In focus: Female strength
Women photographers take centre stage with innovative ways to capture life on the go
BENGALURU: Think warriors, think blood-stains and sharp weapons. But photographer Tara Louise McManus’ work, themed around Female Warrior, looks at the inner strength of women, who she believes goes through a lot more than men do. “Yet, female warriors aren’t as recognised as male warriors. I wanted to break that,” explains McManus.
The 20-piece collection was shot while McManus was doing a fashion series. The photographs were then printed on canvas in black and white, before being painted on with water and acrylic colours. “A lot of them have a sense of inner strength in the images, in their pose, the way they look into the camera, their hair, make up, style, etc,” she says, adding that the use of the paints helps her accentuate these aspects. “Female models are usually subject to objectification. I wanted to explore feminine strength and ‘warrior-hood’ without viewing the subject as sexy, but instead allowing/guiding the viewer to notice her for her other traits.”
The 30-year-old credits her love for photography to her late father, who was also a photographer. “His cameras were literally attached to his hip! Holidays were the worst, when he would wander off photographing every detail of whichever city we were in. One day he sat me down and taught me how to use his cameras, how to load and unload film, etc. My love for photography grew,” recalls McManus, who pursued her BA in photography in London and currently shuttles between Bengaluru and Mumbai.
The photographs for this exhibition, McManus’s first, were taken at multiple shoots and locations in London, Mumbai and Bengaluru. But the one thing that connects all of them is her own definition of feminine strength. Nothing defines the term better, she says, than, “not trying to compete with a man. It is what it is; every woman is different and has battle wounds of her own. It is how you deal with it that makes you strong.”
The exhibition is on display at The Studio, Thomas Town, Cooke Town, till Sept 15.