Rotterdam Photo: Carole Rey
The theme of this year’s Rotterdam Photo, an annual photography festival, was “Freedom Redefined,” and I was lucky enough to exhibit 34 prints from my work on women with life sentences, both inside prison and after they’ve regained their freedom. This week Lenscratch is dedicated to featuring five photographers whose work caught my eye.
Today is the work of Carole Rey, whose Forty Plus is an ethereal ode to “femininity and sensuality, to celebrate the incredible feeling of freedom and inner power that women reach in what can be considered the middle life.”
Forty Plus is a body of work that documents and conceptualizes feminine sensuality above forty years old. Paradoxically, in the western society, the more a woman grows old and confident, the more she disappears in any kind of representation. While being in full possession of their body and its capacities, liberated from their upbringing and from the expectations of a patriarchal society, forty plus women remain too often hidden, forgotten, as if invisible. With this series I wanted to create a delicate visual journey through my own intimate wardrobe mixed with botanical elements as a metaphoric representation of the feminine gaze and the cycle of life.
Forty Plus is an invitation to see and embrace beauty in all its manifestation and imperfection, a lullaby to sing the incredible feeling of freedom and inner power that we reach in what can be considered the middle life.
Carole Rey is a French photographer who works and lives in the Netherlands.
Her work has been exhibited throughout Europe and the US and received a silver medal at Prix de la Photographie de Paris for her series Hemicrania-Disambiguation. Rey’s work is a visual invitation to embrace diversity and beauty that life gives us but also to give suffering and pain a place. Working in an intuitive way, exclusively with natural light, each photograph is a journey on its own. The photograph itself, is the concrete object of something invisible, an intense inner world. A world of happiness, but also of suffering, transience and of resilience. There is in Carole Rey’s work a tragic and poetic whiff like nature and life can be. The creative quest of Carole is comparable to the Japanese Ikebana art as it is described by Sofu Teshigahara in The Book of Flowers: “Set things you cannot see. There are many things in your heart that are invisible. Flowers are concrete but Ikebana is abstract.”
Follow Carole Rey on Instagram: @carole_reyphotography
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