My aim is to explore issues of low self-esteem and expectation of women in their middle to later years and empower them to believe in themselves and their own self-worth.
Being a more mature woman myself I understand the challenges we all face as we age: sagging, loneliness, changes to employment, stresses of dealing with younger and older family members, it is all too easy to lose focus of ourselves and not take the time to appreciate our uniqueness and to embrace ourselves as we are.
Through portraiture and interview, I provoke the woman to think about and acknowledge their own self-perception. I ask them to describe themselves in five simple words, who inspired them and who they inspire.
Currently, I have held two “Still Beautiful” Photographic Exhibitions in very different locales:
Rural Australia with women from Bacchus Marsh, located 55kms West of Melbourne. A population of 30,000 people. The excitement generated was very rewarding with women feeling good about themselves, their friends and family reinforcing to them how wonderful and loved they are.
Penang, Malaysia: a diverse, large population of 1.76 million people, with many socio-economic layers: I included portraits of women from all races and walks of life. I also incorporated an interactive part of the display with photographs of women going about their everyday lives. With these I encouraged the viewers to take the photograph to the subject if they knew her, and tell her that she was still beautiful, all proceeds were given as a donation to Women’s Centre for Change.
On social-media the women tagged me when they posted their portraits, their friend's reactions with hundreds of shares and comments, were very affirming of the need for the project and of the beauty and worth of the subject. Some changed profile status to more affirmative words and “still beautiful” became a phrase of common usage.
I am honoured to be undertaking this project and give my sincere thanks to the brave, generous women who take part in these projects.
BEAUTY THROUGH KARYN’S LENSES
Postcode Georgetown, 15 July 2018
Still Beautiful, Until August 5th 2018
Penang Free Sheet, 30 July 2018
‘Still Beautiful’: A photography exhibition celebrating older women”
Malay Mail, 20 July 2018