Photographia Feminia Exhibition: A Cool Back Story

V1 Staff

"Fresh water pearl," a photo by Kerri Kiernan,
is part of the Photographia Feminia show,
running at Tangled Up in Hue through Feb. 29.

Just a fun back story to an art exhibition running at Tangled Up in Hue right now:

By Kerri Kiernan

One time I stumbled upon an interesting giant hole in a redwood tree that I figured could fit myself into. Knowing I would regret it if I passed up this potential best photo ever, I then noticed that my hiking clothes were not so fit for an impromptu self portrait.  I asked my friends whom I was hiking with to guard the trail for me. After some questionable looks and a little extra explaining, they left me to my little adventure with the tree and the big hole.  I positioned my camera in the crevice of an adjacent tree, set the timer, stripped down and ran for the best picture ever! (Let’s just say that this story turned out better than the photos … which were mostly blurry images of my behind in mid-run to the tree.)

Lucky for me (and you), this past August I realized that a group of my friends were quite adventurous and willing to help me with this project. The five of us biked out past town towards the site where Porterville (or Porter’s Mills) used to be, found a nice secluded spot, and made the most of the sunset light. Despite an occasional curious fisherman, the experience was overall very positive. Since the first shoot in August, seven more have followed with additional friends and even some strangers.

None of the women had ever done anything like this before, but had found the experiences to be exhilarating, sometimes humorous, and most importantly; fun. These images were not created to be sexy nor for others at all, really. The experience in itself was the important part for the participants, as they felt beautiful for just enjoying themselves, for letting go of concerns and hoping for the best (and for also having a pretty great response if someone were to ask them, “What did you do today?”).

Other than the original group of gals who modeled for me, all of the other women in my photography have approached me looking to participate for their own reasons after hearing about the project or seeing some of the finished images. I am more than thankful to these strong and beautiful women for their creativity, confidence and trust. I hope to connect with more women of varying ages and looks to continue this image series in the Chippewa Valley. I love photographing the female form with her curves, grace, and strength. Enjoy these images as you view strong, beautiful, real women.

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