the midst of this community, between 
Barrett Browning, the "Foreign Lady" who "caused 
the dark to feel beautiful," and Sandra Gilbert, 
nourished on "the grains of darkness" that were 
Dickinson's images. 

In the last section of the book, Barker ties Dickin- 
son and her healing darkness not only to the prose 
of Charlotte Perkins Gilman (The Yellow Wallpaper), 
Jean Rhys, (Wide Sargasso Sea), and Virginia Woolf 
(Mrs. Dalloway), but to the poetry of H.D., Sylvia 
Plath, Adrienne Rich, Margaret Atwood, and 
Marge Piercy. 

Creativity cannot be separated from the truth of 
the creator's life — geographical setting, time, and 
sex. There are simple truths expressed in Art 
because these simple truths occupy the creator's 
mind. For Dickinson one of these was her inability 
to rid herself of a dutiful daughter persona and 
become a poet while bathed in the light of day. 

Barker's feminist view is not one of iconoclastic re- 
structuring but one of quiet introspection — what it 
means to be a woman and an artist. 

This is a thoughtful study which lifts Dickinson 
from the dustbin of mere aberration where some 
would condemn her, and places her firmly be- 
tween the female literary lights of the nineteenth 
and twentieth centuries. This new light shed on 
EDs daylight and dark, makes exceedingly clear 
what Dickinson meant when she wrote: 



I reckon — when I count it all — 

First — Poets — Then the Sun — 

Then Summer — Then the Heaven of God- 

And then — the List is done — 

But, looking back — the First so seems 
To Comprehend the Whole — 
The Others look a needless Show — 
So I write — Poets — All — 

(Excerpt — Poems 569) 



."W 



, i-, K e v i e w: 

JE V. WADE: THE UNTOLD 
STORY OF THE LANDMARK 
SUPREME COURT DECISION THAT 
MADE ABORTION LEGAL 

by Marian Faux 
Sandra Schwayder 

These days there is a movement to introduce plain 
English into the communications training of law- 
yers. The more enmeshed in the complexities of the 
law we get, the more we lose the ability to commu- 
nicate, in simple and effective terms, its logic and 
consequences. Marian Faux should be commended 
for her ability to understand, simplify and explain 
the legal procedural difficulties encountered in 
putting the law to the service of society. 

Beyond that, though, I was disappointed in the 
way this book was written. The author's language 
and style is simply too plain to sustain interest. 
This is particularly disappointing insofar as the 
subject is of utmost importance to women, now 
more than ever; and because the real life story of 
Roe v. Wade involved characters of strong person- 
alities with distinct voices of their own that we 
never get to sense or hear. I wanted first person 
interviews, excerpts of transcripts (real courtroom 
scenes are still as dramatic as the books and mov- 
ies they inspire), to hear, in other words, the voices 
of the participants, in all their varied accents and 
attitudes. I understand that personal interviews 
with the woman who was Roe were not possible 
without payment of a fee (not unreasonable given 
her circumstances) but I think that fee should have 
been paid, as the book, an important book, would 
have been invaluably enhanced if the reader could 
have heard directly from her what she felt about 
this landmark event. 

In explaining why one of the attorneys on this case 
had decided at the outset to co-counsel with the 
other, Faux says: "and of course the bottom line 
was that it would be fun to have someone to share 
the excitement with. Coffee had a feeling this case 
might generate a lot of that." What is unfortunate 
is that the book generates none of it. Of course the 
author was clearly caught up in the excitement of 
this history and her subject generally and was 
obviously very dedicated in her pursuit of facts. 
The problem is, being a good researcher doesn't 
guarantee that one is a good writer, and it is that 
art that Marian Faux needs to cultivate. Every day 
we move in the midst of living history and, as 
women, it is vital that we highlight those historical 

40 



events that speak urgently to women's' pride anc 
hope. A dry, unbroken third person narrative los ) 
the immediacy that makes history-in-the-making 
exciting. 

For me the most interesting chapter in the book 
was "Awakening a Nation's Conscience" (Chap. - 
in which we get a brief history of the medical es- 
tablishment's attitudes toward abortion. The auth 
alludes to the political conflict between certified 
physicians and midwives, a conflict that has, in 
fact, been an important political factor in the 
oppression of women for centuries (remember th» 
witch burnings for a dramatic example). I hope 
that Ms. Faux will turn her excellent research skil 
on this topic at some point, and perhaps, in the 
process, discover more vitality in the telling. A 
careful reading of Eva Figes' The Seven Ages (Bal- 
lantine 1988) would offer some education in the 
creative feminist approach to history. 

In any case, because I am interested in what inter 
ests this author, I will watch for her next work an 
I do most certainly recommend that women inter 
ested in our own history give this book at least a 
cursory reading. 



Sandra Schwayder is a feminist attorney and writer. She lives 
Denver, Colorado. 



: 



DUR WHO MARCHED - A REPORT 



idith A. Lewis 



u 



ndreds of thousands of people marched for 
tomen's Equality /Women's Lives in Washington 
n April 9. Estimates of the number of participants 
; nged from 300,000 to 600,000, making this the 
rgest demonstration of its kind in history. 

jany of us who were in Washington that day 
:ere caught in a human gridlock that delayed all 
ovement toward the rally on the Capitol 
ounds. We knew that the delays were caused by 
,e amazing size of the crowd, but we couldn't 
ally sense the scope of the demonstration in 
rms of numbers; those watching at home, with 
[e benefit of helicopter-eye views, could do that 
?tter. What we could sense was the diversity of 
!iis community of activists. We saw older women 
hose greatest concern was for their daughters 
id granddaughters ("Menopausal Women Nostal- 
c for Change" made everyone's short list of 
ivorite signs). We saw busloads of college stu- 
ents whose political interests had been awakened 
■y the pro-choice crisis. We shared Linda Eller- 
se's surprise at the unexpected but welcome 
resence of thousands of "Young, Upwardly- 
lobile Persons." We stood beside women who 
ad marched before and who had believed this 
attle to have been securely won, but we took 
)mfort in Holly Near's observation that "it is an 
onor to stand up again and again for what you 
elieve in." 

, handful of anti-choice observers watched from 
\e sidelines, but they were insignificant. More 
gnificant was the fact that many of the marchers 
irried hangers, showing symbolically that, for 
\any women, the only real choice may be between 
safe, legal abortion and a dangerous, illegal abor- 
on. As Jesse Jackson said, "We are the ones who 
re pro-life." 



lise G. LeGrand 

am a full-time student in the Fiction Writing 
'epartment at Columbia College, Chicago, and a 
?gistered nurse. 

he Pro-Choice march to the Capitol was an over- 
whelming event. Newspaper and TV coverage 
^adequately represented the great disparity be- 
vecn at least three hundred thousand marchers 
nd a few "pro-life" activists. Because of the large 
umbers of marchers, we had to wait a long time 
efore we actually started to walk. There was a 
:rong sense of community and commitment 



among the thousands who had all traveled dis- 
tances and endured the cold and windy weather to 
carry our message to our government. We were 
there because we are pro-life in a different way 
than the representatives of "Operation Rescue" on 
the sidewalk, who screamed obscenities at us. 

I marched because we live in a patriarchal society 
where women's lives are valued less than the lives 
of the unborn. I marched because doing so gave 
me a feeling of power over an issue that seems to 
be out of my control: the possibility that the 
Supreme Court will begin the process to overturn 
the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision. I marched be- 
cause I have a daughter, two sons and a grandson. 
I marched because, after writing letters and work- 
ing through all the available channels, it was the 
only thing left to do. 

I find it difficult to condense my emotions and 
feelings of the day into a short paragraph. A 
young college student ahead of me in the march 
carried this sign: 



MY MOM HAD AN ILLEGAL ABORTION 
I DON'T MISS THE BABY 
I MISS MY MOM. 



I am unable to improve on the eloquence of her 
words. 



in 



• 




Photo credit, Christina Barry 

V 






r. 







Christina M. Barry 

I knew I would attend the Women's march when I 
first heard about it last fall. In the past three years 
I have developed and come to understand the 
feminist nature of my being. Having been born 
about 15 years too late to participate in the demon- 
strations of the sixties and seventies I was not 
going to miss this chance. This chance to thank the 
women before me and learn from the women in 

my life now. 

41 



i were fears — fear that not enough women 
Id show, fear that not enough women of my 
feneration would attend, and fear of violence from 
>pposition. I went to sleep the night before the 
larch listening to the rain, but woke to sunshine 
and beautiful crisp weather — a good sign. The 
metro ride into D.C. was another good sign. Get- 
ting on at the end of the line we watched the cars 
fill up with women clad in white carrying pro- 
choice banners. It took us fifteen minutes to get 
out of the station. Oh the crowds! All fears were 
gone; amazement took over. 

Amazement at the number of people. Amazement 
at the number of college students, men, and 
daughters marching with their mothers. Amaze- 
ment of the passion, humor and energy of those 
assembled. I still get chills thinking about that 
mile long walk to the capitol. I only hope that 
those feelings made an impact on the Washington 
establishment. Did they hear me singing? Will 
they listen to the songs of the strong majority? 



We Will Not Go Back!— Women's March 
for Equality 

Ellen Moaney 

As far as the eye could see we filled every foot of 
space. We were young, we were old, and we came 
alone or in groups. We were the silent majority, 
and we were silent no more. 

It was a special day in many ways. On April 9, 
1989 my oldest daughter became 21. A monumen- 
tal day. The day that she obtained her full rights 
as an American citizen. I was not celebrating with 
her, instead I was celebrating the day for her. I 
spent that day celebrating her birthday, and the 
recent birth of her daughter, my first granddaugh- 
ter whose birth signifies a new generation of 
women, by marching for Women's Equality in 
Washington, D.C. I marched for my other daugh- 
ter, soon to start college. I marched in memory of 
my mother, and I marched for all the women who 
have ever been in my life. I marched because I am 
convinced that all women should have choice, 
whether it is work, family, or education and career. 
I am firmly committed to the idea that we need to 
be able to choose when it is time to have our 
children. No woman should ever have to feel 
guilty about her choice. I marched that day, 
alongside of half a million people or more, because 
I believe that women still are being denied their 
fair share of how good the American life can be, 
their full equality. And I marched because I be- 
lieve that never again should there be the back- 
street butchery that existed in this country before 
the Roe vs. Wade decision. 



42 




Photo credit, Ellen Moaney 



On my way to Washington Friday evening, I 
connected with another woman going to the 
march. Waiting for the red-eye special in LAX if; 
connected with 20 more. We were all taking thtj 
time to stand up for choice and equality, becausiii 
the final analysis, it is our lives that they are tall 
ing about controlling. Very early Saturday mori 
ing the spirits were high. We were already awaj 
of our diversity and our commonality, and gettil; 
an inkling of how successful this was going to b 

When I arrived at the Washington Monument jul 
before 10 a.m. there were already more people t 
I had ever seen. Five hundred students from Ol 
lin College in Ohio had come with 250 more waM 
ing to make the trip but there were no more aval 
able buses. There were buses from Toledo, bust 
from Bangor and Portland, Maine, nine buses fr 
Albany, New York, and buses from the Detroit 



n 






area. Over 500 campuses were represented by 
young women and men who had never lived in 
America where there wasn't reproductive choice 
The universities of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michifl 
and Indiana were there in force. There were 25(j: 
attorneys from the Justice Department, marchinjl 
under a banner that read "U.S. Justice Departmeft 
for Choice." The churches were there, my own 
Unitarian, and Methodist, Presbyterian, Congred,-, 
tionalist, Church of Christ and Church of the 
Brethren, just to mention a few. People wore 
stickers proclaiming that they were "Catholics ft! 
Choice." 

"We will not go back," stated a sign and I remem- 
bered our recent past. Abortion has been a fact I 
life since 2600 B.C. when abortion producing dnj.s 
were first recorded. St. Augustine declared Catlj- 
lic dogma sanctioning abortion up to 80 days foij 
female fetuses and 40 days for male fetuses. (In 
400 A.D. they believed that males ensouled earlij). 
It is interesting to know that abortion was legal 
until 1588 when Pope Sixtus forbade it. But in 
1591 Pope Gregory XIV rescinded that decision, 
this country abortion was legal until 1821. 



>men, with men leading or following, have 
/ays found ways to end an unwanted preg- 
icy; some of them were ugly, and most of them 
re dangerous, and after 1860 all of them were 
gal. Backstreet butchers charged hundreds of 
Jars to perform hideously risky procedures on 
thtened, distraught women. Over 5000 women 
d each year, many more were left unable to bear 
ild. Women endured these humiliating proce- 
es alone, or they bore children they were not 
ipped to care for, or died young, worn out from 
ling birth to countless children. Where was our 
pice? Then came Roe vs. Wade and women won 
lonstitutional right to safe, legal birth control 
p, if need be, abortion. Back street mercenaries 
It their licenses to maim. Women, from all walks 
life were finally treated with the dignity that 
fits a person making the hardest choice of her 
;>. A hard won step toward equality had arrived. 
e cannot go back! 




daughter she has never known. We had each 
made a choice in a time when women had no real 
choices. We had each paid a price and our lives 
were affected ever after by that choice. 

This issue is not really about abortion It is about 
privacy and choice. If we, in any way, diminish 
the American right to privacy, we set the course for 
other private acts to be legislated. We run the risk 
of losing such basic rights as our right to believe as 
we choose. We must never forget that this is a 
government OF, BY and FOR the people, and the 
government must be responsive to the majority. 
We reminded the world that there can never be 
equal rights for all people until there are equal 
rights for women. 

I was thinking about all these things when I 
marched in Washington for women's equality. I 
was marching to ensure that women continue to 
have real choices. 

What did we gain? We showed the world that we 
are America's majority. We raised the possibility 
that the Supreme Court might be captive of the far 
Right. We showed the nation that we will be 
counted and we will be reckoned with. 



o credit, Christina Barry 



l arrived at the capitol to the sounds of Judy 
llins leading hundreds of thousands to the 
werful spiritual, "Amazing Grace." We were 
dressed by Jesse Jackson, Bella Abzug, Whoopie, 
ida Ellerbee, Molly Yard and countless others. 

:arted college in the early sixties. It was the real 
nnning of the sexual revolution. My best friend 
high school got pregnant right after graduation, 
r parents insisted she put her baby up for adop- 
n. My first year in college four young women, 
:luding myself got pregnant. We all had abor- 
ns. Not medically safe legal abortions. The 
lister other kind. It was frightening. A week 
er that I was expelled from college for having 
it abortion. My life was changed. Just a week 
fore this march, my best friend from high school 
iited me. We had not seen each other for 
enty-six years. I had been married and divorced 
d had two daughters and my new granddaugh- 
. She had never married, nor had any other 
ildren. After all this time she still pines for the 



43 



'LAC'E J> (PIPITS 




Third in a seri 



4< 



MENDING THE WEB OF LIFE 

Marty Walton 

These are exciting times. . . marvelous times to be 
alive. These are holy times. . . and they may well 
be the end times. Certainly it is the end of some- 
thing, the end of life as we have known it. 

It's a time of change. Change has been happening, 
escalating in pace in every facet of society, all over 
the world. Much of the change is technological, 
easy to see. But more profound change is occur- 
ring, on a deeper psychic and spiritual level, and 
we are feeling it, we are a part of it. To me, it feels 
like an enormous energy that is creative, wise, 
balanced, and outrageous to the world as it has 
been. 

The dynamics of change are present here in the 
guise of seemingly small issues. The effort to 
become more sensitive to the use of sexist language 
is not just a trifling matter. Recycling our used 
materials, considering a peace tax fund — these are 
an indication of a profound shift taking place, the 
start of an evolutionary leap forward. 

The dynamics here, such as how we think about 
money, how we think about gender and sex, how 
we think about issues of the environment, issues of 
images of the divine, how we think about God — 
all are involved in this time of change, and all are 
signs of new ways of thinking. We are, of course, 
feeling pressure to change, because the inadequa- 
cies of the old way are like a time bomb ticking 
away, with an ever shorter time before. . . you 
know as many scenarios as I do. . . nuclear winter, 
holocaust, Armageddon. 

I am excited, though, not scared. I am glad to be 
alive, full of hope, and I feel very involved in this 
new time. It is a time of transformation, of inner 
change. It is a time when new truths are emerging. 

I want to begin by looking at the metaphor of the 
theme itself: Mending the Web of Life. Image a 
web made up of strands, strands that form a 
pattern. It it's a large web, like a fishnet, we may 
not see the whole web, only part. We don't see the 
whole pattern, we see separate strands that interact 
to form a fabric. It's the relationship of the strands 
that creates the fabric. When I look at the web of 
my personal life, I can see that my life is not a 
linear experience. It is not a sequence of happen- 
ings, a long line of occurrences, a single strand 
stretching out by itself. Life does not happen that 
way. Thoughts interweave and pull events to- 

44 



gether. Take a few minutes sometime to watcl 
your thoughts. Who populates them, memori< 
what occasions? Thoughts are all over the pla 
Memories arise, triggering new thoughts. Seec 
planted years ago suddenly germinate, sudderj 
make sense. Mental/emotional life is a web cc* 
tinually being created, using strands from eveih 
thing in our lives. I've found the same thing t<l 
true about physical life, about our bodies. It si 
there are so many choices about physical life, 
not fixed and given. The food we eat is trans- 1 
formed into our bodies. The work we do with! 
bodies is reflected in them. Our bodies are res! 
sive to what's going on with us. Life is a web 
Each of us within ourselves, and each of us as I 
of a larger pattern with each other and the woij 
grow out of the past and affect what will comet 
The web of life is the totality of our interconnei 
tions. And that totality is being altered. 

Let's look, then, at mending. Mending makes 
think of repairing, hooking back together, darr\ 
reweaving, rebuilding. Implicit in a theme abc 
mending is the assumption that something is 
broken, torn, worn thin, falling apart. There's 
probably a remarkable degree of agreement ab!i 
that. Everybody knows about our human protl 
lems: homelessness, pollution, injustice, threat 
nuclear destruction. People have not created 
heaven on earth. Actually, I think the fix we ai 
is inevitable and predictable, considering our 
understanding of society and what we human 
beings believe we need. That is what I want to Ik 
about: the cultural understanding of life and hJ 
mending the web of life involves coming to a r m 
understanding of life. Mending the web of life.v 
volves coming to see that we are where we are,: 
because of our limited understanding and that j 
mending - healing - will occur when we expense 
a transformation of attitude. 

Our human connection with each object, each j 
noun, has been seen as either controlling or bei 1 ; 
controlled. We relate to the nouns through verji, 
we do things to objects, or they do things to us.. 
This mindset, where the focus is split into a dui,- 
ity, a "me" and an "other," has given us too na] 
row a view of cause and effect. The more we tii t 
control our environment, the more we discover 
areas over which we have no control. I think v 
is happening is that we are being taught sometl 
about what life really is. There is nothing static 
frozen or finished about the created universe. 
Human beings are a part of the unfolding worl< 
part of creation. We are unfinished beings, wit 
our talents and limitations. We have a develop 



rareness and consciousness, with great potential 
I learning. The fact is, though, that we learn 
jimarily from our mistakes. We have made, and 
i ; going to continue to make, many mistakes. It 
■the way we are. 

recent years there has been a tremendous escala- 
: n of the awareness of the impact we have. Our 

stakes and our growing pains have been bring- 
ig us to a time when we are beginning to really 
5/ attention. And that's the key — the start of 
msformation — to pay attention. Mending the 
?b of life is really not so much mending, as it is a 
king go of the learned channels and categories. It is 
ing open to perceiving what is. Mending the web 

life will start when we let go of the old mindset, 
len we stand back and look at the patterns, and 
ye and honor what we see. It starts when we lit- 
illy feel our own heart beating. Paying attention 
quires courage, to see and accept what is, to see 
e light and shadow, the pain and the joy. It's 
;iry to let go of ourselves being in control of fixing, 
mating, making. It's scary to recognize our 
sponsibility, to see how connected we are with 

of life. It's frightening to see what a mess the 
i way has made of it all. It was easier to say that 
;'re not connected to the trash on the city streets 

the people dying of AIDS or to the holes in the 
one layer. But paying attention, seeing what is, 
ows us these connections. We are connected; 
at is what is. 

id what is, is that healing happens. Healing is 
rt of what is. Healing is letting go and trusting 
at at the moment whatever is necessary will he- 
me apparent, and then letting that happen. Our 
dies want to heal, our rivers and our air - our 
hole earth wants to heal. 

mething wonderful is happening in my life, 
any of those strands that I have been introduced 
separately are now weaving themselves to- 
ther. Feminism was the first strand of human 
inking that began to tie in directly with my own 
e. Feminism took me out of the world of theory 
id put me into my own experience. Being atten- 
'e, becoming aware opens us to the unknown. If 
e are fully present in the moment we realize we 
) not know what's going to happen next. 

hat does come next? It's us, as individuals 
aiting in the stillness to hear what's going on 
side of us, discovering what feelings and mes- 
ges are ready to be heard under the surface. It's 
ming to know ourselves, hearing our inner 
iths, accepting ourselves as we are. It's honoring 
ir inner truths, doing what our spirit asks, exam- 
ing our fears, asking for guidance. We mend the 
eb of life when we listen to the rest of creation, 
tting to know the earth and the creatures and 
ants that are part of the web of life. The whole 
ew of a world that is broken, torn and suffering 



is a view limited by our own separation from 
communion, separation from the experience of 
feeling the connections and interweavings of all of 
creation. "Keep your eyes open and watch." 

We are being called to change, to: 

• become passionate about valuing life on this 
planet, in Nicaragua, in our cities, every 
where. 

• live more simply, conserving the earth's 
resources, protecting the environment, recog- 
nizing that we are the earth, and the earth is 
us. 

• address our own violence within. 

• responsibly participate in civic life. 
To change requires courage. 

• Courage is possible when we know that we 
belong where we are, as a part of this evolv 
ing planet. 

• This knowledge of belonging is possible 

when we get to know ourselves well, and the 
rest of nature well. . . when we can accept 
what is, in all our strengths and limitations. 

• We can know ourselves when we can listen, 
pay attention, see what is. And we can come 
to know ourselves when we pay attention to 
the inner workings of our being, when we 
risk seeing the shadows within ourselves, 
and risk telling the truth to ourselves and 
each other. 

We are being called to live the truth. It is radical, it 
is scary, it is new, and it is also old. Those strong 
goddesses of 5,000 years ago, striding forward and 
accepting the energy of the earth and sky, what 
live images they are, what embodiments of the 
truth. 

That is our work, our task - to participate in this 
transformation now, to become aware of the life 
force that is in everything. It is our challenge to set 
our minds and hearts on the real, to see and feel 
and know that life is holy, and we are holy, and 
that all is well. 



Marty Walton is a Quaker living in Philadelphia. The ideas in 
this article have been edited from her address to Illinois Yearly 
Meeting on August 6, 1988. 



45 



EDITOR'S COL UMN 




i GALA CELEBRATION 

t was our celebration of International Women's 
Day. It was The Creative Woman Foundation's 
first fundraising event. It was an enthralling show 
of seven decades of women's fashions, produced 
and narrated by Nancy Allen, collector and curator 
of museum-quality costumes. More than 200 
women showed up to munch hors d'oeuvres, sip 
wine, and exclaim over the beauty and fascination 
of the clothes. It was a great success in every way, 
filling our hearts with joy and satisfaction. 

Roberta Gleason, reporting in The Star, wrote "It 
was definitely a happening — one of those synergis- 
tic combinations that leave an event's sponsors 
slightly breathless and a trifle giddy. The public's 
reception. . . was phenomenal. . ." In Nancy 
Allen's witty narration, she traced "the twin revo- 
lutions of women's rejection of themselves as 
purely decorative objects and the unionization of 
women in the garment industry." 

A happy surprise for the editor was Representative 
Loleta Didrickson's reading of Illinois House Bill 
137 which reads (in part) 

"Whereas, The Creative Woman lauds and cele- 
brates women as creative, productive, involved, 
and inquiring individuals, and it provides a 
forum for individual work and for the exchange 
of information; therefore be it RESOLVED, BY 
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE 
EIGHTY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF 
THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that we congratulate 
the publishers and friends of The Creative 
Woman on a successful first twelve years and 
wish them continued success in the future." 
Adopted by the House of Representatives 
March 2, 1989. 

For the entire text of the Resolution and stories by 
Roberta Gleason and Cecily Hunt contact this 
office. 

An APPEAL 

Feminist poet and essayist, one of our most distin- 
guished contributors to TCW, Susan Griffin is 
seriously ill with a yet-undiagnosed debilitating 
neurological disease. Symptoms have been noted 
for the past five years and she has been bedridden 
now for nine months. Readers are encouraged to 
make contributions to help with medical and living 
costs to: The Griffin Fund, P.O. Box 421985, San 
Francisco, CA 94142. Concerned sisters: send a 
check and a cheering note and add that TCW sent 
you. 



46 



Claudia Snow, 1925 3 piece jacquard suit 




Rose McGill, 1910 wool gym suit, St. Marys 
of the WoodsJN 



BOUT OUR STAFF- HAIL AND FAREWELL! 

iter 14 years as the Superintendent of the Univer- 
fty Print Shop, and after printing every issue of 
lis magazine with meticulous care and informed 
dgement, our friend and colleague Pat Fares 
isigned this month. We bade him farewell with 
ur thanks and sense of loss, a framed cover 
iiotograph, and a lifetime complimentary sub- 
ilription to The Creative Woman. While no one can 
i'er exactly take another person's place, we are 
ippy to have Bob Woodard on hand and taking 
^er with excellent preparation, experience and 
•mpetence. 



HEH 



pcoming issues: 



npowering Women of Color - Fall 1989 
Guest editor Loretta J. Ross 

viet Women - Winter 1990 
Guest editor Sharon Tennison 

AIA: Reweaving the Web of Life 
Spring/Summer 1990 

minist Literary Criticism - Fall 1990 
Guest editor Maggie Berg 

ipdate on Men Changing - Winter 1991 

'< Guest editors Art Schmaltz and David Matteson 

vimming Upstream: Managing Disabilities - 
Spring /Summer, Guest editor Judy Reis 

Writer's Guidelines 



ease submit your work in double-spaced typescript 
\d enclose SASE. To submit on computer disc, send a 3 
/ 2" hard disc compatible with Macintosh II and include 
printed copy. Unsolicited manuscripts will be re- 
ewed within six months. We welcome your writing. 




\3w<? Qm/w//s? r f/tf/?/7 l 



( 9^mmb ( 9^m 




7 



SUMMER WRITING CONFERENCE 

The International Women's Writing Guild will 
conduct its annual week-long Summer Writing 
Conference, July 28-August 4, 1989 at Skidmore 
College, Saratoga Springs, New York. Forty work- 
shops in everything from "Nuts and Bolts" to 
Mythology and Philosophy. No prerequisites-"just 
a yearning to be, to do, to say, and to learn." For 
further information contact: Hannelore Hahn, The 
International Women's Writing Guild, P.O. Box 
810, Gracie Station, New York, NY 10028-0013. 
Phone: 212/737-7536. 

A joyous summer to all our readers. 



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