“I really think that visual culture is the last battleground for women’s equality and freedom,” says photographer Hannah Starkey, of what inspires the plays on visual language, and subtle probing of the ways women are represented in popular culture, which we see throughout her work.
Driven by familiar narratives, Hannah stages everyday moments with precision and skill; taking the quotidian, re-enacting and editing it according to her own vision. Take the afterword of her recent publication published by Mack Hannah Starkey, Photographs 1997-2017 for instance, the photographer states that she’s “interested in the psychological truth more than the photographic truth”.Hannah Starkey, Photographs 1997-2017 charts two decades of Hannah’s image-making, from early staged photographs made in Belfast to the documentation of the 2017 Women’s March in London. Starkey has dedicated her work to women and the ways photography has shaped ideas about what it means to be female; in the book, cinematic mise-en-scenes from throughout her career are collected together, showing the contrasting environments and consistent themes that define her practice.
In the synopsis of the book, Mack says: “Proffering the view of the flâneuse – a female counterpoint to the artistic tradition of the male flâneur –Starkey’s images reveal moments of private reflection, alienation, or social interaction that might otherwise go unseen: a woman fleetingly fascinated by another woman’s reflection, or the attentive gaze of a mother carrying her child.”
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