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"Ophelia I-XIII", photo etching, 24" x 18", 2017

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"Ophelia I-XIII", photo etching, 24" x 18", 2017

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"Ophelia I-XIII", photo etching, 24" x 18", 2017

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"Ophelia Rising: Holy", photopolymer etching, 24" x 18"

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"Ophelia Rising: Queen", photopolymer etching, 24" x 18"

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"Ophelia Rising: Core", photopolymer etching, 24" x 18"

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"Ophelia Rising: Reach", photopolymer etching, 24" x 18"

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"Ophelia Rising: Behold", photopolymer etching , 24" x 18"

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"Ophelia Rising: Fortify", photopolymer etching, 17" x 23"

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"Ophelia Rising: Twist", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising: Fear", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising: Naiad", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising: Spent", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising: Recover", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising", Fleisher Art Memorial Wind Challenge exhibition

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"Ophelia Series", each print 40" x 29" approximately, exhibited at Rush Arts Gallery, Philadelphia 2017

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With Raphael Tiberino, artist and curator of Politics Unusual

"Ophelia Series", each print 40" x 29" approximately, exhibited at Rush Arts Gallery, Philadelphia 2017

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With Danny Simmons, artist and founder of Rush Arts, Politics Unusual exhibition:

"Ophelia Series", each print 40" x 29" approximately, Philadelphia 2017

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"Ophelia Buoyant" video, 2018 excerpt

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Exhibition of text prints, Ophelia collaborators, Fleisher Art Memorial

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"Remembered," 24" x 36", hand-colored copperplate etching

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"Ophelia Rising: Entwine", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising: Expectant", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising: Unfold", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising: Extending", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Ophelia Rising: Eyes Open", photopolymer etching, 23" x 17"

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"Germinal," 23" x 17", photopolymer intaglio

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"Ophelia Book 1", photopolymer etching, 4" x 8"

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"Ophelia Book 2", hand-colored copperplate etching, 15.5" x 24", 

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"Ophelia book 3", woodblock print, 15" x 18"

Ophelia Rising Statement:

“Ophelia Rising” is a series that focusses on women’s gestures framed by the space of a bathtub, a locus of intimacy suggestive of the womb, and drawn from art historical paintings by late 19th Century artists Sir John Everett Millais and Mary Cassatt. I portray myself and three other collaborators in my bathtub adorned with flowers. This series explores the tragic character Ophelia, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The original version of Ophelia is a significant character because of her femininity and because she is a means for Hamlet, to exact his aggression towards his mother. Although innocent and virtuous, Hamlet treats her with contempt and cruelty. He ultimately drives her to insanity and death after his kills her father, Polonius.

Another layer to Ophelia’s tragedy is the history of Victorian artist Elizabeth Siddal. Siddal modeled for the painting Ophelia (1852) by Sir John Everett Millais, the clothed body of Ophelia floats on the water, surrounded by her newly collected flowers, her face frozen in a final breath. Siddal caught pneumonia by lying in a cold bath for hours while Millais painted. She was a talented painter and poet in her own right, but died young after a difficult marriage to Pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti and shortly after a stillborn childbirth. Due to her medical problems resulting from the pneumonia, Siddal developed an addiction to laudanum and took her own life.

In my prints of Ophelia, I interpolate this character into a contemporary context. Ophelia is represented in various prints by young women of color, a middle-aged Semitic woman, and two elder women of various races. I transform Ophelia from the teenage victim of insanity and suicide into a woman who claims her sensuality, her courage in facing many attacks human rights and freedoms, and a person who experiences the full cycle of life. Ophelia represents any woman who is generative and can overcome what life brings her, rather than succumb to oppression, rejection, and heartbreak. She is a woman of any race or age who, like the heroine of Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise”, rises “Out of the huts of history’s shame … Up from a past that’s rooted in pain.”

It is important to me that the series be multigenerational rather than limited by the adolescent Ophelia. I started with my own body in the tub, but the other collaborators range in age between 22 and 78, and collectively our bodies represent the entire lifespan of adult female identity. The young women that participated in my project are both muses and collaborators. They agreed to respond to questions about their experiences of living in their bodies and protecting themselves from assault and racism. I incorporated these statements into some of the prints. In other works, I invited them to think about the bath as a sanctuary and as they relaxed, I thought about their poses as choreography. One of my collaborators had a baby, and I photographed her before, during, and following the pregnancy with her baby in the bathtub. I similarly worked with my own body to embody an Ophelia who challenges victimhood and death. I thought about how a woman’s body loses value in the eyes of our culture as she passes the age of childbirth. Lastly, I worked with my mother and mother-in-law to videotape Ophelia in the Atlantic Ocean.

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